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When it comes to shipping and logistics, nothing is more important than maintaining the efficiency of your supply chain. As goods travel across the world, they will likely pass through ocean ports, rail terminals, and other intermodal terminals. Your cargo may be loaded and unloaded onto ships, planes, trains, and trucks before it reaches its final destination.

Often it will be placed on a ship, train, or plane for the longest portion of the trip, and then distributed on different trucks to reach its final destination. Compartmentalizing smaller shipments for shorter trips is part of drayage service. Drayage refers to the travel made by a vessel over short distances, and the last part of a longer journey.

History of Drayage

Intermodal drayage is the transporting of cargo from an intermodal point, such as a port or rail ramp, to a warehouse or other final destination. The term drayage comes from the word dray, which is a low, sideless cart that was used to deliver goods from one place to another. Such carts were pulled by dray horses and would move goods from marine ports to other inland terminals.

Eventually, these dray carts were replaced by delivery trucks but formed the basis of our modern port drayage, shipping, and logistics industry. As most cargo travels via ocean, establishing efficient ways to move goods in and out of ports is at the core of a supply chain. As the shipping and logistics industry continues to grow, drayage remains a key step in the movement of goods globally.

What is Port Drayage?

Port drayage refers to the short term transportation of cargo from ports to other intermodal points or final destinations. Logistics services near an ocean or sea will likely provide port logistics and drayage carriers for ocean containers. Having an efficient drayage system in place for your supply chain can save you time, money, and peace of mind in the long run.

Make sure you work with a reliable shipping partner who can help you troubleshoot issues, track and sort out delays, and ensure that all paperwork is filed correctly.

The drayage process includes the receiving and documenting of containers, where they are unloaded via crane off the ship and onto a truck or train. The truck or train will then make its journey to the next intermodal point, which would usually be a rail yard or distribution center. A truck will usually make the last leg of the drayage journey, dropping cargo off at warehouses, loading docks, and distribution centers.

Asiana USA has a number of facilities at key global points, including the United States, China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. We work with two main ports in North America, Los Angeles, and New York.

The port of Los Angeles is America’s biggest port and moves huge amounts of cargo daily, handling 9,337,632 containers in 2019, over $300 billion in value. New York’s port handled 5,231,418 TEUs in the same year.

Port Drayage in North America

The United States is one of the world’s biggest importers and exporters, importing from 57 countries and exporting to 44. The Los Angeles Port is the biggest in the United States and one of the world’s main intermodal port drayage points. Daily, this port sees shipments including furniture, consumer electronics, automotive parts, vehicles, and more arrive to and more from this port all over the West Coast.

The network of the intermodal points across America allows shippers and logistics companies to guarantee the time-sensitive delivery of items using multiple routes, carriers, and vehicles.

Imports and Exports

Before your cargo is placed on drayage carriers to make its way to you, it will first arrive at a port. Importing and exporting goods requires that shippers and ports work with global partners to ensure that the process occurs correctly.

When importing goods, customs, duty, and fees must be correctly handled to avoid delays or extra costs. In addition, your shipping partner should be able to track and manage scheduling, receiving, and customs handling. When exporting, you and your shipping partner will have to handle customs, duty, and fees for the receiving country, which will likely have different rules and regulations.

At Asiana USA, we are experienced importers and exporters familiar with the protocol of different countries. As your trusted shipping partner, we will help you handle issues with customs, delays, and any shipping concerns that may come up.

One such recent issue is the spread of the coronavirus. This has greatly affected the global supply chain as much of the imports at the Port Of Los Angeles come from China. Many factories have been shut down in China due to the spread of the virus, halting a significant portion of global trade.

An unprecedented amount of containers are sitting at Chinese ports as officials determine how to deal with this virus. The port of LA has experienced more than double the cancellations of shipments this month than the same month last year. Georgia ports are expecting a 30-40% drop in imports from China.

The Takeaway

At Asiana USA, you can count on us to keep you abreast about short delays as well as larger shipping issues, such as the recent spread of coronavirus. As shipping professionals, we are prepared to deal with the biggest of issues, and stay one step ahead.

As your goods travel across the world, we can help you track them, work around delays, and plan routes to avoid issues. Call Asiana USA today at (323)-250-9407 to get more information about how to optimize your supply chain.

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