How Do I Find the Best Drayage Company in Charleston, SC?

Drayage Company

Truck drivers are the modern shipping and transportation industry’s backbone. However, the supply chain would come to a halt in the absence of a drayage company. But what exactly is meant by the term “drayage trucking?”  What characteristics should modern businesses search for in a drayage company? In order to respond to these questions, let’s go back and look at the data surrounding the trucking industry in its entirety.

More than 2 million people were employed in the Truck Transportation subsector in 2021, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics data. (1) Furthermore, it is estimated to grow by 4%  from 2021-2031. This growth includes drayage carriers as well as countless independent businesses run by drayage truckers. A significant number of these drivers are employed in the aspects of the supply chain that deal with container transportation. It is, therefore, essential for drayage drivers to have a solid understanding of how to respond to the questions “what is drayage trucking” and “what is a drayage carrier” if the industry is to continue to experience the same levels of growth.

What Does It Mean to Work for a Drayage Company or a Drayage Carrier?

A sub-classification or branch of an overall trucking company that specializes in moving containerized freight is called a drayage carrier. The majority of drayage truck drivers’ jobs consist of moving loads from international facilities, such as ports, to other places for transport, including railroads.

Freight transported by these specialized carriers is typically moved over shorter distances. This is the first step in the long journey for many of these containers. Many businesses in the modern world contract their drayage services out to specialized carriers and work with them.

When it comes to intermodal drayage shipping and distribution, having the knowledge of what to look for in a carrier for drayage services is a must! Let’s look at some things you would want to consider when hiring a drayage company.

Compare Values and Culture

To state the obvious, you do not want to form a business partnership with another organization if it does not share the same fundamental values and business culture as your own. Not everything revolves around logistics and getting the job done. You have an obligation to ensure that the working environment, as well as the employees, are going to get along well with one another. It is important they approach tasks at hand with the same morals and work ethic. When you combine two distinct environments and approaches to work, you can never expect things to go smoothly. Someone will be let down. Or something terrible will happen.

Verify All References

You should check their references to see if they are a professional company. It is important that you work with professionals when working with a drayage company. This is the first leg of the journey. If this is messed up, it creates a domino effect for the entire journey. While this seems like a simple task, things can go wrong even over short distances.

Start by researching online, or make contact with other businesses that have made use of them in the past. Investigating how they collaborate with other people and the success of the projects they have completed in the past. This is essential to determining whether or not you even want to consider forming a partnership with them. 

You should always due your due diligence to ensure that you are making a great choice with a professional drayage company.  

Different Types of Containers

The length of a domestic container is typically 53 feet, and it can be either refrigerated or dry. Domestic containers are utilized for intermodal transport within the United States. Although shipments that travel in domestic containers are destined for inland (i.e., “domestic”) destinations, the products that travel in them may still arrive from overseas. This is because domestic containers only travel within the United States. In this scenario, products are transported to a port in international containers that are either 20 or 40 feet in length on cargo ships. After that, they are moved into domestic containers with a length of 53 feet at a cross-dock facility, a transload facility, or a distribution center. Products are then transported to their final destination further inland from there.

Examine the Cost

When looking for a drayage company, obviously, this is one of the most important factors to consider. You don’t want to choose a company that is so expensive that you can’t afford them. But at the same time, you don’t want to choose somebody that is so inexpensive that they don’t carry out the responsibilities in the proper manner. It is important that you find a good balance. The person that is the least expensive isn’t always the best choice. However, you do need to stay within your budget.

Consider Any Specializations You Need

What kinds of goods and products you ship will be determined, in large part, by the nature of the business you run. Certain businesses require specialized machinery or treatments for their products. If this is the case, you’ll want to find a drayage company that offers those services or has the equipment you need.

Dedicated Managers

Many businesses will have many different people doing different things in the supply chain. This means that things can get a little hard to manage from a buyer’s perspective. You don’t want to keep track of all of your different containers yourself. Because of this, you will want one centralized manager that you can reach out to. This will simplify things should there be any issues. 

When you work with a single reliable drayage company, you should have a centralized contact who communicates with you throughout the entire process. This could be via phone or email, but they will communicate with you everything that is happening with the containers. 

These managers should be able to troubleshoot and help their clients get the best possible outcome during tight situations. Drayage is only a short distance, but many things can arise, and it’s important that you have a good manager on your team to troubleshoot those issues, keeping things running smoothly.  

The Delivery Timeline

It is always important that you find a company that has a good track record for being on time. While drayage services are a short distance, there are things that arise. You need to have a team that works together to make as many on-time deliveries as possible. This is the first leg in the journey, and if this one is messed up, this could affect the entire journey. Just as if you miss a plane, the next connection is then messed up, and it continues down the line. This is the same for these container shipments. Be sure that you choose a good drayage company that sees delivery on time as important. 

Simple Access to the Information

Your drayage company must be able to provide you with all of the necessary data at any time you request it. Real-time data such as alerts when loads arrive, track and trace shipments, proof of delivery, and confirmation of receipt are examples of things that should be easily shared.

Excellent Transport Logistics

A high-quality drayage company will have a transport logistics system that is run by trained professionals in an organized fashion. This includes providing all BCOs or shippers with simple and convenient access to containers, invoices, and tracking shipping at any time of day or night.


You want to make certain that their drayage truckers not only have experience with the standard procedures and protocols involved in shipping but also that they are safe while conducting business.

When drivers are not adequately trained in safe driving practices, a number of problems can arise. This includes an increase in accidents and a decrease in the quality of vehicle maintenance and management. Furthermore, goods can be lost or damaged, and many other problems.

Truck Driver Conditions and Benefits

One of the problems that exist with the modern drayage trucking process is the excessive number of businesses that outsource all or nearly all of their services. This may appear to be a proactive move. And, we are not saying there is anything wrong with getting outside additional help. However, a good drayage company employs their own drayage drivers. These drivers are trained in what it takes to move a  container from a port to another location. They understand these short-distance runs are very important to the overall shipping process. 

Because they are familiar with drayage, they are better equipped to reroute things when something goes wrong. They can fix and adjust issues to ensure they are getting their loads to their destinations on time. 

When drivers are content with their employment conditions are more productive. This ultimately results in increased customer satisfaction.

Contact Our Team Today

With a drayage company such as PM Logistics Services, we make certain that supplies and materials are delivered to the appropriate locations, regardless of whether they are local goods or goods from the international import in South Carolina. When most people think of truckers, they picture long-haul truck drivers who spend weeks at a time on the road in their semi-tractor trailer rigs. However, drayage truck drivers are often the most underappreciated drivers in the trucking industry today. To learn more, Contact PM Logistics Services today!

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