Pros and Cons of Container or Truck Drayage in the Logistics Industry
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Fundamental needs for the logistics industry have traditionally included affordability, reliability, and speedy delivery. These are essential for integrated supply chain optimization. The industry is highly competitive, and offering a streamlined process is vital. 

What is drayage trucking? Truck or container drayage is transporting containers between ports, facilities, rail yards, or other shipping centers across short distances, usually within the same metropolitan region. Trucks are used for drayage transportation, which is typically included in intermodal transport.

A recent article by reports that “efficiency has been maximized in drayage. Terminals and port authorities are putting in vast amounts of infrastructure to make sure that we don’t run into bottlenecks again. We’re working ahead of issues and not reacting to them when they occur.” These improvements are enormous for the trucking industry.

Below is a more in-depth answer to the question, what is drayage trucking?  It discusses the pros and cons of using container drayage as a form of transportation.

What Is Container or Truck Drayage?

You might be asking yourself again, what is drayage trucking? It is a service in the logistics industry that entails the movement of shipping containers, also referenced as container drayage. Sometimes it can involve long-haul transport, but typically truck drayage refers to short-haul transportation. 

Intermodal transport involves multiple means of transportation, such as rail, sea, trucking, and air freight. When involving container drayage, there are many transportation optimization strategies involved. Drayage typically starts at a port and moves through intermodal transportation until it arrives at the final destination.


Pros of Using Container Drayage

There are multiple advantages to leveraging truck drayage shipping. Ranging from simple to complex, your business will benefit from these pros. 

  • Reduced Risk of Damaged Goods – Loading and unloading is the riskiest time for damage during shipment as multiple hands are involved. With container drayage, goods are sealed, with adequate packaging, and left unopened until delivery, which reduces the risk of damaged goods.
  • Improved Security of Merchandise –  During truck drayage, little interaction occurs with the containers, making it very challenging for items to be stolen. With the leveraging of technology, Real-time tracking for logistics helps all personnel track and manage freight. This is advantageous in that there will not be a need for order replacements, and also by proving your trustworthy and reliable as a logistic provider. This lower risk factor leads to lower insurance premiums. 
  • Fast and Efficient Transportation – Less time is spent loading and unloading at ports because of the usage of containers in drayage. Machinery can quickly transport the containers from the warehousing and distribution center to the truck for transportation to their destination. Container drayage is an effective and efficient way to transport freight over a short distance. Even if there is a driver shortage, there are other shipping options.

Cons of Using Container Drayage

So, what is drayage trucking, and what are its disadvantages? As with most forms of shipping, there are always some cons involved. Read below to see if this type of transportation is what your shipment needs.

  • Unsuitable for Transporting Small Shipments – Drayage shipping containers are typically most effective and cost-efficient when transporting full loads short distances; therefore, smaller shipments and long hauls could be better.
  • Truck drayage generally uses public roadways and railways, making long-haul and international transport less efficient. There are more beneficial and economical logistics systems for those types of transportation. 
  • Truck drayage may exacerbate existing road deterioration and its infrastructure. This leads to more roadway maintenance, inadvertently increasing taxes and operating costs. 
  • Increased Harbor Costs – Harbor fees will increase when ships are forced to dock their bulk loads to stay at port for an unscheduled time. This makes the cost of drayage shipping typically much more expensive. Also, maritime fees and facilities are needed for large containers, increasing the cost. 

Supercharge Container and Truck Drayage With Supra National Express

Are you still asking yourself, what is drayage trucking? This industry has multiple pros and cons. It is up to each company to predict freight demand and decide when to consider container drayage as a viable option for its short-distance transportation. Although it has some disadvantages, container drayage is often the quickest, most economical, and safe option for moving goods for short hauls. Take the guesswork out of your truck drayage situation. Get a quote with Supra’s DrayMaster for your supercharged container and truck drayage. 

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What to Look for in a Drayage Trucking Company
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There is little doubt after the last few years that truckers are the backbone of the modern shipping and transportation industry. However, without drayage trucking companies, the supply chain would halt. But what is drayage trucking exactly, and what should today’s businesses be looking for in a drayage trucking company? To answer those questions, let’s back up to the data around the trucking industry as a whole. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of April 2022, more than 1.564 million people worked in the Truck Transportation subsector. That is an estimated 7,000 more than just the previous month and an overall jump of 60,000 from the year before. That growth includes drayage carriers and countless drayage trucker independent businesses, and many of these drivers work within the container transport parts of the supply chain.  So, understanding how to answer the questions, what is drayage trucking and what is a drayage carrier, is vital to maintaining current levels of growth for drayage drivers.

