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DrayageWhat is Drayage and When do I Need a Drayage Carrier?

Drayage is a subset of intermodal transportation and an essential component of the logistics industry. It involves the handling of trucks and is primarily concerned with carrying freight over a short distance

This article will discuss everything you need to know about drayage carriers, from drayage charges to chassis, and tri-axle trucks, and why Heavy Weight Transport is the leading cargo transportation service.

What is the history of drayage carriers?

The history of drayage services dates well back before you were born. The term “drayage” originated from “dray,” which is an old vehicle that has an old cart without any sides, and typically driven by horses. Naturally, horses and carriages could not bear the long hauls and stopped after short distances in towns to rest. This mode of transporting goods was used until the beginning of the twentieth century because modern trucks replaced them.

What is the role of drayage carriers in intermodal transportation?

Drayage ocean container

Drayage carriers play a large role in the supply chain. Cargo must be transported quickly and safely to the next shipping dock to ensure that the following operations run smoothly. Proper equipment, such as premium equipment at Heavy Weight Transport, is essential for well-organized load planning and movement.

Heavy Weight Transport transportation

Heavy Weight Transport uses a proprietary Transportation Management System (iTMS) for their trucking operations. Their system allows complete automation of internal processes from load verification and customer service, through tracking and operations. In addition to Heavy Weight Transports top-of-the-line trucking and drayage operational system, their in-house Warehouse management System (WHMS) is directly linked to their iTMS to allow for proper management of transloading inventory without the need to log inventory into storage and distribution software.

What are the types of drayage?

There are several different types of drayage. These include inter-carrier drayage, intra-carrier drayage, door-to-door drayage, expedited drayage, shuttle drayage and pier drayage.

Inter-carrier drayage

Inter-carrier drayage is when units move short distances between different carriers. For example, a truck moves cargo from a terminal to a railyard. This cargo may come from an ocean container, for example. 

Intra-carrier drayage

This type of drayage involves taking freight to two different locations owned by the same carrier. Cargo can be transported from an intermodal hub to a railyard.

Door-to-door drayage

With door-to-door drayage, goods are delivered directly from the sender to the customer over the road.

Expedited drayage

This type of drayage specifically involves time-sensitive cargo that is delivered over the road. Expedited shipments are often smaller shipments or less than truckload (LTL) which may be transported on a smaller truck. 

Shuttle drayage

Shuttle drayage is when an intermodal unit is temporarily taken out to a temporary storage location, like a parking lot, due to overcrowding in its original hub spot. This occurs for both empty and loaded units.

Pier drayage

Pier drayage is when roads and highways are used to transport intermodal units to a dock or pier from a previous rail hub.

How do drayage charges break down?

Drayage charges are confusing, but at its most basic level, it is charged by weight. The standard method is to charge a base fee for 100 pounds of freight. If cargo in a drayage ocean container weighs 119 pounds, for example, you will be charged a rounded up weight of 200 pounds because drayage is charged in 100-pound increments. You can budget and estimate your costs by taking your shipment weight divided by 100. This is then multiplied by the drayage rate. However, this budgeting methodology accounts for the lowest possible costs.

Heavy Weight Transport does not surprise its customers with unexpected drayage charges. Because they have a completely automated system that operates billing and they value transparency and relationships, you will not be surprised by any drayage ocean container or shipment charge.

What is a drayage chassis, tri-axle chassis and tri-axle truck?

Drayage chassis

A drayage chassis is a special trailer or undercarriage that is typically used to carry ocean carriers over land. A chassis is necessary for a shipment traveling by truck. 

Tri-axle chassis

Specifically, a tri-axle chassis is most often used for overweight shipments that travel by truck. Typically, a tri-axle chassis is required for a container that weighs over 44,000 lbs.

Tri-axle truck

A tri-axle truck is also associated with large trucks and heavy equipment. Its name refers to the number of driving axles on the vehicle, excluding the steering axle. The most common tri-axle arrangement involves a tandem drive axle assembly with an air-lift third axle to accommodate greater load weights for road transport. Dump trucks, tow trucks, and trucks that haul heavy loads use a tri-axle design.

How does a chassis work?

A chassis securely attaches to the container, so the container fits well onto the chassis, thereby preventing excess movement. 

Heavy Weight Transport has designed and purchased their own specialized chassis and tractors to give their customers increased cargo weight and decreased volume, helping out shipping costs. They have an edge over other cargo shipping companies because their equipment is not from a shared chassis pool- Shared chassis is a red flag for shippers as the chassis pool doesn’t always have available chassis, or consistent weight, conditions and configurability. These factors can affect the charges and quality.

How do I reduce drayage charges?

There are a number of ways that you can reduce charges, of which includes ensuring efficient shipping on site, packaging, trimming freight weight, and understanding that time is money.

Paying attention to packaging

On average, drayage costs $80-$100 per 100 pounds in the US. However, these costs are based on the fact that packages don’t require additional specialized handling (i.e. not label as fragile). To avoid accruing additional charges, shippers should pack goods in crates or other protective materials. Goods need to be palletized to reduce handling charges. While uncommon, hand loading of freight can cause additional charges as it extends the amount of time a driver is waiting before getting on the road. 

Understanding that time is money

There are other components that increase charges, such as ocean container time at the port. Additional time increases your bill- A charge that no one wants.

Why Heavy Weight Transport is the right choice

Heavy Weight Transport provides lower charges along with more fuel-efficient transport. Drayage is utilized for shipping goods, and this form of intermodal transportation thrives off eCommerce, which has boomed since the pandemic and continues to provide more possibilities instead of in-store purchasing. Companies have even turned to specific web development and enhanced user experiences to increase the rate of eCommerce spending, and therefore, more purchases and more shipments.

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