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October 25, 2017 3:15 PM, EDT
Direct ChassisLink Inc. Acquires Trac Intermodal’s Domestic Chassis Fleet
DCLI Looking to Ride Transloading Wave
DCLI chassis Direct ChassisLink Inc.

Direct ChassisLink Inc. has signed an agreement to make a major acquisition, purchasing the entire domestic chassis fleet from competitor Trac Intermodal.

The transaction, due to close in January, would not include Trac’s marine pool covering ports across the United States, but it does cover about 72,000 domestic 53-foot chassis that are growing in demand due to the rise in transloading.

RELATED: DCLI expands premium chassis fleet to Chicago market

It also includes Trac’s contracts with the Class I railroads, drayage providers, intermodal marketing companies and shippers across the United States.

“The acquisition of Trac’s domestic business accelerates our vision to create the leading intermodal asset leasing, management and services platform for the transportation and logistics industries,” said Bill Shea, CEO of DCLI. “New customers will benefit from enhanced technology-enabled service offerings and an expanded national footprint across the marine and domestic intermodal industries, while our existing customers will continue to receive the same high degree of customer service they have come to expect. We look forward to closing the deal and beginning the integration process.”

Since 2007, transloading has grown at double the rate of U.S. imports, and supply chain experts believe that beneficial cargo owners, or BCOs, will continue to request the service more in the future.

Trac Intermodal via YouTube

Transloading involves unloading freight from an international container — 20, 40 or 45 feet — and loading it into a 53-foot domestic container. Cargo owners can save money when two 40-foot and one 20-foot containers are condensed into two domestic containers before being placed on the railroad.

While the compound annual growth rate of imports over the past nine years was 1.9%, transloading was up 4%. Inland point intermodal dropped 0.2% during the same period, according to data from Intermodal Association of North America, The Port Import/Export Reporting Service and rail fleet provider TTX Co. Transloading statistics aren’t tracked formally, so the percentages are estimates.

With the acquisition, DCLI will own, lease, or manage approximately 136,000 marine chassis and about 80,000 domestic chassis, for a total chassis fleet of more than 216,000.

Trac Intermodal will continue to own and manage its 177,000 marine chassis at more than 600 locations, actively competing against DCLI for market share at major ports across the United States.

“Trac Intermodal is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality, most reliable equipment in the marine intermodal business,” Trac CEO Keith Lovetro said in a statement. “We continue to make significant investments in our Marine fleet, our network of service centers and our Emergency Road Service business to ensure that our customers receive the best possible service available.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.