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The transportation of goods is a crucial aspect of the supply chain, and the logistics industry has developed a range of solutions to ensure efficient and timely freight shipping delivery. One such solution is the use of shipping container drayage. The term drayage refers to the short-distance transport of goods using a truck or other mode of transportation.

Drayage is essential for the movement of goods within and between metropolitan areas in North America and for the intermodal transport of goods internationally. Discover the role of shipping container drayage in supply chain logistics and why the timing of the service is vital.

The Role of Drayage in the Supply Chain

Drayage is an integral part of supply chain logistics because it is how carriers move freight from one mode of intermodal shipping to another. These intermodal shipping hubs are often located in large metropolitan areas, and drayage is necessary to move goods between stages of the shipping process.

Drayage is used to move inventory between these locations. It is critical for transporting goods by rail, as rail yards and terminals are often located on the outskirts of cities.

A drayage service is required to move goods from the rail yard to their final destination. The Intermodal Association of North America recognizes several different types of drayage services.

Intra-carrier drayage involves transporting goods within a single carrier’s network, while inter-carrier drayage involves the transfer of goods between different carriers. Shuttle drayage, also known as expedited drayage, is a specialized service that involves the rapid transport of goods, often on a same-day basis.

Factors That Can Impact the Timing of Drayage

The timing of drayage can be impacted by several factors, including the distance of the transport, the mode of transportation used, weather conditions, and the availability of trucks or other vehicles.

Long hauls, or transport over long distances, can take longer to complete and may require multiple modes of transportation, such as truck and rail. This type of transport is known as intermodal drayage and can be facilitated by intermodal freight terminals or rail hubs.

Access to trucks and other vehicles also impacts the timing of drayage, as transportation shortages can lead to delays in the movement of goods. Over the past few years, the availability of truck chassis has decreased significantly, causing shipping delays. A combination of factors has led to this shortage, including:

ELD Mandate

In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented the new Electronic Monitoring Device (ELD) mandate. The new rule requires drivers to log their hours and weights using electronic devices. This reduces each driver’s overall work hours and limits the weight they can carry per trip.

Increased Cargo Ship Capacity

Advancements in seafaring technology have improved the capacity of cargo ships. At the same time, the average size of a shipping truck has remained consistent, requiring more trucks to load and unload ships at port.

Component Shortages

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war have led to reduced availability of truck and chassis components. This means damaged chassis take longer to repair, and the production of new shipping trucks has slowed considerably.

Tariffs and Taxes

The implementation of Section 301 tariffs targeting Chinese imports has caused the price of Chinese chassis to increase. The tariffs affect the price of the completed chassis and the raw materials used to produce them.

The Consequences of Delays in Drayage

Delays in drayage can have serious consequences for shippers, carriers, and customers. For shippers, delays in the transport of goods can result in lost revenue and a lack of timely delivery to customers.

This can lead to a loss of trust and damage to the shipper’s reputation. For carriers, delays in drayage can result in a loss of productivity and efficiency and additional costs associated with storing and handling delayed shipments.

When a drayage shipment is delayed, it is often due to unexpected wait times or delays in loading or unloading goods. Research performed by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that these delays are as costly to the customer as well.

The research showed that the average cost per hour for delayed shipments was nearly $65 per hour in 2018, with a likely increase in the years since. The report also found a 27.4% increase in over six-hour delays, costing customers nearly $400 per delayed shipment. 40% of drivers claimed that over half of their shipments were delayed over the past 12 months.

In the case of intermodal transport, delays in drayage can also impact the availability of rail containers and the efficiency of the rail network. To avoid these consequences, shippers and carriers must prioritize timely drayage and carefully coordinate the transport of goods.

Strategies for Managing the Timing of Drayage

There are several strategies that shippers and carriers can use to manage the timing of drayage and ensure the efficient transport of goods.

One strategy is to work with a trusted drayage provider with a proven track record of timely delivery. These providers often have a large fleet of vehicles and a network of carriers, which can help to ensure the availability of trucks and other modes of transportation.

Another strategy is to use intermodal freight terminals or rail hubs, which can facilitate the transfer of goods between different modes of transportation and help to reduce transit times.

Additionally, shippers and carriers can use technology, such as transportation management systems and real-time tracking, to monitor the progress of shipments and identify potential delays. By implementing these strategies, shippers and carriers can ensure the timely transport of goods and avoid the consequences of delays in drayage.


 Timing of Drayage

The Importance of Choosing the Right Drayage Provider

The right drayage provider is essential for ensuring the timely and efficient transport of goods. A reliable and experienced drayage provider can help shippers and carriers navigate the complexities of the supply chain and avoid the consequences of delays in drayage.

If you are looking for a trusted drayage provider for your transportation needs, consider Asiana USA, a leading international shipping company with a proven track record of timely delivery. Contact Asiana USA today to learn more about our drayage services and to discuss your shipping requirements.

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