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Drayage Rates: What You Need to Know

Shippers and other active participants in daily logistics operations have a vested interest in drayage and its specific details. When you need to ship different types of products regularly, aspects such as the associated fees and options for shipping and travel are important. These shipping and travel aspects can affect the operations, financials, and ultimate business success of various involved parties in a number of ways. In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about drayage rates, including what a dray carrier is and how they operate, where current drayage rates stand, and what drayage fees can include so you can make the most beneficial decisions.

warehouse distribution trucking

What Is a Dray Carrier?

Drayage itself is the specialty logistics service involving the short-distance transportation of goods most often to and from ports, warehouses, and railways. For example, the trucks you can frequently see traveling along a highway with shipping containers are drayage trucks and the driver or operator of these and other transportation vehicles are dray carriers. Dray carriers provide this service of motor vehicle transportation as a contract, common, or private carrier. These operators may also participate in the transportation of freight by civil aircraft. As a short-distance form of transportation, a carrier can be part of a range of movement activities.

Dray carriers provide an invaluable and highly varied job for global logistics, and act as an essential part of the supply chain. In the United States, vessels carry 53% of imports and 38% of exports by respective value. Drayage shipping effectively makes up a larger portion of shipping than any other method. When any type of freight enters or leaves the United States, it needs to reach the port from whence it will ship. Drayage is arguably the best option to ship freight across the US, and being a dray carrier is a highly worthwhile career opportunity open to anyone willing to participate in some initial and straightforward training and licensing processes.

Heavy Weight truck

Drayage Rates

Even though drayage is the shortest portion of a particular shipment’s journey, drayage rates are an important consideration for shippers and more. It’s essential to know some of the basics of drayage rates and their calculation. These transportation rates consist of a base fee. This base fee is determined by the handling that is necessary and the weight of the batch of freight, in addition to some other factors. Other factors considered when determining the base fee are toll costs, accessorial fees, driver detention, and various equipment costs. While drayage rates are an unavoidable part of shipping processes, there are a few ways you can reduce these costs.

As drayage rates consist largely of the type of packaging, the weight of the shipment, the distance from the freight’s origin to its destination, and the freight’s transportability (potential for movement by pallet jacks, forklifts, and more), there are methods for decreasing costs. Some top methods for decreasing your drayage rates include shipment consolidation, mindful packaging, efficient shipping, mixed load shipment separation, and consistent documentation.

Shipment Consolidation

Drayage rate calculation centers on the hundredweight of freight. If you combine various pieces that individually round to the next hundred pounds into single freight pieces, you may aptly lower the full hundredweight, or CWT, of a given shipment. Numerous carriers also require a 200-pound minimum for goods. Consolidating freight shipments can help you avoid extra charges.

Mindful Packaging

You can be charged a different rate depending on the specific packing of the freight you’re moving. For example, floor-loaded crates frequently require some of the lowest drayage rates, while pallets tend to run at a slightly more expensive rate. Freight requiring special handling and fragile items cost the most. When packing freight, it helps to consider your shipping containers.

Efficient Shipping

You can also cut down on drayage costs by shipping in as few batches as you are able and by having increased flexibility toward drop-off and pick-up dates. If you are able to unload or load all your freight at singular times, it can effectively save you from having to pay for additional trips. It can also help to work with your dray carrier to find ideal days to unload and load goods.

Shipment Separation

Depending on the kind of goods you’re shipping, it can save to ship mixed loads on their own. The drayage rate may vary depending on how goods are packaged or whether loads require specific handling. Consider separating shipments for value, including mixed loads, such as crate freight mixed with other freight requiring specific handling that each run at different rates.

Consistent Documentation

Beneficial in regards to drayage rates as in other aspects of life, consistent and full documentation and photos of shipments enable you to have evidence to back up any potential claims that may arise if there are any issues or something goes awry in shipment activities. Consistent and full documentation and photos can also protect and defend you against any erroneous charges.

Drayage Fees

Levied for various freight movements across short distances, drayage fees effectively prepare shipments for their next stage in the journey to deliver them to their final destination. There are various drayage fees you can encounter, including pre-pull fees, chassis-split fees, and drop fees. You can encounter these fees along with detention and demurrage fees, drastically increasing the costs of your shipments. As an essential aspect of global shipping and logistics, drayage comes with some specific and varied costs you can encounter given your specific participation in its activities. However, by performing certain behaviors to cut down and decrease costs, you can effectively save time and money for your shipping efforts. With Heavy Weight Transport, you can save on drayage fees with overweight shipping and more.

drayage solutions

Save on Drayage Rates With Heavy Weight Transport

Drayage rates are an important consideration for various shipping activities, and you can save on these rates with adaptation and mindfulness toward your specific shipments. To save on your drayage rates today, contact Heavy Weight Transport.