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The idea of shipping a large amount of merchandise from one port to another and then delivering it to its destination is very much like a modern triathlon in that the shortest leg is usually the sprint to the end, the drayage. Container Drayage is this last leg as the contents of the container are unloaded and placed into trucks for delivery or to be moved to another port.
The word drayage comes from the word dray.

A dray was a small cart with no sides used before the industrial revolution to transport heavy goods small distances. However, the purpose then was the same as it is now. The practice now is that drayage is a service from an ocean port to a rail ramp, warehouse, or another location, and it is done with a truck.

Intermodal Shipping

Intermodal shipping refers to freight that is moved from one type of shipping mode to another. In this sense, a container can move from being in ocean cargo, to be placed in an airplane or railcar, and finally into a truck. Container drayage may also involve using a truck to transport a container from the port to another port to send the container to the appropriate destination.
Another way to look at drayage is to view the scope of travel to one day and within one metropolitan area. This can help clarify the range of travel and the use of trucks for this short trip. In other words, the time of travel is within one shift of a day’s work. Drayage is also a term that can be used to refer to the fees for these trips, and the charges for these trips.

Types of Drayage

Most of the shipping practices will place drayage into six distinct categories. These categories are defined by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). The type that a shipper chooses to use will depend on the shipping requirements for the cargo. Sometimes this choice will rest on how the load will be transferred, or whether a full container will be shipped or stored. Container drayage many times reflects whether the goods in the container were divided for easier movement or different locations.

1. Inter-carrier drayage is the transportation of materials from one company to a different company or mode of transportation. For instance, moving goods from a port where a container was taken from a ship and moved to a railyard is inter-carrier drayage.

2. Intra-carrier drayage is moving material form one place to another, but it is done by the same company. Many times, a freight forwarder will arrange for this type of service to allow the container drayage process to come in at a lower cost.

3. Expedited drayage requires that all the transportation services be coordinated to avoid any unnecessary delays in getting the merchandise delivered for the port. Something that is expedited might be equipment needed to repair an electrical turbine or emergency supplies in case of a natural disaster.

4. Pier drayage refers to the movement of goods from the rail terminal or storage area to the pier or ship that is waiting for the next leg of the trip.

5. Shuttle drayage sometimes accompanies inter-carrier drayage when containers need to be taken to a lot or warehouse to wait until the next mode of transportation is available.

6. Door-to-door indicates that the cargo or merchandise has been taken directly to the receiver and delivered at their home, or place of business. This is not common, but for material like artwork or furniture, a door-to-door service is expected.

Final Thoughts

ASIANA USA at 855-500-1808 is an international shipping company for customs clearance, delivery of goods to the customer’s warehouse, and we also maintain up-to-date information on all shipping activity. Call us today for a quote!

Tristan is a professional writer having had careers as a teacher of English, school administrator, and as a broker in real estate sales. He has gained a great deal of legal experience through his service as the president of a teacher’s union, a member of the board for a real estate association, and as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the real estate board of directors. Before beginning a full-time job as a freelance writer, he was the Executive Director of the Global Business Alliance for a local Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber.
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