Definition, meaning, and explanation of


What is Drayage?

Drayage is a specialized logistics service within the shipping industry, focused on transporting goods over short distances. Often associated with container shipping, drayage typically involves the transport of cargo from ports to nearby warehouses or facilities. The term originates from "dray," a low, flatbed wagon without sides, pulled by horses. In modern logistics, drayage serves as a crucial link between longer transportation legs, ensuring seamless cargo transfer in the supply chain, particularly in intermodal transport.

Classifications of Drayage:

1. Port Drayage

Moving cargo from a port to a nearby warehouse or vice versa.

2. Inter-Carrier Drayage

Transporting goods between different carriers, like from a rail hub to a trucking terminal.

3. Intra-Carrier Drayage

Movement of cargo within the territory of a single carrier’s operations, such as between terminals of the same port.

4. Expedited Drayage

Quick transport of cargo to meet tight deadlines, often involving direct delivery with minimal storage time.

5. Shuttle Drayage

Temporary relocation of cargo to a parking area to alleviate space issues at the original facility.

6. Door-to-Door Drayage

Transporting goods directly from the shipper to the consignee.

Example of Drayage:

Imagine a container arriving at the Port of Los Angeles. A drayage service is hired to transport this container to a nearby warehouse in downtown Los Angeles for temporary storage before it's sent to its final destination across the country by rail.

Container Drayage vs Drayage Truck:

  • Container Drayage: Typically involves moving large shipping containers. It requires specialized equipment and knowledge about port operations, container handling, and often has specific regulatory requirements.
  • Drayage Truck: Refers to the actual vehicle used in drayage services – often a semi-truck equipped for short, quick trips with heavy containers. Unlike long-haul trucks, drayage trucks are designed for shorter routes with frequent starts and stops.

Drayage Fees:

Drayage fees are charges incurred for drayage services, and they can vary based on factors like distance, container size, weight, and the specific service type. Additional charges may apply for storage, waiting time, chassis split, or fuel surcharges. Understanding these fees is crucial for businesses to manage shipping costs effectively.

Drayage plays an essential role in the smooth functioning of the supply chain, particularly in intermodal transport, by bridging the gap between long-distance transportation modes and local delivery or storage facilities.

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