What Is a Drayage Carrier or Drayage Trucking Company?

A drayage carrier is a sub-classification or branch of the overall trucking company specializing in moving containerized freight. Rather than transporting these containers and goods across large distances, most drayage truck drivers work moving loads in and out of ocean ports or intermodal facilities. 

These specialized carriers typically move freight over short distances between facilities and makeup either the first or final leg or larger transports.  Many companies today outsource drayage services and work with specialized carriers. Knowing what to look for when choosing a carrier for drayage services is vital for intermodal drayage shipping and distribution.

Always Start With Safety First

Locating the best drayage trucking service providers should start with safety as the number one priority. Companies want to ensure that their drayage truckers are not only experienced with regular shipping protocols and processes but that they are also safe while doing business.

The value of safety-driven drayage carriers is easy to see when one considers the impact poor driving practices can have on the shipping and logistics industry. Increased accidents, poorer vehicle maintenance and management, lost or damaged goods, and many other issues arise when drivers are not adequately trained in safe driving practices. 

Evaluate a Drayage Trucking Company’s Capacity

Capacity always matters within the global shipping industry, and drayage trucking plays a significant role in managing this balance. Having a reliable drayage trucker company working alongside shippers and third parties makes it easier to meet fulfillment and capacity needs.    

Carefully choosing drayage carriers also helps maintain clearance and adherence to the latest regulations impacting the shipping industry, such as AB5 and other driver-related regulations. The key pieces of drayage transport- quoting, dispatching, billing, logistics management, and customer service are all easier with the right drayage trucking provider.

Commitment to Collaboration and Communication

Like every other branch of shipping and transportation, drayage trucking relies on solid lines of communication and effective data-sharing. It is a team effort between the drayage trucker, carriers, third parties, and customers. This is particularly true when backlogs, delays, and significant disruptions occur.

Looking at the remaining queue lines and delays at ports and how that capacity is better utilized when everything functions as one collaborative unit, it is easy to see the impact drayage carriers can have on the industry. Choosing the wrong one can have far-reaching consequences.

Truck Driver Conditions and Benefits

One issue with the drayage trucking process today is far too many companies outsource all or nearly all of their services. This might seem like a proactive move, and there is nothing wrong with outsourcing when needed. However, strong companies have their own jobs for drayage carriers in-house.

Having drayage truckers that work for the company itself improves communication and response times and ensures drivers are treated fairly and that they have the working conditions they need. Happy drivers are productive drivers, meaning customers are more satisfied with their experience.

Reputation and Delivery History

Finding the right drayage carriers in the industry today is a big task. Looking at a drayage trucking company’s reputation and successful delivery rate can give a clear picture of how well they are performing. It is essential that drayage partners have a proven track record of successful, on-time, in-full deliveries.

While it might save a little money upfront from going with a lesser-known or less reputable carrier or drayage trucker,  it will likely cost more in the end in fees, surcharges, penalties, and lost customers. Working with quality carriers and 3PLs is essential to continued success with shipping goods.

Using Top-Quality Technology

How good a drayage trucking company is, comes down to how up-to-date they are with the latest technology and service offerings. The best companies have drayage truckers who use the latest technology to manage tasks and keep up with changing demands and trends.    

The best drayage carriers have tapped into the latest digitalization and automation processes and utilize services such as dray power, real-time tracking, and reliable online platforms to keep drayage loads moving. All of this gives shippers instant access to rates, the ability to be more responsive, and spend less time worrying about their freight. 

Put Your Drayage Services Concerns at Ease With Supra National Express. 

Whether it is locals good, international imports, short-haul drivers, or long-haul treks, drayage trucking companies ensure supplies and materials get to where they need to be. Of all the trucking companies today, drayage truckers are often the most overlooked, with most people thinking about semi-truck drivers on the road for weeks at a time when they think of truckers. 

Supra is ready to change that and bring the focus back to quality and excellence with drayage carriers and drayage-focused services.  

Get your quote now by trying Supra’s new Online Rate Tool and get your quote within a minute:

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