Luis Lopez

In this article, we shall have a grasp of container drayage definition. As a matter of fact, drayage is essential in the cold chain logistics industry. Drayage has been credited for covering up any intermodal shipping gaps. It involves moving goods through ground freight for a short distance. 

container drayage 1

Container drayage is third party logistics (3PL) services that involve the movement of shipping containers. Drayage usually refers to short-haul movements, but can also encompass long-haul journeys too. 

Drayage companies specialize in the coordination and management of these container movements, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and according to schedule. This can involve working with multiple parties including shippers, consignees, container yards, steamship lines, and railroads. 

Different countries have different rules and regulations, so it’s crucial that companies are aware of these before they start shipping. Thanks to container drayage, businesses can continue to operate smoothly and efficiently, no matter where in the world they are.

Container Drayage – How it Works?

Container Drayage Meaning – can be defined as a logistics that involves shipping of goods over a short distance. It is an integral component of intermodal shipping. As per the Intermodal Association of North America, over 70 million drayage shipping happens in North America (USA and Canada). 

Ideally, the term drayage is common in shipping and also stands for movement of a large container for a rail, ship, or truck. Without drayage the freight movement process wouldn’t be smooth. Just ask yourself, how does freight transported by rail get into a ship? How does freight transported by rail get to a truck?

This is where drayage transport comes in. All stage carries must have the required licensing and bonding. The drayage companies are tasked with the movement of containers back and from the 3pl warehouses, harbors, ocean or sea ports, and rail terminals. 

Container drayage is a combination of off-rail cars, steel shipping deck, and containers. It also involves loading and off-roading. After this process the freight is moved to an intermodal center for distribution. 

container drayage 2
Container Drayage

The drayage process in supply chain logistics is the fastest and takes a short time to transport(goods) the freight over a short distance.

Additionally, the drayage process can also involve movement of cargo from warehouse A to warehouse B. In reality, the only way freight can move from the sea port to an intermodal location for distribution to other centers is via drayage, making it a significant step in shipping management.

What is intermodal shipping?

We have used this term quite often and it is important to explain its definition. Intermodal shipping refers to the movement of freight involving different shipping methods. The cargo is transported from one transport mode to another using containers without unpacking the cargo.

Intermodal(Drayage) Association of North America (IANA) research shows that 95% of freight manufactured is transported via containers. Drayage service providers provide the connection between different intermodal points. 

Container Drayage System Explained 

The Intermodal(Transport) Association of North America (IANA) classifies container drayage systems into various categories. 

  • Door-to-door 

This is the final delivery of goods to the retail customer using a truck. 

  • Shuttle drayage 

This involves the movement of freight from one intermodal point to another especially when the main hub is full to capacity. 

  • Pier drayage  

This is a type of drayage which involves the movement of freight from the ral terminal to the shipping pier or dock. 

  • Intra-carrier drayage 

For example if a container drayage carrier has different intermodal hubs. Freight can be moved from one intermodal point to the other. This is intra-carrier drayage. 

  • Inter-carrier drayage 

This is the movement of freight from one drayage carrier to the other. For example, the movement of freight from a rail station to a trucking terminal. 

  • Expedited drayage 

This is where freight moved from intermodal point A to B is time bound or the movement of time-sensitive cargo. 

The selection of the required drayage services depends on the type of shipment. 

Drayage services and cold chain expounded

container drayage
Container Drayage

Reefer containers (refrigerated containers) make part of the drayage cold chain. Reefer containers are used to transport perishable freight such as pharmaceuticals, flowers, food, and more.

The cold chain process must remain intact without being broken. The cold chain will rely on expedited drayage as it is time-sensitive. 

Container Drayage Fee and More

Interestingly, there are different drayage service providers offering different types of drayage. The container drayage fee from intermodal point A to point B(final destination) will depend on the type of freight being transported and the expected delivery real time.

Saving in drayage shipping cost is what any supply chain manager works to achieve. You need to learn the different ways of reducing the drayage fee. 

Calculating drayage fees. 

The base drayage fee is calculated based on weight. The charge is applied for every 100 pounds. Some carriers accept a minimum of 200 pounds of freight. Therefore, if you have 146 pounds this will be rounded up to 200 pounds. 

Types of drayage fees. 

  • Chassis Split Fees: This charge is applied when the transporting chassis isn’t available. 
  • Pre-Pull Fees: Cost applies when a loaded container in the port isn’t transported on the same day. This covers the carrier’s storage cost. 
  • Drop Fees: This cost is incurred when a carrier off-loads containers at a warehouse for pick-up later, this covers the storage charge at the warehouse depending on the duration. 

To wrap up, container drayage is a significant process in the supply chain management. Over 90% of freight transported to the consumer will require drayage services at one-point. 

If you enjoyed reading this article, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! 

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