What Does a Drayage Company Do?

What Does a Drayage Company Do?

The container shipping industry primarily uses the term “drayage.” This is despite the fact that the term more specifically refers to movements that take place over shorter distances. These short shipments are a part of the overall process of the supply chain. Drayage loads don’t typically focus on long haul or national movements. Meaning that the origin and destination points of these loads are typically located within the same geographical area.

Because a drayage load can be interpreted in a variety of ways, there is frequently a lack of consensus among carriers regarding how to categorize it. Many shipping companies incorrectly associate the term “drayage” with having to enter a port. However, that is not always the case. However, the majority of drayage loads do start out at a port of entry. There may be several stops along the way (port, yard, warehouse, rail) before the container reaches its ultimate destination.

Drayage might appear to be a relatively unimportant part of the process. It is an essential part of the overall process of managing supply chains throughout the United States. Most people have chosen a shipping option, where all you have to do is click a button on your computer or mobile app, and then two (or sometimes even fewer) days later, something mysteriously appears at your doorstep. The drayage process is very important in this regard. The “first mile” establishes the tone for the entirety of the journey, which begins with the ship and ends with the shelf.

Drayage is Moving Small Distances

To put it another way, drayage is a specialized form of logistics service that involves the transport of freight over a relatively short distance. It is a necessary component of transporting goods via intermodal methods.

Drayage is also the name of a specialized type of shipping service that is required to move large containers for transportation by truck, ship, or rail. It is an essential part of the shipping process that moves freight from one location to another. Have you ever thought about how cargo gets transported to the rail and then from the rail to the warehouses? All those short movements are done by a drayage company. 

Containers can be moved in and out of warehouses, rail terminals, harbors, and ocean ports and terminals by a drayage company such as PM Logistics Services. However, be sure that you are hiring a professional drayage company. Carriers of drayage are required to have the necessary licensing and bonding. Check for this information before booking with a specific company.  

Of course, PM Logistics Services carries all the proper licensing to provide drayage services in the South Carolina area. Contact us today to find out more.

Drayage - A Small Component to A Larger Logistics Operation

In many cases, our drayage services unload massive shipping containers made of steel from rail cars and ship decks, followed by loading the containers onto truck trailers. After that, the container is hauled to a storage facility or a warehouse so that it can be prepared for the subsequent step in the process of intermodal shipping. The drayage process is a component of the larger logistics workflow.

When services through a drayage company are used, the containers that are transported almost always remain within the confines of the same geographical area or a nearby region. This is different than what you find with shipments moving nationally or across the state, which is common for the logistics of products. The drayage service is only responsible for short movements to get the product situated and prepared for the long haul.

Why is Drayage Considered to be So Important?

When a container ship pulls up to a port, a large contingent of drivers for the drayage company immediately moves into position. They begin transporting the cargo that has been assigned to the ship.

Drayage is an essential step in the shipping process that ensures everything goes as smoothly as possible toward delivery. However, just like with any other facet of shipping, there are a number of things that can cause drayage delays. These can range anywhere from a few hours to several days. This is why it is so important to have proper communication within the shipping industry. Everything in logistics has to match up perfectly in order for the shipment to move smoothly across the US. 

The Classifications of Drayage

There are many different categories that the services of drayage fall under. The Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) is responsible for the following classifications:

Pier Drayage

Do you need cargo to be moved from an ocean shipping dock or pier to a rail terminal? If so, you could use pier drayage. The use of highways to transport cargo to the pier is pier drayage.

Intra-Carrier Drayage

Transporting freight between two different hubs that are owned by the same carrier is an example of intra-carrier drayage.

Expedited Drayage

Drayage services that are “expedited” ensure that freight containers are moved rapidly. This is most relevant for deliveries that are time-sensitive.

Inter-Carrier Drayage

When most people hear the word “drayage,” the first thing that comes to their mind is the concept of “inter-carrier drayage.” It involves the transfer of cargo from one carrier to another. An example of inter-carrier drayage would be moving goods from a rail station to a trucking terminal or vice versa. 

Shuttle Drayage

Transferring an intermodal unit to a location that is only going to be used temporarily is what is known as shuttle drayage. When there is a possibility that the origin hub will be too crowded, this method is utilized.

Door-to-Door Drayage

Delivery of a container to a retail customer’s door using a truck, also known as “door-to-door.”

Your shipping requirements will determine which classification of service you should go with.

There are many aspects of the shipment that are addressed by each service category. The driver who is responsible for transporting the cargo may bring it a few hundred feet to a truck that is waiting for it. Or, they may transport it a few miles away to a warehouse that is close to the port.

The drayage service is the crucial link in the overall supply chain. This is regardless of whether the freight is transferred from a truck to a rail or from a ship to a warehouse or any other combination. Drayage can be compared to the sprinter in a race, and shipping can be compared to the marathon.

If you’re in the market for a drayage service in the Charleston, South Carolina, area, we can help. We are proud to offer amazing drayage services to assist you with your logistic needs. Call us today!

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