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 factors do you consider when choosing a drayage company?

What factors do you consider when choosing a drayage company?

There are many factors to consider when choosing and searching for a trustworthy drayage company online: years of experience, size of the company, and more importantly, overall excellent service. Although these are common factors when researching drayage companies on the web, other factors/questions to consider should also include: Other than drayage services, do they provide strategic solutions based on our supply chain needs? Do they have dedicated managers/experts who we can contact anytime during the process?  Can they offer other services/solutions for our customized requirements if needed? Let's take a more in-depth look into these factors. 


Drayage solutions: you need a transportation and logistics company that offers solutions based on your specific needs. Services is one thing, but a dependable company will provide solutions based on your customized projects including handling heavyweight/oversized freight requirements within the overweight corridor, transloading freight to avoid equipment storage and/or demurrage charges, providing warehousing or cross-docking solutions to store and move freight to meet deadlines: Most companies discover that they need more than just drayage services, and a company who possesses assets and experts within the industry will give customers more peace of mind that their freight is being handled professionally in case other needs arise throughout the process. 


Dedicated managers: you need an experienced manager to oversee your supply chain requirements- one contact person, one subject matter expert. Many companies will have a multitude of personnel managing your requirements; sometimes, you are "on hold" waiting to discover where your shipments are, how they are being handled, etc. When you work with one dependable drayage company, you should have a centralized contact who is communicating with you throughout the entire process, whether it be via phone or email. These managers should be able to strategize and provide solutions to their customers based on their unique projects. After all, this is your precious freight; answers should be available to the customer whenever possible!


Enterprise services: you need a drayage company that also offers a variety of services to help achieve your business goals. After communicating with a drayage manager, you might discover that you also need local LTL delivery services, warehouse storage for your organic goods, or ocean freight forwarding services- wouldn't it be easier to work with one company that can provide ALL of these services and solutions quickly and professionally? This strategy saves time and money while eliminating numerous calls and emails to other companies requesting information about their services. Having one dedicated manager, one company, and one solution is the key to optimizing your entire supply chain-learn more

Selecting a Drayage Provider in California

Selecting a Drayage Provider in California

When selecting a drayage services provider in California for your requirements, you need to search for asset-based intermodal trucking companies who are port-centric and who have extensive experience in multiple-hub cargo moves and intermodal transportation. Key benefits to be mindful of when researching providers online should also include identifying (Nothern/Southern California) facilities close to major ports that are customs bonded, and fully insured with the options of having dedicated account representatives to assist with handling your standard/complex requirements. 


These key components when selecting the right drayage services provider are essential for your company to save costs and to help ensure peace of mind that your freight is handled professionally from beginning to end. Shipping and transporting freight is not always a straight line when it comes to your supply chain requirements- you need experts to help manage and customize solutions based on your needs. Here is a list of other service benefits you should consider when selecting the right drayage services provider:


Transloading: search for an over-the-road ("OTR") transloading provider that has years of experience in transporting and shipping goods internationally from one inland point to another. This service can also help you avoid equipment storage and/or demurrage charges. 


Cross-docking: search for a provider that has local warehousing and distribution facilities close to all major ports that also specializes in logistics procedures where products from a supplier or manufacturing plant are distributed directly to a customer or retail chain.


Intermodal transportation: search for a company that owns equipment including trucks, trailers, and chassis that also has experience in complicated container moves utilizing rail, ship, and intermodal trucking. Finding a provider that specializes in domestic rail service to all major railyards is an added benefit as well.


Dependable's 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.


Learn more about DHE's Harbor Drayage/Intermodal services today!


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.