Chassis Split

Chassis Split: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Today, I will introduce another freight term called chassis split.

In this guide, you will find all information you need about chassis split.

So, if you want to learn more about chassis split

What is a Chassis Split?



A chassis split is when the chassis and the container are not located in the same place.

This will mean that the trucker will have to go to a given place far from the port to pick up the chassis.

They will then go and get the freight.

At this point, the trucking company will assess the chassis split charges.

These are the charges that are going to cover the costs of transporting the chassis to where the shipping container location is.

Chassis split will always attract fees known as chassis split fees.

When does a Chassis Split occur?

Many times the steamship lines will terminate the chassis at a location different from where they pulled it from.

A chassis split will occur when the ocean port lacks a chassis. This forces the trucker to travel to a chassis pool that is nearby to pick the chassis before proceeding to the port.

It can also happen when the trucker is moving two separate containers that will need separate IEP chassis.

How do Chassis Splits Work?

During a chassis split, the trucker will rent a chassis from the intermodal equipment provider (IEP) either on a short term or on a daily basis.

The trucker will then pick up the chassis from the Depot and had to the terminal.

From there the trucker will then pick up the container from the terminal and proceed to deliver it to the first shipper.

At this point, the trucker has two options. If the equipment is matching, they can re-use the chassis.

If the equipment does not match, they will have to return the original chassis to the Depot and choose the correct one.

Chassis split

 Chassis split

How does Chassis Split Affect Delivery Schedules?

Chassis split will affect delivery schedules due to unplanned delays.

When there are no chassis at the port, it means that shippers will need to go far from the port in search of trucks/chassis.

This means delays in the delivery of goods.

As a result of this delay, the owners of the goods are forced to wait longer for their goods to arrive.

In a multiplier effect, more losses can be experienced due to loss in business as they wait for goods.

What can I do to avoid Chassis Splits?

In order To avoid chassis splits, you can decide to own your own chassis fleet.

You can also enter into a long-term contract in order to eliminate the chances of chassis split. Ownership of the chassis fleet will allow you to fully control your peak season deliveries.

You will also be able to customize the equipment so that it can handle complex or multiple loads.

You should however note that the maintenance and upkeep costs can be high. You will also need a huge operation and storage space.

What is an Unexpected Chassis Split?

Many times shippers will plan themselves to the end.

This is in order to avoid any eventualities that may otherwise be avoided.

It is in this spirit that they will plan for chassis at the port.

So that once the container arrives, it can be loaded directly to the truck.

However, this may not always go as expected and there may be a shortage of chassis making it hard to access one.

This unexpected turn of events is what is referred to as an unexpected chassis split.

When does an Unexpected Chassis Split apply?

An unexpected chassis split will occur when the plans put in place to have a ready chassis or truck fails.

The shipper will then have to organize and have the trucker look for a chassis at another place.

They will then come with, load the container and continue to deliver the shipment.

This is normally an extra cost on top of the shipping cost and will then affect the overall costs of shipping.

What are Split Pick-up and Split Return?

A split pick-up is will occur when the shipment arrives at the ocean terminal that does not offer a chassis.

The driver will therefore have to make a separate trip to where the chassis provider is before the port.

In the same manner, a split return is when a container is returned to the ocean terminal.

Since the terminal is not accepting chassis either due to lack of space or policies, the chassis then have to be delivered to an off-site.

Can a Single Shipment require both a Split Pick-up and a Split Return?

Yes indeed, a single shipment may require a combination of split pick-up and the split return. However, it is worth noting that this will result in two chassis fees.

What is Chassis Split Fee?

A chassis split fee is an extra fee charged to cover the incurred cost of delivering the chassis to the location of the container.

This will occur if there is no available chassis at the ocean port or ramp.

This means that the trucker must travel to a chassis pool nearby to pick a chassis before proceeding to the port.

It is like a stop-off charge in simple terms. The chassis split fee will generally range between $50 and $110.

How is Chassis Split Fee charged?

If your shipment is being moved from the ocean to the truck, it will incur a chassis split fee.

For full container load, there is a flat charge but may vary depending on the trucker.

For less than a container load, the amount to be charged will be charged based on the volume of the cargo.

Is Chassis Split Fee an Accessorial Charge?

Yes, chassis split charges are part of the accessorial charges.

Accessorial charges are the extra fees that are attached to the transportation services.

