117th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 3268


To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to issue a request for proposals for a private-sector entity to develop an operating model for an interoperable gray chassis pool at the rail ramps around Memphis.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 19, 2021

Mrs. Blackburn (for herself and Mr. Wicker) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation


A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to issue a request for proposals for a private-sector entity to develop an operating model for an interoperable gray chassis pool at the rail ramps around Memphis.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the    Improving Memphis' Supply Chain Act   .

SEC. 2. Development of operating model for interoperable gray chassis pool at the rail ramps around memphis.

(a) Definitions.   In this section:

(1) COMMISSION.   The term    Commission    means the Federal Maritime Commission.

(2) INTEROPERABLE GRAY CHASSIS POOL.   The term    interoperable gray chassis pool    means a single enterprise for voluntary chassis provisioning that allows for the use of any container chassis for marine shipping containers not less than 20 feet and not more than 45 feet in length at the rail ramps around Memphis by shippers or motor carriers.

(b) Development of plan.   

(1) IN GENERAL.   Subject to the availability of appropriations, not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Commission, shall develop a plan to issue a request for proposals to develop an operating model for an interoperable gray chassis pool at the rail ramps around Memphis, Tennessee.

(2) PLAN DETAILS.   In developing the plan under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Commission, shall identify a suitable location or locations for the interoperable gray chassis pool and consult with relevant stakeholders, including the International Port of Memphis, ocean carriers, railroad carriers, motor carriers, chassis providers, shippers, and the Surface Transportation Board.

(3) CONTENT OF PLAN AND AVAILABILITY.   The plan under paragraph (1) shall   

(A) include   

(i) objectives and duties of a private-sector contractor to establish the interoperable gray chassis pool;

(ii) expectations for voluntary participation based on consultations; and

(iii) the appropriate approach for seeking and receiving feedback from Memphis stakeholders regarding the interoperable gray chassis pool; and

(B) be publicly available on a website not later than 7 days after the plan is completed.

(c) Request for proposals.   

(1) IN GENERAL.   Subject to the availability of appropriations, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Commission, shall issue a request for proposals for a private-sector entity to develop an operating model for an interoperable gray chassis pool consistent with the plan required under subsection (b).

(2) CONTENT OF PROPOSAL.   A proposal submitted pursuant to a request under paragraph (1) shall include   

(A) a fee structure that would sustain the interoperable gray chassis pool without a subsidy;

(B) specification of performance goals, including rates of chassis in maintenance and average turn times, and a plan to achieve the performance goals;

(C) expectations for communication and coordination among carriers and local businesses, including any facilitation by the private-sector entity;

(D) expectations for total chassis involved, whether from voluntary participation of existing providers or addition of chassis by the contractor;

(E) identification of real property necessary to implement the interoperable gray chassis pool, whether from voluntary participants or to be acquired; and

(F) a commitment from the awardee to implement the interoperable gray chassis pool at the rail ramps around Memphis based on the operating model developed for the proposal within a specified timeframe.

(d) Awarding of contract.   

(1) IN GENERAL.   Subject to the availability of appropriations, except as provided in paragraph (2), from the proposals submitted under subsection (c), the Secretary of Transportation, with approval from the Commission, shall award a contract to a private-sector entity to develop and implement an operating model for an interoperable gray chassis pool at the rail ramps around Memphis.

(2) NO SATISFACTORY PROPOSAL.   If no satisfactory proposal is submitted under subsection (c), the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Commission, shall submit, not later than 6 months after the date all proposals are submitted, a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives with potential alternative options to improve chassis provisioning and supply chain efficiency at the rail ramps around Memphis.

(e) Evaluation.   The Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Commission, shall   

(1) evaluate the effectiveness of an interoperable gray chassis pool developed under this section not later than 1 year after implementation; and

(2) issue a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives regarding the evaluation, including best practices and lessons learned, not later than 2 years after implementation.

(f) Limitations.   

(1) VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION.   Participation in the interoperable gray chassis pool developed under this section shall be voluntary.

(2) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.   Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Department of Transportation or the Commission to purchase or operate tangible property related to the development of the interoperable gray chassis pool under this section.

(g) Authorization of appropriations.   There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $500,000.