The term drayage is used within the logistics industry to describe the transportation of goods over short distances, often within the same metropolitan area. You may hear professionals within the shipping industry refer to intermodal shipping and intermodal drayage, which describes the use of two or more forms of transportation to take goods from one location to another.
The history of drayage goes back to the horse-drawn cart, which was known as a dray. Because horses have physical limitations, they could only transport goods over relatively short distances, and that is the origin of the word drayage.
In modern times, the drayage process can involve a combination of enormous ships, trucks, airplanes, and trains. The drayage service is often part of a longer journey, and therefore is crucial for transporting goods. Without drayage, the logistical and shipping industry supply chain could not function.
Types of Drayage
The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) divides the various types of drayage services into categories that help understand each group’s relevance in your business supply chain.
This form of transportation occurs when different carriers are involved in moving goods. A typical example is if a trucking company moves an intermodal unit, such as a container, from a port to a rail terminal.
This form of transport is different from inter-carrier drayage because only one company carries out the movement of goods from an intermodal terminal, such as a port to a rail hub.
Goods that travel by train could become stuck in rail yards if it were not for pier drayage. Trucks collect the containers and take them to a dock or ocean port for the next part of their journey.
Products with a time-sensitive lifespan, such as perishable foods or medicine, need to reach their final destination quickly. Expedited drayage uses the road network to get goods to their terminal within a short timeframe.
Retail customers may not have the resources to pick up their goods from a terminal, and door-to-door drayage allows them to take delivery of their merchandise at their store or warehouse.
The logistics industry works within tight timeframes. Even a small delay in one stage of the supply chain can lead to an intermodal hub exceeding its storage limit. In this scenario, shuttle drayage takes containers to an overflow lot, where transporters can store both full and empty storage units.
This ability relieves pressure on already full storage areas and allows the transporter to keep goods moving through their hub.
It may be the case that your goods utilize several different types of drayage services during their journey from origin to the final destination.
A good freight forwarding company can organize drayage services on your behalf. Although it may initially seem cheaper to arrange transport yourself, there are different elements to consider. Any delays could be costly, and it can be stressful to work with several transportation services at the same time.
At Asiana USA, we have established contacts and many years of experience organizing drayage services. For a free quote, contact us at (855) 500-1808.