People sometimes misunderstand the role that other modes of transportation play in international trade. They believe only ships and planes move goods from one country to another. This assertion is not true.
A drayage is a form of transportation commonly used in the shipping of freight. It is the missing link in the logistics chain that makes multimodal transport possible.
Here you will find the answer to the question, “what does drayage mean?” You will learn everything you need to know about drayage from this comprehensive guide.
Definition of Drayage
Drayage is an intermodal trucking service that moves freight between multiple transportation networks. Trucks used for drayage haul goods to and from locations like container terminals, storage yards, order fulfillment centers, and rail yards.
Drayage often works inside a single major city and only transfers products over short distances. It greatly improves the effectiveness of multimodal transport. And allows for the hassle-free delivery of goods to the final consumer.
Drayage is a term you may be unfamiliar with, but it has been around for a while. The original meaning of the word “dray” refers to using horses to haul big items. The open-sided cart pulled by these equines was also called a “dray,” after the horses.
Role of Drayage in Logistics
If you’ve ever played dominoes, you’ll easily grasp the significance of drayage in shipping operations. For this reason, drayage is often referred to as “the first mile,” much as how the first domino in a row can hugely impact the rest of the chain.
The dominoes won’t fall in the correct order if the first one doesn’t. The same holds for drayage’s influence on transport. The entire supply chain can be slowed down if containerized cargo isn’t transferred from the port to the next mode of transport quickly and smoothly.
Consider the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as an example. Together, these two ports are known as the San Pedro Complex, the busiest container port in the world. This results in a huge port drayage market worth billions of dollars every year.
Over the past few years, there has been an unprecedented amount of congestion at both ocean ports, resulting in thousands of shipping containers being held up in terminals.
Several reasons are at play in the San Pedro supply chain bottleneck, including labor union politics, global trade difficulties, and shifting consumer behaviors.
Drayage load problems, however, are a major issue as well at these ports. Drayage services encompass warehousing, transportation, and chassis, and the San Pedro complex has issues with all three.
This demonstrates how crucial short-distance transport is while being a relatively minor link in the supply chain’s overall structure. If there is an issue with drayage services at a large port, it will have a ripple effect across the supply chain, which customers will feel.
Varieties of Drayage Services
Based on their research, the Intermodal Association of America has classified drayage services into six categories. These categories include:
1. Pier Drayage
In this type, a truck collects the products from a train terminal and delivers them to a dock or pier where they will be loaded into a ship.
Drayage of this sort is short-distance and typically employed for moving cargo around the terminal. It is used frequently when cargo needs to be transferred to another dock or the container freight station.
Drayage between ships is called “inter-carrier.” Connections can be made between different rail systems or between the sea and the rail system. Drayage trucks, for instance, move cargo from where ships offload it at the docks to where it will be transported by train. Cargo transported by rail is transferred to an ocean port for its journey onward.
4. Shuttle Drayage
Overflow cargo containers that can’t be stored in terminals are shuttled to nearby storage areas. Ports like these get a wide range of shipments daily, but they don’t always have enough ships to transport everything. Shuttle drayage ensures the security of these items between ships.
5. Expedited Drayage
This drayage is commonly employed to move freight to locations where it is needed immediately. As the name implies, expedited drayage moves cargo faster than the other options.
6. Door-to-Door Drayage
This drayage service moves cargo from the harbor to the buyer’s front door. Many online retailers have door-to-door delivery options, making this drayage type a common choice.
Intermodal shipping uses more than one mode of transportation to transfer goods from one location to another. Draying is one such method.
Drayage is a time- and cost-saving method of transporting merchandise that gets it where it has to go without any delays. It’s the glue that holds the entire container transportation system