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Container drayage is short-distance container transportation that connects long-haul modes of transportation like rail and boat shipping. Drayage services are essential for efficient intermodal shipping, which is shipping that uses multiple transportation methods to move freight to its final destination. There are six types of intermodal drayage common in the shipping process.

A Quick History of Drayage

The term drayage originated from the word dray, the name for a large-load carrying horse. Drays were used to transport materials through towns. Dray horses have since been replaced by trucks, but the same basic principles apply. Trucks move freight containers through cities from one transportation center to another.

Currently, drayage is a vital part of international and long-haul national shipping. Freight forwarders form drayage contracts with trucking companies to handle these responsibilities in cities like Los Angeles and Tokyo. Efficient drayage services keep supply chains running on time, preventing delays.

Types of Drayage and Their Importance

The six types of container drayage coincide with the intermodal services the drayage trucks connect. In most cases, it is up to international freight forwarders to plan the drayage services for their clients. A good freight forwarder has many connections with trucking companies to ensure efficient and cost-effective drayage service.

Intra-carrier drayage

Intra-carrier drayage is container transportation between two locations owned by the same carrier. This could be from a warehouse to an intermodal hub which transfers the product from the drayage to another form of transportation like a long-haul truck.

Inter-carrier drayage

Inter-carrier drayage connects different carriers. An example of this is a rail yard transferring a container to a drayage truck that moves the container to a trucking terminal or port. A freight forwarder may own none of the carriers involved, but they coordinate between carriers and the drayage trucks to transport goods successfully.

Pier drayage

Pier drayage is trucking to and from a port. International shipping with boats would be a large logistical challenge without pier drayage.

Shuttle drayage

Due to the fluid and complex nature of international shipping, there can be congestion problems at ports and rail yards. When overcrowding occurs, shuttle drayage services temporarily relocate containers to create room for high-priority containers.

Expedited drayage

Expedited drayage services are available for containers or shipments on a strict timeline. To handle same-day deliveries, freight forwarders need to have multiple trucking companies ready for drayage responsibilities at a moment’s notice.

Door-to-door drayage

Transporting goods directly from a warehouse or fulfillment center to a customer is door-to-door drayage. An example of this is delivering a container to a retail mall store with a receiving port.

Importance of Container Drayage

Drayage is a Vital Link in the Supply Chain

According to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA), 98 million drayage moves are performed annually in North America alone. The prevalence of drayage is due to the necessity of intermodal shipping in the global supply chain.

eCommerce has developed the need for businesses to ship their products internationally. International shipping requires intermodal movement, which cannot function without drayage connecting the various transportation modes.

Hire Asiana USA for Your Drayage Shipping Needs

If your business needs to ship products internationally, contact Asiana USA. We are one of the most trusted international shipping companies for the Continental United States and international clients. We connect with long-haul truckers and short-distance truckers to form a reliable network of drayage services. No matter where in the supply chain, our drayage truckers ensure your product is delivered promptly to the next location.

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