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Most people are unaware of what drayage transportation is or why it is essential. This article will explain every aspect and benefit of container drayage so you can make informed decisions for all your shipping needs. If you know anything about shipping, you understand that shipping freight is time-consuming and intricate. While it’s true that ships and planes play a prominent role in international cargo transit, other modes of transportation also contribute.

Freight shipping processes often use drayage as one of the transportation methods. The missing link in the logistics chain makes multimodal transport possible.

What is Drayage?

Drayage, in its most basic definition, is a specialized logistics service that involves the transport of cargo across a relatively small distance. It’s a crucial component of the intermodal transport system. Drayage refers to the transportation of products over a relatively small distance. 

Freight transportation from a container ship to a warehouse is just one example of a longer-term relocation. The term “drayage” refers to transporting cargo from a port to a truck or rail line rather than directly from a ship to a warehouse.

The distance is usually manageable in one to two hours and is always within the same general region. As rapidly as feasible, containers must return to the port; hence drayage moves are generally one-way.

The process usually entails unloading and reloading massive steel shipping containers from rail cars and ship decks onto truck trailers. Drayage is a part of the larger logistics structure, and it involves sending the container to a storage area until the next stage of intermodal transport is ready to begin.

The Concept of Intermodal Drayage Transportation

In contrast to single-mode drayage, intermodal drayage involves more than one method of transport to move merchandise. When you load goods into intermodal containers, they may transfer quickly between ships. It’s a crucial aspect of the logistics sector because it reduces the price of long-distance shipping for businesses. 

The logistics behind the everyday movement of numerous multi-sized packages is the job of intermodal drayage companies worldwide. Companies specializing in logistics handle the legwork of compiling the data and determining the most efficient means of transporting goods. They prepare ahead, thanks to their collaboration with local and international partners.

Types of Drayage Transportation Services

The shipper’s responsibility is to choose the most appropriate drayage service for the cargo’s delivery and continuation of the voyage. There are a total of six different service types:

  • Intra-Carrier Drayage: Drayage of this sort is short-distance and employed for moving cargo around the terminal. It is standard procedure whenever there is a requirement to carry cargo to a different dock before it can board a plane or whenever it is time to unload containers at the freight terminal.
  • Intermodal Drayage: There are three possible directions: over water, land, or rail. Trucks called drayage tractors transport goods from the ports to the waiting trains, and in reverse, once the cargo has traveled by rail, it can be delivered to an ocean port, from where it can be shipped.
  • Pier Drayage: A truck collects the cargo from the rail terminal and delivers it to the dock or pier, where it will put it onto a ship.
  • Shuttle Drayage: Shuttle drayage is employed when there are too many containers for a given port or terminal. Although these docks receive a wide variety of commodities daily, there are rarely enough ships to transport everything. This cargo is transported via shuttle to a secure holding area until the next boat is ready to depart.
  • Door-to-Door Drayage: With the help of this drayage service, cargo can travel straight from the harbor to the buyer’s front door. Clients use this kind of drayage service when they want to arrange door-to-door delivery of their online purchases.
  • Expedited Drayage: This drayage service is for immediately delivering cargo where it is needed and is a swift alternative that can quickly transfer items to their destinations. When time is of the essence, expedited drayage is often one of the best options.

What Is a Drayage Truck?

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Ships travel the world’s oceans to deliver most of the world’s goods. Huge metal containers transport a significant portion of the commodities sent annually to the United States. Drayage truckers are the ones who pick up cargo containers once they’ve arrived at the port and transport them to their next destination via drayage truck. 

Shipping containers may be en route to a storage facility or rail yard in preparation for loading. Without drayage truckers, the cargo gets stuck in ports, and rail shipments would remain in transit.

Intermodal drayage is the process of moving freight between various means of transportation, such as ships, trucks, warehouses, and train stations. When companies use more than one mode of transportation to transport their goods, it is the drayage drivers’ job to keep the goods moving.

What Does Drayage Trucking Entail?

The job of drayage truck drivers is to transport goods over short distances utilizing ground freight. Moving large containers from a ship to a rail line for delivery is an example of a drayage load, which is prevalent in intermodal shipping. 

The term “drayage” refers to the daily transportation of goods and comes from the word for a horse-drawn cart. The employment of dray horses was common in the past for hauling heavy loads. However, the phrase has changed to reflect the modern-day replacement of horses with the usage of trucks.

Transportation by drayage truck is distinct from intercity or long-distance transport. Moving containers to and from intermodal hubs like ports, harbors, rail terminals, truck terminals, and storage facilities rely heavily on drayage services. As a result, it’s become a vast industry. 

Drayage trucking typically only operates within the same city limits. Usually, a single shift is sufficient to make all necessary deliveries, as shipping containers tend to stay in the same region. However, drayage drivers sometimes must drive 100 feet to deliver cargo to an intermodal terminal or another vehicle. 

What Do Container Drayage Truck Services Provide?

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Companies specializing in drayage have trucks that deliver and remove massive steel storage containers from ships and railroads to different locations, including warehouses, docks, workplaces, terminals, seaports, and airports within the vicinity. After arriving, they can be available for use by the company or will await their next phase of transportation.

Containers transferred from one location to another tend to stay in the same general region. Due to these short relative distances, drayage carriers usually make the delivery quickly within one shift. These distinctions are why drayage services have their own categorization and are not considered standard international shipments. 

Morning Star LLC: A Truck Drayage Company You Can Rely On

Drayage service is ripe with potential. If drayage services are correctly handled, it can help businesses reduce delivery lead times, save on fuel costs and reduce the possibility of damaged goods.

Morning Star LLC is aware of the significance of drayage in the transport process and is very knowledgeable in providing these services most effectively and efficiently as possible. Morning Star Transportation is happy to serve your business as a reliable cold chain logistics and drayage partner. With guidance from our highly skilled team at Morning Star Transport, we can help you make the most informed selections regarding your business’s shipping needs. Morning Star will cater to your budget and different-sized loads to help you find the most practical solutions. 

To safely and efficiently transport your goods, please get in touch with us.

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