A global supply chain is only as strong as the weakest link. During a long transport, goods might go from a cargo ship to a freight train to a flatbed to a warehouse. Along the way it’s the drayage drivers that help keep product moving and on time between transport modes.
What Does Drayage Mean?
The term drayage simply means the movement of goods over a short distance. It’s most commonly used as an intermediary step in a larger supply chain. So, if a shipping container just arrived at the port and needs to be hauled to a freight train 15 miles away or a warehouse 50 miles away, it’s what’s used in order to ensure it gets from the port to its next stop on time.
Drayage is a critical link in any supply chain and when working with a 3rd party logistics provider, keep in mind that not all drayage services are created equal. Things to consider when choosing a provider:
When your goods are moving long distances and across several different modes of transport, it’s important to be able to track them digitally. Make sure that any logistics provider you’re considering uses the latest EDI technology to ensure the safe transport of your products and seamless communication between everyone involved.
Option for Dedicated Service
Drayage services can be shared, meaning that the same drayage driver that picks up your goods can also be hauling several other customers’ products. While there’s nothing wrong with shared drayage, it can mean longer delivery times due to frequent stops, possible mix-ups with cargo, and incorrect deliveries.
Some businesses prefer to have a dedicated drayage provider, meaning that the drayage driver is only picking up and delivering their goods. This of course would eliminate the need for multiple stops and the concerns about incorrectly delivered goods. Any logistics provider you’re considering needs to be flexible in their ability to provide dedicated and/or shared drayage services as your needs change.
Not Just for Inter-Modal Supply Chains
While drayage is most commonly used as an intermediary in a longer supply chain, sometimes you just need your goods moved over short distances like shifting inventory from one warehouse to another, transporting goods from a production facility to a nearby warehouse or delivering goods to a nearby partner’s facility.
Make sure that the service provider you decide to do business with is capable of handling not just long term, long distance transports but also the short term, short distance transports you may need. Your business needs can be unpredictable. When selecting a logistics provider you want to make sure that they can handle your growth, your surprise needs and are capable of being flexible and creative when providing you with solutions.