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APL to phase out U.S. chassis fleet by 2014

APL said today it will begin phasing out its U.S. fleet of cargo container chassis during the first half of 2012. The Singapore-based shipping line said it expects to complete divestiture of the fleet by 2014.

Chassis are the skeletal truck trailers used to haul shipping containers over the road. APL said it will turn its fleet over to organizations that specialize in providing chassis to drayage companies.

“This is the direction the container shipping industry is moving,” said APL Americas President Gene Seroka from the company’s U.S. headquarters in Scottsdale. “By relying on providers who specialize in chassis management, equipment is deployed more efficiently.”

APL began notifying customers of the change this week. The carrier said divestiture will begin with a pilot program at terminals in Denver and Salt Lake City. That could begin as soon as March. Chassis fleets will be phased out of most APL inland terminals by the end of 2012. Divestiture will extend to East Coast sea ports in 2013, APL said. It should be completed nationwide by early 2014.

Shipping lines operating in the U.S. historically managed chassis fleets, making trailers available to truckers hauling containers. In recent years carriers have divested their fleets to cut costs and create chassis pools that improve equipment availability.

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About APL

APL is a global container shipping business offering more than 80 weekly services and more than 500 calls at more than 140 ports worldwide. It combines world-class intermodal operations with leading-edge IT and e-commerce. APL is a unit of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), global shipping and logistics company. APL Web site: