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Container drayage refers to moving goods from one location to another on the back of a truck. Many years ago, the term drayage meant moving goods over a short distance using a small cart with no side. In modern times the concept is similar, and drayage companies play a vital role in the intermodal transportation of goods.

Intermodal drayage uses more than one shipping mode to transport merchandise. Typical examples are taking goods from ocean ports to a rail carrier or an airport to a shipping port. The drayage process is usually the shortest part of the supply chain, and travel rarely takes more than one day and happens within a single metropolitan area.

Types of Drayage

The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) is the trade association that promotes drayage as an essential part of the transportation process. The IANA divides drayage into six categories, depending on the shipping required for the merchandise. This system is global and used in North America to coordinate with countries around the world.

1. Inter-Carrier Drayage

Inter-carrier drayage services transport goods from one company to another, or from one mode of transportation to another. A truck could pick up a container at a shipping dock, and then use rail ramps to load it onto a train. This method is a common and cost-effective form of drayage.

2. Intra-Carrier Drayage

The transporting of goods between locations using the same drayage freight service is known as intra-carrier drayage. Because the same company carries out the service, it can reduce delays as there is no need to meet with other providers. Since many drayage providers are independent contractors, this can be an excellent way to minimize disruption.

3. Expedited Drayage

If the equipment is essential and needs to arrive at its destination without delay, expedited drayage is a reliable choice. It involves the coordination of every contractor involved in the shipping process. An established freight broker is well-placed to arrange this kind of service, as they have reliable networks of distributors who can deliver items all over the world.

4. Pier Drayage

Goods in a rail yard or at a warehouse may require transportation to a pier to continue their journey. Drayage containers can take the cargo to a pier for loading onto a ship.

5. Door to Door Drayage

Although uncommon, door to door drayage involves collecting goods at one location and transporting them directly to a home or business. There are several reasons this might occur, such as in the case of port drayage, where supply could come into a city, and a truck uses a container to deliver small loads to different buyers.

Containerized cargo is often the most suitable way to move goods that are separated to go to different locations and allows for more accessible transportation. For smaller items, a home delivery service is often the best way to improve customer satisfaction.

6. Shuttle Drayage

When ports or terminals become overcrowded, shuttle drayage services are used to prevent backups and delays. It involves sending an intermodal unit to a temporary stopping point, where it is picked up by a secondary mode of transport for delivery to the destination point.

Commercial Shipping

Final Word

Ground freight keeps the enormous transportation process moving, collecting goods from ports, railways, and airports and carrying out short journeys to distribute goods to their next or final destination.

The history of drayage goes back many years, and modern technology has transformed how we do business. A reliable freight broker can arrange container drayage to pick up goods at specific locations at precise times, track the goods through every step of the journey, and ensure all your documentation is correct.

At Asiana USA, we have a network of trusted and vetted container drayage providers. For a free consultation and quote, contact our team at (855) 500-1808.

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