What is Drayage? Learn More About Short-Distance Transport

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At Iraheta Bros, we offer a wide range of services related to transporting freight goods safely and securely. However, the foundation of our business is drayage. Without a doubt, drayage will always be a major part of our operations.

If you’re not very familiar with the concept of drayage in general, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a closer look at this key part of the much larger transport, shipping, and logistics process.

What is Drayage? Definitions and The Basics

We specialize in container drayage near the Port of Oakland and short-haul transport of goods. But, what exactly is drayage? Simply defined, it’s the transport of shipping containers and cargo to and from sea ports. However, drayage companies do so much more.

The term is frequently, and even sometimes misused applied to intermodal freight and shipping containers moved to or from a port. That’s the type of drayage we focus on in our daily operations. We also haul trucking containers to shippers across California and offer state-of-the-art, full-service, food-grade warehousing. We have have deep expertise with this ocean port and with food-grade refrigerated and frozen containers supports the needs of our clients.

How short might that distance of transport be? Drayage includes logistics companies and others moving goods within a single (although very large) building, such as a convention center.

Different types of drayage can also cover somewhat long distances. However, the limits are always within the same urban or metropolitan area.

Your drayage needs might involve bringing an intermodal container from a ship at the Port of Oakland to our food-grade, temperature-controlled warehousing facility, for example. That’s a seven-mile trip within the same urban or metro area, short enough to clearly be drayage.

Drayage can move goods toward a port from a warehouse or manufacturer, or the opposite. Any kind of short-distance transportation involving goods can qualify as drayage. Some definitions or practical applications of the term may require or assume that a port is involved.

One more foundational concept to keep in mind: Drayage is nearly always one important part of a larger logistics operation or intermodal transportation strategy.

Many modes of transportation are needed to bring import and export goods from their origin point to their final destination. Drayage represents a crucial change point, moving a shipping container or other freight from one mode of transport to another, or to a warehouse or other holding facility.

What is Drayage? Related Uses of this Term

Drayage is also used to refer to the line item on a bill for short-haul transportation. It’s good to keep this distinction in mind when discussing costs related to drayage services, since both can be called by the same name.

With some of the most basic information on the table, let’s run through some related drayage questions. Keep reading to learn more about different aspects and types of drayage.

What is Drayage: Answers to Common Drayage Questions

Where Does the Word “Drayage” Come From?

With a clear definition of drayage in mind, it’s somewhat easier to understand the term’s origins.

A dray is a specific type of cart or wagon. Its defining features are a lack of sides and that it’s pulled by dray horses (more commonly known as draft horses). These wagons were once commonly used in the act of drayage: The short-distance transport of goods.

Now, container trucks and other motorized vehicles transport goods between short distances. However, the intent, process, and goals are still similar, and the name remains.

What is Drayage Trucking?

Drayage trucking generally refers to the short-haul transport of shipping containers (also called intermodal containers) from their point of arrival to their next destination.

The container trucks used in this process are specially designed to safely transport intermodal containers.

At Iraheta Bros, we have our own 20 ft. and 40 ft. triaxle chassis for short-haul transport of shipping containers. We also maintain specialized equipment for heavy container transport.

What is Drayage Service?

Drayage service refers to an organization completing the drayage process on your behalf. Iraheta Bros offers a full range of drayage services, from the transportation process itself to an innovative transportation management system and transparent, efficient billing.

This isn’t a strictly defined term, as is the case with drayage itself. If you see it in a document or hear it in a conversation, it’s usually safe to assume that it’s simply another way to discuss drayage.

What is Intermodal Drayage?

Intermodal drayage refers to the drayage of shipping containers, also called intermodal containers.

“What is container drayage?” is a similar question. Both refer to the use of the standardized container that is so frequently seen at ports, on trains, on ships, and on the back of a container truck.

Intermodal transport is an especially common and popular method of transporting goods internationally for import and export purposes. It’s not surprising that intermodal or container drayage is also especially popular.

What is Expedited Drayage?

Expedited drayage refers to short-haul transportation of goods with an emphasis on speed and timeliness.

Perishable items, such as fresh meat or fish, may need to be transported to a temperature-controlled warehouse the same day they arrive at a port, for example.

How do You Get Into Drayage?

Interested in drayage as a career? We maintain a list of open positions at Iraheta Bros for office roles, drivers, and owner/operators. Check out the careers page for more information.

What is a Drayage Company?

A drayage company provides drayage services to its customers. It may also take on related intermodal or other transportation duties.

For example, we haul intermodal containers to shippers within California and to some locations in Neveda, as well as provide comprehensive drayage services. We’ve also recently started building out our blog, including this article, to help supply our valued customers with more information about drayage and many connected topics.

With a commitment to superior customer service, in-depth knowledge of the Port of Oakland, and our ability to skillfully interface with all terminals, we know we can exceed your expectations.

Ready to partner with our experienced drayage professionals? Work with Iraheta Bros – Request a Quote Today!

What is Drayage? Learn More About Short-Distance Transport

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