DCLI is a leading provider of marine chassis and asset management services to the US intermodal industry. The company owns 118,000 chassis and manages 92,000 intermodal containers for third parties through its differentiated asset management platform, REZ-1.
DCLI was originally formed in 1988 as Maersk Container Service Company, and operated as a subsidiary of Maersk until early 2012 when it was carved out by Littlejohn & Co. Since 2012, DCLI has completed ten acquisitions of marine chassis fleets from leading steamship lines, and now serves the two largest shipping lines in the world. In 2014, DCLI also acquired an asset management platform, REZ-1. In total, DCLI serves approximately 3,300 customers across approximately 375 active rental locations.
DCLI’s footprint is composed of ~375 intermodal hubs and depots across the U.S. and has operations in key marine terminals, rail terminals and depots. DCLI’s experienced field operations personnel are strategically located in key locations and help maintain DCLI’s industry leading fleet and a high-level of customer service.
Chassis are an essential part of the transportation value chain and are used to carry containers to and from ships in port to local destinations or to intermodal hubs for long haul transport by rail or truck as well as last mile distribution. DCLI’s customers consist primarily of container shipping companies, railroads, motor carriers, beneficial cargo owners, and other logistics companies who use DCLI’s chassis under long-term contracts.
Market trends and drivers
The outlook for the intermodal industry which DCLI participates in is positive. Demand for the assets and services DCLI provides is tied to U.S. trade flows, and driven by U.S. consumer demand and U.S. imports and exports.
DCLI is supported by several positive macroeconomic tailwinds including increasing international trade and globalization, and increasing container traffic. International trade is an increasing part of the U.S. economy and expected to continue to grow. Container trade volumes are similarly expected to grow driven by healthy U.S. consumer demand and continued emphasis on containerization.
Together with two other primary providers, DCLI represents 80% market share of the chassis industry. The structure supports rationale pricing and stable margins. High barriers to entry such as the industry’s large established cost base of USD 6bn and national scale, large shipping lines can call on 40-50 different ports in North America alone, prevent new entrants and preserve the stable industry structure.
DCLI is a differentiated asset in a stable industry supported by positive underlying macroeconomic trends. The business provides an essential asset and service to the intermodal industry with limited substitution risk.
The business plan calls for continued operational excellence and utilization efficiencies, optimizing price and the commercial strategy for emerging customers, continued acquisitions of chassis fleets, expanding the Company’s asset management platform REZ-1 further into the intermodal industry, and utilizing M&A and organic growth to develop into new verticals.