The part of ocean freight transportation known as dray loads, in its simplest form, refers to the movement of freight from an ocean port to an inland destination. These moves often fall within 50 miles or less of the port. The focus for drayage services involves taking containers to rail yards or onto trucks for transportation to local distribution hubs and warehouses. There, the containers are unloaded, sorted, segmented, and routed to the next leg of the trip to their final destination. When shippers work with expert carriers who bring familiarity and proficiency to the craft, the entire process from start to finish becomes much more streamlined and profitable.
Challenges of Drayage
Drayage is not a new concept in logistics. As noted by Marine Insight, “The drayage industry is a multi-billion dollars industry. At the same time, it faces many challenges such as congestion in marine terminals that result in long turn-around times for drayage trucks, shortage of equipment, and sometimes a shortage of empty containers.” With that in mind, there are dozens of potential challenges that dominate the drayage transportation segment of the modern supply chain. Rather than getting into that list, here are a few of the most pressing and impactful:
- Visibility of dray loads – Without good end-to-end visibility into current locations for containers, shippers cannot plan inventory or optimize warehouse personnel, which can result in delays and order mishaps.
- Clearing customs – Crossing any international borders, including entering ocean ports, requires special customs clearance. Poor drayage management can cause delays with loading and unload vessels at the docks.
- Delays caused by reshuffling – When containers are loaded or unloaded, a certain degree of reshuffling and organizing is needed. Poor planning can make this much more complicated than is necessary.
- Carrier capacity issues – While capacity stays tight everywhere, ocean freight is most impacted. The lack of capacity to pick up container shipments creates a problem for the global shipping community.
An Expert Carrier in Dray Loads Understands How to Play the Shipping Container Market
The COVID pandemic has led many supply chain professionals to take a discerning look at several aspects of international trade, including shipping and transportation services. An expert carrier understands dray load organization specifics and can navigate the container market while maintaining security, capacity, and meeting a shipper’s needs. Drayage operators must find ways to manage their operations more efficiently, maintain profitability, and keep drayage drivers and port personnel satisfied. Transportation service managers and supply chain logistics directors need to cast critical eyes on ocean freight transportation, port operations, and dock management practices. Playing the shipping game with ocean freight containers and warehouse management requires expert insight from a professional and experienced network of carriers.
Added Benefits of Drayage Expertise
Managing dray loads with the help and guidance of skilled and experienced carriers brings many benefits to local shippers and transportation managers. No real price tag can be placed on the value these benefits bring, but shippers can enjoy the following when strong carrier relations are maintained:
- Faster turnaround time when loading and unloading containers.
- Access to more capacity and a broader carrier network base.
- Expertise in managing and booking dray loads.
- Fewer issues with loading, unloading, deliveries, invoices, and record keeping.
- Better performance overall and a higher level of completed deliveries.
- Better customer service and stronger brand recall and loyalty.
- Improved work satisfaction level among team members.
- Increased profits due to faster and more successful on-time deliveries.
While the distances involved with drayage transportation are comparatively short, the logistics of moving, organizing, tracking, and transporting millions of maritime containers in and out of ports brings a unique set of challenges that expert carriers can help address. These benefits enable faster and more streamlined scheduling, transportation, organization, and delivery when it comes to customizing solutions to meet a company’s needs. And part of building those benefits and stronger relationships comes from choosing a brokerage or 3PL with extensive experience in drayage, like Port City Logistics.
Leverage the Right Partner With Dray Loads Expertise by Partnering With Port City Logistics
Maximizing efficiency and boosting overall profits within drayage transportation necessitates strong collaboration and partnerships with skilled and experienced carriers. Managing dray loads takes skills and insights that come from professional partnerships with experienced service providers. Tap into the benefits of drayage expertise today by connecting with Port City Logistics