Shipping ports throughout California have begun inspecting cargo container chassis as they leave port facilities. The California Trucking Association asserts that the process slows cargo turn times and adds a burden to truck drivers. Trucking companies and chassis leasing companies are asking the federal government to intervene with what they consider to be illegal chassis inspections being conducted by the ILWU, according to the Journal of Commerce.
The PMA and ILWU contract that was ratified in February states that ILWU mechanics have the authority to inspect and repair chassis before they are released. The contract specifically excludes trucker-owned chassis from the inspection requirement, but is silent on leased chassis. However, ILWU members are reportedly stopping drivers and requiring proof of ownership before releasing the chassis.
The Institute of International Container Lessors maintains that this act is illegal by federal law “which states that the intermodal equipment provider, which today is mostly the chassis-leasing companies, must at the time of interchange with the trucker provide a roadworthy chassis and must give the driver an opportunity to perform the required pre-trip inspection for damage, defects or deficiencies.”
Curtis Whalen, executive director of the American Trucking Associations’ intermodal council, stated “The ILWU inspections and requests for verification of tucker-owned chassis will continue to cause delays and impose extra costs on motor carriers and drivers until the appropriate federal agencies take a stand.”
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