The chassis pool SACP 3.0 was launched in the beginning of October. Does this mark a new approach to managing chassis pools in the future?

October 2023 began in a big way for Consolidated Chassis Management (CCM).

On October 1st, CCM rolled out SACP 3.0 (South Atlantic Consolidated Chassis Pool) completing opening of the new chassis pool’s staged launch. And at almost the exact same time, it was announced that funds managed by the infrastructure investing strategy arm of Oaktree Capital Management acquired CCM from Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association, Inc. (OCEMA).

Although it isn’t a well-known name outside of ocean shipping circles, OCEMA is an association composed of ten international container shipping companies that created CCM to manage their disparate chassis operations. And the SACP chassis operations fell under that scope. Consequently, the two events, the acquisition by Oaktree; and secondly the launch of SACP 3.0 are very much intertwined in a development that could well launch an industry-wide new business model for managing chassis operations.

Under the SACP 3.0 agreement with OCEMA affiliate South Atlantic Consolidated Chassis Pool (SACP), CCM will serve as the exclusive manager and sole chassis provider for SACP 3.0 under a long-term management and supply agreement. With the launch, the newly reconstituted chassis pool will offer more than 45,000 new and refurbished chassis to truckers, beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), ocean carriers and other users. SACP 2.0 was already one of the largest fully interoperable chassis pools in the US and includes over 75 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina in its operational portfolio, but with the new utility model, SACP 3.0 would provide a modernized fleet to the region.

Oaktree (with over $183 billion in assets under management) isn’t the first venture capital firm to take an interest in the chassis or the dray business. Private equity firms have taken a shine to logistics companies and chassis and drayage firms have been a natural fit for VCs looking to build their infrastructure portfolio. Although many VCs have invested in the chassis dray market, and Oaktree itself had already invested in the transportation sector, this was the private equity firm’s first plunge into the chassis business.

How SACP 3.0 Came To Life

Mike Wilson, CEO of CCM when queried by AJOT on the evolution of SACP 3.0 and how it fits into the dray market eco-system, explained, “I’ll have to go back to the beginning of the SACP model in which SACP-1 was a contributory model – this cooperative -model was where the ocean carriers initially contributed their assets into a gray pool. Years later the ocean carriers sold their assets to the [chassis] leasing companies, where the leasing companies became the contributors.”

As Wilson noted, the chassis leasing companies understandably had a different business model. Their primary objective was to differentiate themselves so as to maximize their income from the chassis they owned. To the ocean carriers, the chassis were adjunct to their main business of…

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