The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) selected Virginia International Terminals Inc. (VIT) and the Ocean Carriers Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) as co-recipients of the 2006 Intermodal Achievement Award for their efforts to improve international chassis productivity.

VIT, the private non-stock operating company of the Virginia Port Authority, and OCEMA received the award in November at the 2006 Intermodal Expo in Ft. Lauderdale. VIT and OCEMA teamed up to create the Hampton Roads Chassis Pool II (HRCP II) at The Port of Virginia, which includes Norfolk International Terminals, Newport News Marine Terminal and Portsmouth Marine Terminal.

The chassis pool, which enabled both ocean carriers and motor carriers to access and use chassis much more efficiently, resulted in a 23% reduction in the equipment inventory and a 27% increase in asset utilization.

VIT manages HRCP II for 27 ocean carriers serving The Port of Virginia. The steamship lines supply chassis in proportion to the total amount of business they move through the state-owned marine terminals. Motor carriers also increase their efficiency by having the flexibility to use any participating company’s chassis to transport a load instead of having to spend time matching a particular ocean carrier’s chassis with its container.

‘This project at the second-biggest Atlantic Coast port can be a springboard for the creation of a national network of cooperative chassis pools,’ said Michael B. Wilson, chairman of the Intermodal Association of North America. ‘This program exemplifies the best attributes of our industry, which thrives by successful, coordinated efforts that enhance efficiency.’

Peter Keller, chief operating officer of NYK Line North America and chairman of OCEMA, and Rick Knapp, assistant general manager for VIT, accepted the awards from Wilson on behalf of their organizations.

‘This is the second year of the chassis pool and we continue to refine the project; we took a bit of a risk, but the payoff continues to be worth the effort,’ Knapp said. ‘The chassis pool has saved us money, opened up more space for cargo operations, reduced congestion and on the whole, made us more efficient. It is nice to be recognized by the industry for the hard work that has gone into this.’