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.

What services & benefits do you consider when selecting a Los Angeles distribution facility?

What services & benefits do you consider when selecting a Los Angeles distribution facility?

When it comes to selecting the right distribution center in Los Angeles, what are the service requirements that you need to help meet your deadlines? Many companies can store and manage your freight, but partnering with a proven Los Angeles distribution facility that offers specific services & benefits will optimize your supply chain to help deliver goods to your customers on-time and efficiently.


Los Angeles warehousing services & benefits should include:

  • Retail fulfillment- get an expert in retail compliance and routing to manage the complexities of shipping to retailers while mitigating the expensive chargebacks that may occur if routing and shipping guidelines are not followed.
  • Modern technology and transparency- get real-time inventory visibility, and data reports at your fingertips, 24/7.
  • Los Angeles drayage and transloading services combined- get a single provider that can handle your drayage services as well as your transloading and crossdocking requirements close to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports
  • Short term/Long term storage- plan ahead and get flexibility with the flow of your goods and evolving supply chain.


When searching for a California warehousing facility, partner with experts who specialize in storing, tracking, and managing your goods, offering extensive services & benefits to handle dray, warehousing, delivery services, and inventory management capabilities. You need a company that understands the complexities of storing your goods with the expertise and flexibility to be able to customize a solution based on your needs has over two million square feet of prime warehousing space near all the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Oakland, California

What are 5 key factors to consider when identifying the right California Warehouse for your freight requirements?

What are 5 key factors to consider when identifying the right California Warehouse for your freight requirements?

Need to store freight or distribute products in a dependable California warehousing facility? How do you know if the facility is suitable for your needs? Here's a list of 5 key factors you should consider when identifying the right California warehouse for your supply chain requirements.

Size of facility: If you require space to store products like beverages, wood, metal, chemical or heavyweight food products such as large sacks or totes of commodities, raw materials- then you need to search for a facility that has ample square footage along with the ability to store and handle your goods. Not just for the short-term, but the long-term! Search for a California warehouse & distribution center that has the right capacity and storage terms to fit your requirements for various industries

Proximity: Consider the vicinity of the warehousing facility to the major California ports - this helps streamline the entire shipping process, which, in turn, will benefit your customers. This strategy also keeps transportation costs down, whether you're transporting your goods from a manufacturing location or importing goods from the ports Less travel time, less damage, more profitability.

Flexibility: Do you need to distribute your goods locally? Do you need B2B and B2C fulfillment or transloading/cross-docking services? Searching for a warehousing & distribution center in California that has the assets, expertise, and flexibility to execute multiple transportation & logistics services is highly recommended! Why outsource your supply chain requirements to several companies when you can work with one resource, one dedicated account manager, and one company? Most warehousing companies only specialize in storing freight, so research companies that can tackle additional services to meet your deadlines like harbor drayage, local LTL trucking, or importing ocean cargo/freight

Goods-in processes: You might encounter strict deadlines to ensure products get delivered to your customers on-time, and damage-free. Neglecting this crucial process can cause a lot of pressure on your brand reputation. Research a California warehouse facility that has a dedicated account manager and a talented warehousing staff with years of expertise in lot controls, and pick/pack procedures to help streamline or overcome any possible ambiguities throughout the warehousing & distribution process. You shouldn't have to talk to multiple sources if you have questions about your goods, so make sure you are dealing with one subject matter expert when it comes to warehousing & distribution services for your general or customized requirements.


Storage requirements: Do you need to store overweight/heavyweight commodities? Do you need to store organic or food-grade products? Do you want real-time inventory and visibility into the entire storage and distribution process? Search for a California warehousing company with updated and automated technology that can handle and manage these types of storage requirements. For example, identifying a warehousing facility in the overweight corridor with drayage assets for heavyweight freight (transloading/crossdocking) will be beneficial to help control your goods efficiently and effectively

Dependable Supply Chain Services is a full-service logistics provider. Services include trucking (LTL/FTL), warehousing & distribution, harbor drayage, 3PL (third-party logistics), air freight forwarding, ocean freight forwarding, and freight transport to and from Hawaii & Guam. Established in 1950 with a single bobtail truck, we now have five unique integrated divisions that manage each of these services customized specifically for your logistics requirements. These complementary divisions work together to create a seamless total supply chain solution: 

Dependable Supply Chain Services Deploys Orange EV Electric Trucks as First Step Towards Zero-Emission Freight Facility

Dependable Supply Chain Services Deploys Orange EV Electric Trucks as First Step Towards Zero-Emission Freight Facility

Eliminating diesel emissions creates safer, healthier environment for site personnel and surrounding Ontario, California community


KANSAS CITY, MO and ONTARIO, CA, September 24, 2019 - Orange EV and Dependable Supply Chain Services today announced the deployment of Orange EV pure electric terminal trucks (aka yard trucks, hostlers, spotters), the first step in fulfilling the Dependable Highway Express (DHE) plan to transform their Ontario, California facility into a sustainable, energy efficient, emission-free freight terminal.

Launching their transition to a zero-emission facility, DHE replaced two diesel yard trucks with two Orange EV battery electric trucks. DHE, with support from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and additional project partners, will make further investments in electric forklifts, over-the-road electric trucks, and charging infrastructure, all powered with solar energy generated onsite.

