Why Drayage Is Part of the Shipping Industry

Why Drayage Is Part of the Shipping Industry

February 5, 2021

Most consumers don’t realize this, but drayage is what helps carry merchandise from the other side of the world right to their doorstep in North Charleston, SC. Whether businesses need hazmat hauling or a retail store delivery, drayage trucks can do it all. Here’s a quick rundown that explains what drayage is and why it’s an indispensable part of the shipping industry.

A brief history

Drayage has been around since before the Industrial Revolution. Centuries ago, this service was invented when horses carried heavy loads on dray carts. The freight was so heavy that the horses could only travel a short distance. Horses pulled dray carts in between two different modes of transportation, often working alongside water canals and railroad tracks.

Nowadays, drayage services look much different. It’s the same concept, but with trucks instead of horses. Goods are still transported by sea and rail, but companies now also have aircraft and long-distance truck routes at their disposal. Advancements in technology have optimized the shipping process and made it possible for drivers to be part of more complex supply chains like refrigerated goods, international trade and hazmat hauling.

Multimodal transport

Drayage is a crucial link in multimodal transport. To put it simply, multimodal transport is when freight travels to its final destination with the combined efforts of cargo ships, trucks, rail cars and sometimes even airplanes. Once a ship arrives in the ocean port, cargo needs help from a drayage truck to make its way onto the designated rail car. A drayage truck is always necessary to cover those few short miles in between different forms of transportation.

This step in the shipping process happens behind the scenes and often gets overlooked by the general consumer. Regardless, merchandise would never reach its final destination in North Charleston, SC if it weren’t for drayage trucks that sometimes cover as little as several hundred feet just so freight can get from port to warehouse.

Types of drayage

Drayage comes in many different forms, depending on the start and end points of the truck. For instance, pier drayage involves transporting goods to a ship’s loading dock. Shuttle drayage is necessary when docks become too full, carrying freight to auxiliary warehouses for temporary storage. Any form of drayage can be expedited whenever cargo is needed right away.

Inter-carrier drayage is the simplest method to understand. It involves hauling cargo from rail to sea, airplane to rail, sea to warehouse and so on. This form of transportation is not to be confused with intra-carrier drayage. In this case, truck drivers haul freight in between hubs that are both owned by the same carrier in North Charleston, SC. Hazmat hauling typically utilizes one of these methods, while retail products are delivered to the consumer’s home with door-to-door drayage.

As you can see, hauling goods is impossible without the help of drayage. The next step is to find a sturdy, reliable truck that will go the extra mile. No matter where you need to go, get there with the drayage services available at All Points Transport. Our trucks are equipped to haul containers between every stage of the multimodal transport process.

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