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.