A case study by chassis provider TRAC Intermodal describes how TRAC and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services worked together to develop a dedicated chassis pool for customers that needed expedited shipping during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study details how ZIM and TRAC created the chassis pool to handle cargo volumes at the ports of Los Angeles (LA) and Long Beach. ZIM developed the pool with TRAC to accompany ZIM’s expedited delivery service, the ZIM eCommerce Xpress. This service, created in July 2020, provided e-commerce customers to transport time-sensitive cargo from South China to the West Basin Container Terminal at the LA/Long Beach ports in 12 days, and access to TRAC’s chassis pool was part of the service, according to TRAC. 

“ZIM approached us to help them meet a very time-sensitive, mission-critical challenge for their ZIM eCommerce Xpress (ZEX) service,” said TRAC CEO Daniel Walsh in a release. “We worked quickly and efficiently to supply a high-quality fleet for the private pool, calling on our team and vendors to quickly identify chassis across our network, perform upgrades and deliver 1,200 converted chassis with GPS capabilities in just five weeks’ time. We then provided ZIM with ongoing service and support with streamlined pool operations and account management to meet their needs.”

The ZEX service continues, with more than 3,600 of TRAC’s chassis supporting the service in May 2021, according to the case study. 

Among the challenges that TRAC faced in setting up the program was identifying out-of-service chassis in various locations and repairing them within a condensed time frame so they could be ready for deployment. Coordinating this effort required working with vendors and labor unions, and COVID-19 restrictions added to the complexity of preparing the chassis, according to TRAC.

By early July 2020, close to 500 chassis were available for the service and were positioned for a first vessel off-loading in July 2020. 

“The project involved a great deal of coordination between TRAC’s fleet compliance team, corporate and regional operations, M&R, procurement and vendor management departments, as well as the customer support and communications groups,” the report said.

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