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Continued increases in freight volumes, chassis shortages, and gridlock at US rail ramps have created an inland rail crisis in Memphis. These issues have led to significant costs, delays, and overwhelmed infrastructure.

Mallory Alexander’s Domestic Trucking department has been seeing an ongoing severe shortage of chassis at Memphis ramps, and we are working with clients to mitigate the equipment issues.

However, many key intermodal terminals are experiencing similar problems:

  • Lack of empty containers for certain export commodities such as specialty grains.
  • Delays in assembling outbound railway container platform cars.
  • Regional shortages of intermodal (COFC) rail cars.
  • Shortage of spaces for parking delayed pickup/returning regional containers.
  • Random mismatch between TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), FEUs (forty-foot equivalent units) and the longer 53-foot higher-ceiling domestic containers and necessary chassis equipment.

Although there have been many investments to the Memphis infrastructure and capacity, rail yards were originally laid out to expedite box and train loading space. Now, transloading is occurring more frequently and can be disruptive at the terminal.

For the full report on how Memphis is managing its intermodal issues, read more here.