International Asset Systems (IAS), the cloud-based solutions provider for logistics and transportation management, and the Hampton Roads Container Pool (HRCP) at the Port of Virginia, have announced new capabilities in the IAS ChassisManager service that enable chassis usage to be billed directly to beneficial cargo owners (BCOs). The Port of Virginia's chassis pool will be the first in the nation to implement a direct-to-BCO billing system that is aimed at streamlining and simplifying the billing process for paying chassis usage fees.
Historically, US ocean carriers provided chassis at no charge to move containers to and from their customers, but this model changed recently and companies have had to find and pay for chassis on their own. This change created new models that include pools of chassis made available for shippers at the port. IAS developed ChassisManager as a way to manage the rental of chassis, enabling asset providers to easily and conveniently rent their chassis to their motor carriers and other potential chassis users.
"As the chassis provisioning model has evolved over the last few years, the end customers' needs have not always been accommodated," said Art Ellermann, general manager of HRCP. "By being able to track and bill chassis to the beneficial cargo owners who want it, the Port of Virginia serves them better and makes the entire chassis billing cycle more efficient for all."
Having a dynamic billing engine within ChassisManager that can continue to adapt to the ever-changing chassis billing environment is important for chassis lessors, helping them to reduce cost exposure and improve customer service. IAS data management and billing rule functionality within ChassisManager will be extended to shippers and consignees, whose goods are picked up and delivered on HRCP chassis. BCOs who choose to use it will provide shipment data indicating the moves for which they are responsible for chassis costs, based on their carrier- or merchant-haulage contracts. As available to motor carriers and shipping lines in the IAS ChassisManager service today, BCOs will also be able to view their daily chassis rental activity and dispute erroneous events before chassis usage invoices are produced, which ensures accurate billing.
IAS ChassisManager derives billing rules from facility gate move and shipment data to provide accurate visibility of chassis movements to responsible parties. Motor carriers, ocean carriers and BCOs can view and track their HRCP chassis usage in real time. Web-based tools within IAS ChassisManager will enable chassis users--now including BCOs--to monitor and dispute their usage as required. IAS Client Services personnel help users resolve chassis issues as needed and provide 24x7 support from offices in Chicago and Hong Kong.
"Chassis billing to-date has been a two-dimensional activity-- to the ocean carrier or to the motor carrier, but there is a third party, arguably the most important, who controls the cargo," stated Ed Schriger vice president of Product at IAS, who continued "Our new BCO billing module takes the burden of rebilling and reconciliation out of chassis operations, helping BCOs reduce their cost exposure."