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DrayageTruckingHow to Choose a Drayage Carrier

How to Choose a Drayage Carrier

Whether you are aware of it or not, drayage is one of the most important aspects of the transportation cycle. Drayage makes the shipping of freight much simpler and cost effective. This article will tell you how to choose a drayage carrier for your business. We will discuss what a drayage carrier is, what an asset-based drayage carrier is, discuss drayage carrier reputations, and whether or not you should use brokers. Understanding how the drayage system works is an integral part of helping you make a decision when it comes to drayage carriers. For help choosing the right drayage carrier for you, contact us at Heavy Weight Transport today! 

What is Drayage? 

Before we get into how to choose a drayage carrier, first let’s define drayage. Drayage is a term used to describe a portion of intermodal shipping. It is the part of shipping in which trucks will haul cargo that has arrived, usually via ship or train, and move it to another location. Drayage is commonly confused with cartage, which is trucking for LTL shipments. 

Perhaps you have not spent much time time thinking about the logistics of how your products move from their point of origin, to the long haul train, plane, or ship, and then to the customer. However, drayage is an important part of the shipping process. Though there is little data available to show the importance of drayage services, there is no doubt that drayage has a profound effect on the intermodal transportation industry.

The only way your freight can make it from the port or rail to the next mode of transportation is drayage. It ensures that your company’s products remain on-time in the delivery process to their final destination. 

What is a Drayage Carrier? 

Now, what is a drayage carrier? A drayage carrier is a trucking company that specializes in providing drayage services. Drayage carriers are different from brokers in that they often own all the trucks and other equipment necessary for moving your freight. A broker is simply an intermediary between a company who needs their freight moved and owners of drayage trucks. If you choose a drayage carrier to move your products, you will be working with someone who owns and operates their trucks. This is why choosing your drayage carrier is a major decision for your business. 

Here are a few questions to ask the drayage carriers you are considering: 

  • How does your company charge for drayage and figure out rates? 
  • Does your company allow us to track your shipments? 
  • Is there an additional fee for storing empty crates or cartons? 
  • What is your timeline of our delivery from start to finish? 
  • When is delivery to space scheduled? 

What is an Asset-Based Drayage Carrier?

Next, you need to know about asset-based drayage carriers. Asset-based drayage carriers, like Heavy Weight Transport, have their own trucks and chassis so they can align their equipment with your shipments and your needs. When you choose an asset-based drayage carrier, you can be confident that they already have the equipment needed to handle the transport of your products. In a tight-capacity market like drayage, this is important. There are only so many trucks available for drayage at a given time. A drayage carrier can give you peace of mind knowing that they have the equipment you need at all times for your schedule. Some people turn to brokers trying to find additional capacity. However, that is a risky idea. If you are looking for a reliable solution, then asset based carriers are the best option. 

Tips for Choosing a Drayage Carrier with a Good Reputation 

It is important to choose a drayage carrier with a good reputation. When you are trusting someone with transporting your products, you need to know you are putting them in the right hands. Here are some tips to help you choose the right drayage carrier for your business: 



A good drayage carrier will have a reputation for being flexible and versatile in what they offer. The right drayage company is equipped to meet your needs. Everyone knows that things change frequently in the transportation industry. You want to make sure that you are working with a reliable and versatile carrier that can adapt with the needs of the customer. 

Excellent Customer Service

A good drayage company will already have an excellent reputation and provide excellent service to their customers. At Heavy Weight Transport, our word is our bond. We have been in business for nearly 20 years providing excellent customer service at our locations across the country. 


An excellent drayage carrier will have expertise in their field. The benefit of a drayage company that owns its own equipment is unrivaled. Drayage companies that have been in business for a long time have a lot of experience, which is not to be overlooked when choosing a drayage carrier. 

Competitive Prices

Though pricing shouldn’t be the most important or the deciding factor when choosing a drayage carrier, it is still important to consider a company’s prices when making your decision. The most successful and trustworthy drayage companies don’t overcharge their clients, but they probably aren’t the cheapest available, either. We all can tell stories though about using a cheap carrier to save a few bucks and then having major headaches after they screwed up. You often get what you pay for in freight. 

Consistent Scheduling

An experienced drayage company will be able to handle your schedules, no matter what the time frame is. The drayage carrier you choose should be able to adhere to your schedule and never drop the ball (or whatever it is you’re transporting) and meet your deadlines. 

If you look for a drayage carrier that has all five of these characteristics, you will have no problem finding the perfect drayage carrier to fit your company’s needs. 

Should You Use Brokers for Drayage?

It is not recommended that you use a broker for drayage services. While a broker may seem like a cheaper option than a drayage carrier, a broker does not own the equipment that will be used to transport your products. On the other hand, a drayage carrier like Heavy Weight Transport owns all the trucks and other relevant equipment necessary to move your products safely, easily, and on time. When you use a carrier, you can be confident that your goods are safely in their hands and trucks. There are no such guarantees if you decide to use a broker rather than a carrier. You should not settle for second-rate transportation when it comes to your business. 

Choose Heavy Weight Transport as your Drayage Carrier

If you are looking for a new drayage carrier with which to trust your products, look no further than Heavy Weight Transport. We provide exceptional and ethical service in drayage. Contact us today!

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