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Drayage service is an integral part of the freight forwarding business. If a company exports goods, the business must factor in the price of drayage.

The fees for drayage add up quickly, adding significantly to the total cost of shipping your cargo.
Although using drayage is almost always unavoidable, there are ways to minimize the expense.

What Is Drayage?

The term drayage is not used very often outside the shipping and logistics business. Before the automobile, people used something called a dray to move heavy loads short distances.
Today, drayage refers to transporting cargo or containers short distances. For example, a container ship offloads containers to trucks that transport the goods around the shipping yard, to a warehouse, or perhaps to the consignee.

Top drayage companies often have fleets of trucks that do nothing but perform drayage for freight forwarders and port management.

Many of these firms provide various services related to drayage, such as secure trailer storage, trans-loading and warehousing, and other transport needs.

How Can You Calculate Drayage Fees?

Drayage fees depend on many factors. Some factors include local labor rates at the port of entry, how the goods are packed, the way the exported items are shipped, weight, and where the items need to go.

Companies may incur several drayage charges during the transportation of containers from the point of origin to the destination.

Careful planning can minimize drayage costs and result in significant savings in your overall freight forwarding budget.

Efficient Packing

Pack your freight carefully. If cargo is packed correctly, standard drayage rates typically apply. Drayage companies charge higher rates for items that require special handling.
Use pallets, crates, and fill all shipping containers with as many items as possible.

Label, Count and Weigh Items Carefully

Ensure that all the cargo is labeled correctly. Grouping the pieces so that everything going to one consignee is together.

Accurate counts minimize time spent by the contracted drayage firm accounting for all the cargo.

Having an accurate weight ahead of time so that the company has the correct type of trucks and handling equipment will minimize delays, added labor, and unexpected additional equipment costs.

Labeling, counting, and weighing accurately lessens the possibility of loss or special handling surcharges.

Allow Dray Carriers Some Flexibility in the Company’s Offloads

Companies can often negotiate better rates if the dray companies have flexibility in how they handle your cargo. For example, give the company the flexibility to handle day-side loads or handle freight surges during high-volume days at a port.

This can help avoid additional charges for driver wait times if the dray companies can use them to do other things while waiting for a company’s freight.

Use a Quality Freight Forwarding Logistics Company

High-performing, high-tech ports move freight, in general, very fast. Choose the right terminal during the freight forwarding process to minimize delays in offloading.

If drayage goes from the port to onward rail, check the rail schedules carefully to avoid warehousing or extra drayage charges incurred if drivers must wait.

By engaging a quality international shipping and logistics company to handle drayage and the rest of the export process, you can help minimize expenses also.

The right company will not only plan appropriately to minimize drayage; the company will also handle all aspects of freight forwarding.

Drayage should be an advertised core competency of whatever firm a company contracts for services.

Optimizing costs is something a contractor should assist the exporter with doing.

Pay Attention to Minimum Charges

Drayage charges have minimums, typically costs per 100 pounds, called a CWT or hundredweight, and the dray firm will charge a company for a minimum of 2 CWT or 200 pounds.

Consolidate packages. If low-weight shipments arrive separately or the shipper does not consolidate well, the increase in costs can add up quickly.

Final Thoughts

Drayage is just one of the many expenses associated with exporting goods.
A company needs an experienced, cost-conscious partner like Asiana USA to ensure that all expenses, including drayage, are minimized.

Tristan is a professional writer having had careers as a teacher of English, school administrator, and as a broker in real estate sales. He has gained a great deal of legal experience through his service as the president of a teacher’s union, a member of the board for a real estate association, and as the chairman of the Government Affairs Committee for the real estate board of directors. Before beginning a full-time job as a freelance writer, he was the Executive Director of the Global Business Alliance for a local Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Government Affairs Committee for the Chamber.
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