Drayage: The Overlooked, Critical Link in Supply Chain Efficiency

If you’re ready to drive short- and long-term growth, understanding drayage can help you pick a shipping partner that will help your business thrive.

If you’re ready to drive short- and long-term growth, understanding drayage can help you pick a shipping partner that will help your business thrive.

No matter where you send your cargo, drayage is likely part of the fulfillment process. However, it’s often overlooked, causing many shippers to make logistical decisions without a comprehensive understanding of drayage’s effect on the modern supply chain.

For businesses laying plans for short- and long-term growth, it’s essential to know how you can yield the greatest ROI from drayage — even when it might not be top of mind. Once you have a full sense of what it requires and the effect it can have on your company when handled responsibly, you’ll be better positioned to make an informed decision about the right shipping and logistics partner for your business.

The Challenges of Drayage

Drayage refers to the transport of goods over a short distance. When drayage goes well, you can count on safe conditions, quick deliveries, and satisfied customers. When it doesn’t, your company can experience costly delays and damaged goods — a major disruption in an economy that’s been transformed by fast-paced e-commerce fulfillment.

What are some of the obstacles that impact drayage performance? High port congestion and poor chassis management are especially common issues, often resulting in thousands of hours of lost time for shippers across the country. Chassis shortages, in particular, can force drivers to wait for hours before loading their cargo, backing up supply chains in the process.

Underperforming or overwhelmed drivers are another leading cause of inefficient drayage. For safety reasons, federal laws prohibit drivers from spending more than 11 hours on the road each day. There have been reports, however, of drivers working up to 20 hours per day, which can lead to dangerous conditions for them and their cargo.

Fortunately, there are new technologies and procedures that drayage providers can use to boost drivers’ efficiency, ensure that safety measures are followed, and drive value for shippers. From improved applications that coordinate shipping container logistics to online port terminal reservation systems, it’s becoming easier — and more efficient — to manage traffic surrounding ports and major industrial hubs. Deployed well, these emerging capabilities can simplify drayage and minimize potentially debilitating risk.

What to Look For in a Drayage Partner

If you’re looking to work with a logistics provider that can handle your drayage needs, it’s vital to find a partner who has a track record of managing the process seamlessly and professionally, all while remaining compliant with federal safety standards.

A commitment to leveraging emerging technology to improve performance is also critical. The right drayage partner for your business should use up-to-date applications that heighten efficiency and allow you to track your cargo. Similarly, their warehouse management system (WMS) should be optimized to meet order fulfillment deadlines and reduce pick-up wait times. Supported by this kind of technology, logistics professionals will be able to help shippers develop creative solutions to logistical issues, such as port congestion and chassis shortages.

How Primary Freight Can Help

For businesses of any size, drayage can seem like a footnote to the larger operation of an effective shipping program. Instead, it should be looked at as a key link in any logistics strategy. By working with a third-party logistics (3PL) partner or integrated logistics services provider (ISP), businesses can leverage industry experience to maintain fulfillment schedules and drive value.

With over two decades of experience in all aspects of the industry, Primary Freight has the shipping and logistics background that businesses need in a reliable drayage partner. By working with our customer service team to develop personalized strategies for your shipping program, you can count on experienced professionals to help you navigate the ins and outs of logistics in a surging but shifting economic landscape.

If you’d like to learn more about Primary Freight’s award-winning shipping services, contact us today at (800)-635-0013.


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