What is Drayage and Why is it Important in the Shipping Industry Today?

What is Drayage and Why is it Important in the Shipping Industry Today?

The process of getting one product to its final destination involves multiple types of transportation and the opportunity for errors and mishaps along the way. Although many types of merchandise and materials may spend a lot of time aboard a ship, land-based logistics and transport are some of the more complicated in the entire chain. Drayage services may not incorporate a lot of mileage in all cases, but they are the essential start of the entire freight shipping system.

What Is Drayage?

In the freight transportation industry, the concept of drayage comes with multiple definitions. It began back in the horse and wagon days. A dray was a type of wagon used to move products short distances from one town to the next. Today, the same process is done with tractor-trailers and trains.

Some consider drayage as the entire system that fetches the freight from an ocean shipping port and brings it all the way to its destination. Others see it as only the first link in the chain that involves picking up the goods from the shipyard and trucking them to the first logistics center. Drayage can also occur between shipping ports. Then, they can be put on a train, another truck, or some other type of conveyance.

Drayage services can include:

  • Pick up and transloading from shipping ports
  • Time-sensitive coordination
  • Customs management
  • Overflow warehousing
  • Routing to retail destinations
  • Continuous updates and communication at every turn

Drayage can include multiple steps, so a company that performs these transport duties may not visit or pick up from any ports at all. Some may only work with the container holding trucks that bring goods from one logistics center or warehouse to another.

Complexities With the Drayage System

The more moving parts in any machine, the higher the chance of error and unexpected events. Many pieces of freight are passed from one vehicle to another and sometimes one company to another during the entire transportation system. Each of these drayage services may experience delays or other issues that affect the process. This requires the use of only respected and reliable
drayage companies in Los Angeles for all of your west coast shipping needs.

Drayage Services Go High Tech

The days of checking paper manifests and inventory sheets are over. Like every other aspect of the transportation and logistics industries, drayage has adopted high-tech methods of tracking freight, maintaining schedules, and serving clients in all manners of business. The changes that are digitalized in the global economy and international business have infiltrated every aspect of handling merchandise or materials.

The innovative ways that drayage companies in Los Angeles now operate focus on three primary things: logistics, freight tracking for security, and client services. Things like market data collection also influence these companies' advertising methods and finances, but those are internal matters but usually of interest to the companies in need of drayage services.

Logistics – Coordinating vehicles, routes, and times allows it drayage company to provide exceptional service without delay. By digitizing this process entirely, everyone from the truck driver to the administrative assistant in the office knows exactly what's going on at every moment.

Freight Tracking – Although often integrated fully with the logistics aspect of drayage and freight shipping, tracking actual containers, inventory, and vehicles using onboard GPS allows for greater security and efficiency of the entire process.

Client Services – Data collection and storage, customer or client communications, marketing, and more are all handled using bespoke programs these days. Mobile communication and online access define modern drayage services.

The end goals of all of these high-tech advancements involve efficiency, accuracy, and security. The Freight containers get to their end destination more quickly with a highly reduced risk, and the stakeholders in the process remain informed every step of the way.

Changing Rates for Drayage Companies in Los Angeles

As essential as drayage services are for California and the entire country, the industry itself continues to experience fluctuations in rates due to several factors. As with any type of transportation, the main issues that make prices go up and down include fuel charges, costs of maintaining vehicles and necessary systems, warehouse space rent prices, labor income rates, and government regulations. In the past few years, many of these things have changed considerably. In general, distances traveled have gotten shorter, as more facilities and transport options arise.

More substantial economic factors like the demand for freight from certain countries and even retail spending habits all factor into the overall cost configuration of drayage. Currently, over $200 billion worth of products and materials go through this transportation process every year in the United States. High demand for both transport and warehousing can lead to an excess of options. Cost is just one of the factors you should consider before making your final decision about which drayage services to contract with.

To get the best possible quote from drayage companies in Los Angeles, you need to weigh the cost versus value. Going with the cheapest option will not always give you the best possible deal in the end. With the overall importance of these services, and the considerable possibility of error and delay, which both end up costing you more money, the last thing you want to do is trust freight to a company without the ability to get the job done right.

Drayage services remain an integral part of transporting any product or material to the warehouse, logistics center, shop, or shelf. As a manufacturer, importer, or retailer, you need assurances that every step along the way will operate as expected in a timely, secure, and legal fashion. When it comes to choosing from the multiple drayage companies in Los Angeles, we offer something extra. With a strong presence in the Southern California corridor and all major California ports,
Go Dependable
is ready to serve your drayage, transloading, and transportation needs.

Drayage & Intermodal Services

Drayage & Intermodal Services

Why Your Business Needs Drayage Services

The words drayage and intermodal drayage may not be familiar to you, but these services are responsible for a large number of goods you use, buy, eat and even wear daily. Drayage is an essential link in the safe and secure transport of goods from one point to another, usually for short distances. On the other hand, intermodal freight transport is the method of transportation of goods in an intermodal or shipping container. With intermodal freight containers, large amounts of goods may be transported through long distances in the most efficient manner. 


Drayage is shipping freight in a short distance while intermodal freight is for long distances. Businesses big and small use these services to take their products from the manufacturing plant to where their customers are located. Without quality drayage and intermodal freight services, meeting deadlines for the movement of goods and services to your customers will impact your bottom line. If your business ships goods, you must use a dependable and efficient drayage company with years of experience and proven service. 


