Bill Shea

Direct ChassisLink Inc. (DCLI)


William (Bill) J. Shea, Jr. has been the CEO of Direct ChassisLink Inc. and an investor in the company since 2012. In that capacity, Shea has shaped the strategic vision of DCLI and facilitated the acquisition of major legacy chassis fleets while maintaining oversight of the company's growth and financial performance. He began his career with Itel Corp. in 1979 after graduating from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 1984, Shea co-founded Kelley Transportation Services to market intermodal equipment manufactured by Stoughton Trailers Inc. In 1989, he also co-founded Bay Cities Leasing, creating a pool of 15,000 piggyback trailers servicing the US Rail Industry. In 1994, Bay Cities was selected to manage the first domestic container and chassis pool, called EMP, for Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern with Shea serving as program manager of the pool. The EMP program, through its affiliation with REZ-1 (now Blume Global), developed the first reservation and billing systems for intermodal equipment and continues to manage domestic 53-foot containers and chassis for Union Pacific, Norfolk Southern, and CSX rail networks today. Shea is the executive who oversaw the creation of DCLI, formerly the chassis leasing division of Maersk, and was the thought leader behind the 2015 creation of the Pool of Pools, the grey daily-use chassis pool that operates in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. He serves on the board of directors of DCLI and is chairman of the Blume Global board. He served on J.B. Hunt’s board in 2009-2010 and on the board of the Institute of International Container Lessors. Shea has a long history serving charitable organizations that benefit children in the San Francisco Bay Area with life-threatening illnesses.

Sessions With Bill Shea

Tuesday, 1 March

  • 04:00pm - 04:45pm (EST) / 02/mar/2022 12:00 am - 02/mar/2022 12:45 am

    When Will There Be Enough Chassis for Everyone?

    In 2021, the Commerce Department, acting to protect US chassis manufacturers, imposed antidumping and countervailing duties totaling more than 200 percent on chassis made in China, where most chassis were produced. By July, the dominant Chinese producer, CIMC, all but ceased production of finished chassis for US customers. As a result, chassis lessors believe the US marine chassis fleet will grow by only 7,000–10,000 units in 2021, or less than 2 percent of the fleet. This sobering situation comes as containerized imports are soaring, up 21 percent from Asia in the first eight months of 2021. “The US manufacturers have clearly not delivered the capacity they said they had,” said James Newsome, CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. “We have advocated for the removal of these countervailing duties for two years (2022-2023) so that those wanting to buy new chassis can do so.” Added Ron Widdows, CEO of FlexiVan Leasing: “The single most significant source of chassis manufacturing was in China, and the actions taken by the US government to protect a US manufacturing sector that was not in a position to meet the demand were not very well-conceived.” In a letter to the Biden administration, US manufacturers argue that they have made considerable progress in ramping up production: “Since the imposition of the orders, America’s chassis manufacturers have hired hundreds of new workers, with plans to hire hundreds more, invested millions of dollars to increase production and capacity, and increased production and capacity by over 400 percent with additional planned expansions.” Pratt Industries, for example, made less than 500 marine chassis in 2020 but produced nearly 4,000 in 2021, an eightfold increase. But even US manufacturers acknowledge sourcing chassis subcomponents is going slower than expected. So, when will manufacturers be able to fulfill enough chassis orders to address the equipment shortage? Is there any possibility the government will withdraw the countervailing duties?