“We’d like to thank CARB, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the City of Ontario for their commitment to the advancement of clean technologies and support for projects that realize our common goals,” commented Troy Musgrave, Director of Process Improvement for Dependable Supply Chain Services. “Dependable strives to implement leading-edge green initiatives and has achieved the EPA’s rigorous SmartWay supply chain sustainability standards. Developing an emission-free freight facility, however, will be transformative for our industry and community and wouldn’t be possible without the help of our many dedicated partners.”

Orange EV’s Class 8 electric trucks, commercially deployed since 2015, are more than 400% more energy efficient than their diesel counterparts. At moderate use sites, replacing one diesel yard truck with Orange EV electric trucks can eliminate 80 tons of CO2, along with NOx, particulate matter, and other criteria pollutants. Orange EV’s electric power train is smoother, cooler, quieter, and cleaner, creating driver-friendly work conditions in a safer, more reliable truck. The significant emissions and noise reductions provide immediate benefits for site personnel and the surrounding community.

“True to its vision, Dependable Highway Express once again chose to lead, this time in the move to emission-free technologies – a move that will also lead to tremendous cost savings,” said Mike Saxton, Orange EV Chief Commercial Officer. “Orange EV customers report a much lower total cost of ownership compared to diesel, saving up to $30,000-$60,000 per truck annually in fuel, maintenance, and emissions control alone. Orange EV trucks have proven they do the job while saving money and eliminating the many operational and economic headaches that come with operating diesels.”

DHE leveraged funds from CARB’s Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP) to purchase their Orange EV trucks. Currently, HVIP funds enable Orange EV to provide discounts of up to $165,000 per T-Series electric terminal truck. CARB is in the process of transitioning terminal trucks into its Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE), where, in addition to discounts for these trucks, proposed funding will also include vouchers for charging equipment.

Overall, the HVIP program has driven growth in the ultra-clean trucks market in California, helping to reduce air pollution and cut climate changing gases, especially in communities suffering from high-volume traffic. More than 50 percent of vehicles purchased through the program are operating in communities disproportionately burdened by harmful air pollutants.

HVIP and CORE are part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health — particularly in disadvantaged communities. Projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling and much more. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities.

About Dependable Supply Chain Services and Dependable Highway Express

Dependable Highway Express is a division of Dependable Supply Chain Services, a full-service logistics provider offering trucking (LTL/FTL), warehousing & distribution, harbor drayage, 3PL (third-party logistics), air freight forwarding, ocean freight forwarding, and freight transport to and from Hawaii & Guam. The company’s mission is to continue to earn a reputation for integrity, service and diversity that is unmatched in our industry, i.e. “The Dependable Difference.” Established in 1950 with a single bobtail truck, the firm now has five integrated divisions that manage each of these services customized to customer requirements. These divisions work together to create a seamless total supply chain solution. Dependable Highway Express (DHE) handles LTL & FTL transportation, Harbor Drayage and Intermodal. The other four divisions include Dependable Distribution Centers (DDC), Dependable Logistics Solutions (DLS), Dependable Hawaiian Express (DHX), and Dependable Global Express (DGX). 

About Orange EV

Kansas City based Orange EV is the leading OEM providing industrial fleets with heavy duty electric vehicle solutions that are proven to save money while being safer, more reliable, and preferred by drivers and management alike. Orange EV trucks meet the most rigorous duty cycles and 24x7 shift schedules while eliminating diesel fuel and emissions. Building both new and re-powered terminal trucks working daily across the country, Orange EV was the first and is still the only manufacturer offering 100% electric Class 8 vehicles that have been commercially deployed and re-ordered into container handling operations.

What are 3 key factors to consider when selecting drayage companies in California?

What are 3 key factors to consider when selecting drayage companies in California?

There are many drayage trucking companies to choose from in California, but how do you know you are selecting the right company for your next requirements? Chances are, your needs do not start and end at the ports- you might need other services, including transloading, cross-docking, storage, fulfillment, and local trucking delivery. There are many options to consider, but here are 3 key factors to consider when selecting the ideal drayage company for your supply chain needs.

1. Asset-based drayage company. Many 3PL California companies will claim and promote themselves to be a "one-stop" shop to attract your attention, but what does that mean? Can they also provide local LTL deliveries, warehousing & distribution, ocean & air shipping, if needed? Some companies also lease equipment, including trucks, chassis, and top handlers, to name a few. Research a company that owns its own private trucking fleet, tri-axle chassis, and top handlers to keep drayage fees low. You might require heavyweight/overweight freight solutions, "OTR" transloading, or overflow storage of containers, which can drive costs up once your freight leaves the ports. An asset-based company with dedicated managers assigned to your project will be able to provide more flexible pricing based for your short-term or long-term needs:

2. Dedicated Account Managers. Skip the brokers, consultants, and the multiple phone calls to identify the right drayage company for your requirements; this is time-consuming, you need answers fast from experts. Throughout your drayage moves, you might later discover the need for proper storage of organic foods, cross-docking of your freight, LTL deliveries, or B2B and B2C fulfillment Research a company that has dedicated account managers with years of experience in drayage transport that can provide instant solutions for ALL of your customized requirements.

3. Quick online quotes. Have you ever requested a quote online, but no one returned your call or email? Select a company that makes online quotes fast and easy on their websites: Time is money, and you need answers and solutions FAST!

Dependable drayage service specializes in import/export container drayage to and from all major California ports, intermodal shipping, and transloading. With facilities in the Southern California overweight corridor, we can quickly meet any requirement you have for handling overweight import/export containers. We also have facilities servicing the Port of Oakland. Our asset-based harbor and intermodal transportation 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: