Hilco Global has issued a timely report on the current state of the intermodal chassis market one year after freight traffic reached its lowest level of the ongoing pandemic.
The report is accompanied by an industry primer developed to assist lenders in better familiarizing themselves with the import and export logistics of containerized freight.
Q2 2021 Intermodal Chassis Market Update—authored by Derek Brennan and Brendan Corboy of Hilco Valuation Services—explains that while there was a notable lull in the chassis market during Q1 and Q2 2020, recovery was swift in the second half of the year with performance finishing nearly as strong as it did in 2018, preceding the introduction of industry tariffs.
“Midway through 2021, the challenge for providers has become how to effectively forecast demand and maintain the flexibility to adjust capacity in order to remain competitive and profitable,” said Brennan.
The report also points out that while intermodal volumes could grow by 8% overall in 2021, a downward shift is likely to occur beginning in third quarter 2021 as more North American consumers return to restaurants, bars and vacationing, resulting in somewhat less discretionary spending on goods that require transport. This slowing effect may be somewhat mitigated, however, by typical year-end holiday shipping.
“We’re seeing U.S. chassis providers pivoting to operating models that include private, proprietary pools to better serve customers who want and need to ensure that they have chassis precisely when and where they need them as the market recovers," added Corboy. “Large IEPs have also been investing significantly in both new and refurbished chassis this year.”