These are duties that are beyond the shipping of goods from one point to another.

Other accessorial charges include:

  • Trucking wait fee
  • Bobtail fee
  • Pre-pull fee
  • Toll bridge
  • Reefer with Genset
  • 20-Foot Tri-axle
  • SSA Gate fee
  • Yard storage
  • Re-in Gate fee
  • Chassis rent
  • Scale ticket among others.

Is there any way around Chassis Split Fee?

Some shippers will choose to own their chassis for drayage shipments.

This however is typically very expensive and so it may not be worth seeking them.

You can however choose to work with a trusted carrier. They will take good care of you.

Can I Negotiate Chassis Split Fees?

Yes, you can negotiate for better chassis split fees.

Most people tend to negotiate the number of days that they need to have the chassis out of the port.

They will rarely negotiate the fees charged on the chassis.

Unlike at the port, other companies will negotiate with you and give you a chance to have your shipping costs reduced.

What is ‘free chassis’ Agreement in Respect to Chassis Split?

This is the free day that will be available for you to pick your shipment from the yard or port. Any delay after the lapse of the free chassis period is over, fees will be applied.

The free chassis is normally 48 hours after you receive the notification that your shipment has arrived.

However, the time may vary and that is why it is important to keep communicating with your drayage broker.

Does last free day influence my drayage costs in relation to Chassis Split?

The last free day may influence your drayage costs.

This is because you will be required to act and pick your container before the time is over.

If you are not able to pick up and the free last day is over, you may then be charged more than $150 for demurrage every day.

The charges will act as storage charges from the port. If you don’t want to pay the storage charges you can pay pre-pull charges.

Pre-pull charges will save you the daily storage charges that are charged at the port.

For pre-pull, you will only be required to pay $125. In essence, this is going to save you money charged for storage.

It is always good to make sure that you prepare in advance to pick your shipment.

This will help you avoid getting to the last free day as this may cost you more than you had planned for.

How do Chassis Split fees influence my Container Shipping costs?

Chassis split fees will increase your shipping costs.

This is because you may have planned for your shipment with available chassis in mind.

When you arrive at the port and find that there is no available chassis, then it means you need to look for one somewhere else.

This means you will have to incur an extra cost that will be added to your shipment costs.

As such it is true to say that chassis split fees will affect your cost of shipping.

Is it possible to avoid Chassis Split Fees? How?

Avoiding chassis split fees can be challenging.

However, you can build a good relationship and try negotiating the fees ahead of time. Companies being in business will always charge depending on the demand for the trucks.

Sometimes the cost of trucks may go high due to scarcity raising demand.

At the same time, the high availability of trucks will provide shippers with a good chance to try and negotiate for good rates.

Essentially, better chassis split fees will save on the shipping costs that may be incurred.

Chassis split

 Chassis split

What causes Chassis Split Delays?

Chassis split delays will occur due to delays that are created by the extra stops for drivers.

This creates wastage of limited hours of service available.

This will also reduce the availability of available equipment thus draining the productivity of the supply chain at the end.

This wastage may lead to losses which may be transferred to the importers.

How does Chassis Split Delays impact Shipping?

Chassis split delays can be costly.

This is especially so when there is a high demand for ocean freight space. The delay causes a shortage of trucks and the few available comes at a very high cost.

To prevent these costly delays, shippers work to create an effective trucking strategy and match with the incoming cargo with available trucks.

Creating a good relationship with truck companies may be helpful in ensuring that negotiating for better rates is easier.

This also becomes easier to get a priority whenever there are challenges to do with chassis.

What is the Difference Between Chassis Split and Chassis Flip?

Chassis flip is applied when the container is removed using a piece of lifting equipment.

The lifting equipment is used in removing a container from the ship.

It is also used in removing cargo from the train and placing the container on the ground.

The container is then lifted and placed on the chassis or truck that will be used to transport the container to the final destination.

Chassis split on the other hand applies when there is no chassis at the terminal and the trucker has to go get a chassis from somewhere else.

Another difference is the payment of fees.

Chassis flip will attract flip fees while chassis flip split will attract chassis split fees.

The flip fees are the additional handling charges for the lifting equipment.

This can be avoided by ensuring that the transporter has a chassis on standby to receive the heavy container immediately it is offloaded.

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Contact us today for all your freight forwarding services from China.

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