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The term drayage was coined when an open cart pulled by horses was the best way to transport bulky goods. Drayage services now use trucks to transport goods over a short distance, usually within the same metropolitan area, and typically delivery occurs within one day of collection.

A drayage company picks up cargo from warehouses, ocean ports, airports, and rail ramps, and delivers to the point of destination. They are essential to the fluidity of a larger supply chain that involves other carriers.

To reduce drayage fees, there are several cost-saving tips you can follow.

1. Help Reduce Labor Costs

Employees need to load, transport, and unload your cargo. Help them save time by packaging manageable weights, marking everything clearly, and making sure your packages are ready for collection on time. Limit the need for specialized material handling to avoid special handling fees.

2. Be on Time

Drayage companies work on tight schedules. Aside from having your merchandise packed and ready on time, ensure the delivery point is prepared to accept the goods. Stay within the straight time to avoid going into overtime rates, and make sure there are no hidden costs in the fine print.

If the drayage company is delivering to busy areas such as a show site or a model home, ensure there won’t be a backlog of other general contractors causing increased wait times.

3. Consolidate to Reduce Costs

Drayage rates usually calculate using minimum weights. You could get a better price by consolidating smaller shipments to make a larger load, and it is also prudent to carefully choose your delivery time.

If the drayage service has a lot of spare capacity one day earlier or later than your preferred delivery date, they may offer a reduced rate to make the journey more profitable.

A freight forwarder can help you by combining loads from various clients, giving the drayage contractor a larger profit on their delivery. This service can be crucial if minimum handling rates apply.

If the minimum weight requirement is 200 lbs., and your load weighs 100 lbs., you are paying double the rate. While this may be worthwhile in exceptional circumstances requiring expedited delivery, it is a costly exercise on most occasions.

4. Reduce Packaging

If you have crossed the minimum weight threshold, then the aim is to reduce your load weight as much as possible to reduce costs. Try to use lightweight pallets or crates, and only use as much protective material as you need. You may find plastic wrapping and strapping are as effective as cardboard boxes and steel strapping but come in at a lighter weight.

Over time these small differences can add up and make a significant difference to your overall drayage costs.

5. Choose the Right Partner

Drayage transportation uses trucks. If the fleet is old or doesn’t use technology to plan the fastest routes, this adds to your charges. Ask for a company that uses technology that continually adapts to changing traffic conditions, finding the most efficient route.

Modern trucks use fuel-saving devices, which could lower your fee because the company won’t pay as much for fuel, and they are also more environmentally-friendly.

Drayage Cost

In Sum

Drayage transportation is an efficient way to transport goods over a short distance, but costs can add up. Partnering with an established freight forwarder that has relationships with several vetted drayage providers is the best way to deliver your goods at the most cost-effective price.

For a free consultation and quote, contact Asiana USA today at (855) 500-1808.


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