How do you find the ideal drayage service that’s right for your business?  Here are some factors to consider:


•    Proximity to rail yards and ports

Is the drayage company you want to use near rail yards and ports? Does the rail yard or port run 24 hours? This is important because a port that works 24 hours coupled with a company that can transport goods all day would be able to ship your products faster and more efficiently as well.

•    Drayage company with local assets

A company that resides close to the ports and has local assets will surely have the insight into what goes on in the local market. 

•    Equipment condition

Drayage companies with old and worn out equipment may find it hard to fulfill their obligations to your company. These could suffer from equipment failure and repairs that will only cost you valuable time. Always look for a company with new, working or quality equipment (trucks, refrigeration equipment, forklifts, etc.) to ensure the safety and quality of your goods as well. 

•    Experienced drivers

Drivers should be experienced with local routes and are trained to handle large equipment and new monitoring equipment.

•    Flexible shifts, flexible service

Do you know that you can save on shipping when you ship during the off-hours? A company with this flexible service/schedule is rare but is something that you must include when you make your decision.

•    Check for regulations and compliance

Check the company’s compliance with local regulations on shipping. Usually, this is communicated on the drayage service website. 


With facilities in the Southern California overweight corridor, Dependable Supply Chain Services can quickly meet any requirement you have for handling overweight import/export containers. Our asset-based harbor and intermodal division handle all nationwide drayage moves for containers coming from or going to West Coast seaports. In addition to container drayage, we specialize in complex multiple-hub cargo moves through multimodal transportation strategies with complete warehousing and distribution services via our warehousing division.

Overweight Container Drayage

Overweight Container Drayage

Overweight Container Drayage 

By direct definition, drayage refers to the activity of transporting goods short distances. But in the context of the shipping industry, drayage refers to the intermodal transport of overweight cargo installed in heavy containers. Typical modes are port to port (also known as Port Drayage) or from port to rail yard on its way to further the transportation of goods. There are many things to consider and accomplish to successfully transact overweight container drayage. Supply chain service companies usually provide such features and services to ensure your goods get delivered on time and efficiently. This is efficiently performed in partnership with container trucking companies that offer professional drayage services. 

In hiring such companies for your container drayage needs, you will be able to experience the following benefits and solutions:

  • Prompt delivery order confirmation and acknowledgment
  • Real-time updates on status and availability
  • Custom made reporting to suit your requirements
  • Continuous work to expedite release of shipments
  • Consistent help with transacting appropriate fees, customs concerns and other particular equipment challenges
  • Prompt appointment and scheduling coordination
  • On-time pickup and delivery of all containers/cargo
  • Paperless invoicing
  • Streamlined warehouse management system
  • Long term / short term overflow storage options with flexible pricing options
  • Retail routing compliance, barcoding and labeling for accurate traceability
  • Storage rack and bulk options
  • Prompt consolidation
  • Streamlined sorting (i.e., SKU, lot management, FIFO system)
  • Cross-docking

In addition to all of the above, hiring a drayage services provider not only brings streamlined overweight container transport and eventual delivery, but it also provides peace of mind because you are truly confident that your goods will get to where they need to be with ease. This will then provide a positive business approach due to continuous and consistent quality goods transport transactions. The next time you require prompt transport of your bulk goods, you must consider hiring a proven company that specializes in overweight container drayage services.

Harbor Drayage

Harbor Drayage

Drayage is the time-honored tradition of transporting goods from the port to its respective destinations. If you are in the import and export business, you need Dependable Harbor Drayage to ship your goods from the California Ports to a distribution area and deliver these goods to their respective destination fast. You need a strategic partner in Transportation & Logistics that can provide drayage services expertise in import and export container drayage - managing your goods to and from the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland Ports promptly with extensive experience in cargo handling who also has updated equipment to handle large/heavyweight shipments.

In the business of harbor drayage, the key element is location. A dependable drayage service provides not just efficient transport of your shipments from the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland but cost effective drayage solutions through facilities near the overweight corridor. This process provides you the advantage of fast access to inventory shipment and less travel time from the California Ports to your distribution area - more goods can be delivered to your destination point. A harbor drayage service provider with facilities in the overweight corridor cuts down the cost of shipping as fees are based on containers, not by weight. Having a partner with local facilities in the overweight corridor helps in the efficient distribution of your goods and cuts down on overall shipment costs.

You need a logistics partner that complies with current EPA standards. The Environmental Protection Agency studied the pollutants in and around ports pointing to the direction trucks and equipment including tractors. The upsurge in globalized trading, increasing import and export shipments pose an environmental threat, decreasing air quality in the area. Transportation and logistics enterprises are mandated to comply with these requirements or risk discontinuing operations. A harbor drayage service must be EPA compliant to ensure continuous operations and that your shipment is delivered and distributed on time. You need a drayage service partner that is way ahead of the environmental curve to give you efficient service.

Partner with Dependable Harbor Drayage services for your import and export requirements. Dependable Harbor Drayage provides overweight corridor facilities for easy inventory access and timely distribution at a competitive cost. Visit their website now and discover your shipment, drayage, and warehousing options: