Drayage: What is it and why is it needed?

When Trinity Logistics first opened its doors in 1979 as Trinity Transport, the small family-owned company specialized in the arrangement of truckload freight. In the last decade, Trinity has expanded its focus into the arrangement of more specialty services, designing solutions that don’t necessarily fit within the cookie cutter of ordinary freight arrangement. One of those services is drayage, which is typically needed with shipments where freight is coming into a port or being transported via intermodal, or rail.

Drayage is most commonly known as the act of pulling containers out of a rail yard or ocean port and either loading them or unloading them before returning the container to the port or rail yard, typically over short distances. With drayage, an empty or full container can be mounted on chassis, or a flatbed, to be delivered either from your door to the port or rail yard or from the port or rail yard to your front door. Drayage is an important part of the shipment and transportation of products to and from different modes of transportation.

The term “drayage” comes from “dray,” meaning a horse-drawn cart with low sides, used to transport goods a short distance. Eventually, the horse-drawn carts were replaced by trucks, but even today drayage refers to short distances between multiple modes. Drayage moves continue to prove highly valuable in keeping freight moving without interruptions. The upward trend in globalized trade has increased imports and exports that are shipped via ocean, drawing attention to the need for drayage services.

Most people in Logistics think of drayage as it relates to intermodal or containers on a ship, but here are two other drayage services you may not have considered: shipment to shopping malls and trade shows. For many shopping malls, there may be a centralized loading dock or drayage area where receivers pick up from in order to limit congestion at the mall itself. If you exhibit at trade shows, you are probably familiar with paying bills for trade show drayage. Whether you ship directly to the show site or to a show warehouse, every company’s exhibit needs to get from the loading dock to its respective spot on the show floor. Imagine the traffic jam if that were left entirely up to the individual companies to retrieve their crates from the loading docks! Many trade shows employ outside services who provide drayage, delivering crates to each company’s designated exhibit space, and back to the loading dock after the show is complete.

We can arrange pickup and/or delivery in advance, on a tight turnaround for port cut, or to get your freight out before the Last Free Day. Our Logistics Team is trained in drayage and can help you avoid any necessary fees to keep your freight moving.

Think you could benefit from the arrangement of drayage services? Give us a call today!

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