Role of Container Drayage in the Shipping Industry

Role of container drayage in the shipping industry

In today’s transportation world, drayage is a popular phrase. This critical service is what bridges the gap between long multimodal transport journeys. In this blog we try to explain this topic in-depth. Here is everything you need to know about drayage.

What is container drayage shipping?

The conveyance of containerized shipments is known as container drayage. It is often carried out on a truck across a short distance, such as from a port to a rail hub or from a warehouse to a final destination. The container drayage bridges the gap between multimodal transportation modes. Every year, hundreds of transfers occur across the country.

History of container drayage

The concept of container drayage has an interesting history that dates back a long time. While contemporary shipping and confining equipment are used, drayage predates the current industrial period and originates with earlier container types.

The term “drayage” was derived from the horse-drawn cart known as a “dray.” Due to the physical limitations of the horses utilized in this operation, distribution was limited to small distances, generally near seaports, railway and waterway terminals. This practice was used throughout the 1800s and into the early 1900s. Then trucks became the primary equipment in this process.

Exploring the concept of Drayage

Drayage is a means of transport across a short distance, typically between a seaport or freight terminal and a customer site. It is frequently part of a larger relocation. Container drayage companies can be used to transport a freight box from a ship to a terminal, from whence it will be carried over a further distance.

It might involve delivery or pickup at an intermodal terminal, border crossing, or seaport. The majority of container drayage transportation take place inside the same metropolitan geographical territory.

Classifications of drayage

In reality, there are six different classes that shippers utilize based on their cargo transit needs. They are as follows:

Door-to-door: This categorization refers to the transfer of a cargo box by road from a port or terminal to the customer’s location. This is also known as retail drayage.

Expedited: You may require expedited drayage if your container freight needs speedy transit. It is associated with time-sensitive items.

Shuttle: Is there no place at the hub for your cargo shipping box? As the name suggests this type of drayage is used to shuttle containers from one yard to another.

Inter-carrier: Also known as cross-town drayage, this service transports an intermodal unit from one railroad to another so as to facilitate a continuous journey.

Intra-carrier: Also known as IMX drayage, it transports containers from one port, terminal, or rail hub owned by the same airline or brokered for the same consignment. This might be the longest drayage transfer, reaching beyond the intermodal hub.

Pier: It is the process of transporting a shipping container or intermodal unit from a rail hub to a port or pier.

Examples of shipping containers include:

  • Open top container
  • Reefer intermodal carriers
  • Flat rack container
  • Dry van containers

What is the difference between cartage and drayage?

The phrases cartage and drayage may be used interchangeably. While both often apply to the transportation of products across small distances between intermodal shipping legs, the similarities may end there.

Drayage is the transport of an undamaged cargo box from one location to another. Cartage, on the other hand, entails breaking down the goods into smaller components and carrying them from one location to another.

Are intermodal and drayage the same thing?

Intermodal shipping is a significant deal. The volume of freight moved using intermodal transportation in the United States is continually increasing.

The growth in intermodal freight shipping is boosting demand for drayage movement. However, despite their interdependence, intermodal and drayage are not the same thing.

Are the two terms synonymous? No. They are not the same thing. As previously stated, intermodal refers to freight that is transported using more than one method of transportation.

When multiple transportation methods are utilized, drayage refers to short-distance operations that link the modes of conveyance.

Why is container drayage so important now?

Increasing volume of intermodal shipments

It is critical for transporting cargo from port to terminal to warehouse and beyond. As previously stated, for intermodal freight transport, the volume keeps increasing.

For a variety of reasons, the amount of intermodal shipping is expanding. Tight truckload capacity, driver shortages, rising fuel prices, and even persistent freight delays are prompting more shippers to use rail and intermodal transport to keep their supply chains moving.

Tight truck capacity

Freight capacity challenges are having a significant influence on the maritime landscape.

Simply said, there aren’t enough rugged trucks on the road right now to accommodate all of the cargo that must be moved.

As a result, many shippers prefer rail movements over transporting truckloads of freight. As the demand for rail goods grows, more frequent transportation is required to connect ports and rail yards.

Port congestion

Port congestion has always been a major issue. Such bottlenecks slow imports, disrupt supply chains and result in exorbitant demurrage payments. All of these variables combine to make container drayage a key aspect of the logistics environment. It is vital for port congestion relief since it gets containers off the pier and moving.

Ongoing container shortage

It’s a truth that the supply chain requires shipping containers to function properly. Shipping containers are essential for international and even domestic trade, yet they are now in limited supply.

The shipping industry has been coping with container scarcity for the past 16 months. The coronavirus epidemic, the Suez Canal blockade, and persistent port congestion have all contributed to a shortage of shipping containers.

E-commerce has developed the need for businesses to ship their products internationally. International shipping requires Intermodal container services, which cannot function without drayage connecting the various transportation modes.

If your business needs to ship products internationally, contact Lotus Containers. We are one of the top specialists in providing shipping container solutions since 2008. LOTUS Containers can organize everything for you – from the purchase of the containers to the intermodal container transportation for the shipping containers which you have bought from us. No matter where you want to ship your products, our intensive network will provide you with the optimum results.

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