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DGX - Dependable Global Express


When Will the Chassis Shortages End?

In light of pandemic-related port congestion globally, especially in the transpacific markets, don’t let chassis shortages cause unnecessary delays to your shipments.

Chassis shortages are creating new challenges across the global supply chain, adding strain to shipments already facing persistent port and rail ramp congestion, lack of vessel space due to export delays, and increased lead times for bookings. Now more than ever, choosing the right logistics partner is crucial for success, making sure your shipment is paired with the right equipment at the right time.


Chassis for port drayage used to be owned by steamship lines and stored in the port. Changes in federal oversight regarding the roadworthiness of the equipment led most of the top carriers to exit the market, shifting ownership of chassis to third-party providers. As a result, many of the older units were gradually scrapped and not replaced, reducing the overall pool available at any one time. At the same time, increasingly larger ships are now calling on ports, tying up thousands of chassis at a time, leading to a feast or famine situation. Third-party chassis pools are still searching for a model that gives them enough equipment to serve market peaks without excess equipment sitting idle during lulls.

Current Situation and Peak Season Forecast

This gradual increase in vessel TEU capacity, combined with a decline in the numbers of available chassis at all U.S. ports, has exacerbated pandemic-related labor shortages already in place. Due to pent-up consumer demand and the subsequent surge in container volumes hitting U.S. shores, chassis shortages are expected for most ports through peak season and the remainder of 2021.


Before choosing a logistics provider for your shipment, make sure they understand the factors contributing to the recent chassis shortage throughout the U.S., with a clear vision geared towards mitigation strategies. It is critical to communicate with your shipping provider at the earliest outset. Once INCOTERMS are established, lining up drayage and chassis in the U.S. (which in the past was a reasonably easy afterthought) is now a critical element of the process.

Be sure to consult with commercial freight handlers, such as DGX to go over the latest conditions at any port under consideration BEFORE making your shipping arrangements. A consultative forwarder should monitor daily conditions and analyze each shipment, considering alternatives such as air freight, LCL rather than FCL, backup port pairs when feasible, and inland trucking options. It is helpful to maintain a creative and flexible stance to minimize costs and delays.

DGX has a clear understanding of the current situation! We believe in long-term relationships with a consultative and transparent approach to international shipping. We can guide you through each step of your next shipment, navigating current chassis-related issues, minimizing unnecessary delays, and avoiding unneeded headaches.

DGX assigns you a dedicated sales agent at the front end of your shipment planning as part of the personalized attention that we provide to every customer. For more information, call us at (888) 488-4888 Ext. 2011 or email us at

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