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February 8, 2022

What Is Drayage?

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Drayage is a word not many people are familiar with. So what is drayage? Drayage service typically refers to the short distance transportation that is generally a part of a larger overall transportation haul. This is essentially where the cargo or products are unloaded from a ship or a warehouse and brought to an ocean port, terminal, or similar destination in the same urban area. You can think of Drayage as the means of getting shipments transferred from one form of transport (boat for example) to another (truck). This is a key component of completing large or long haul shipments that need transport.

Drayage Service

Drayage is a solution for short hauls needed, most commonly required when transporting goods from one means of transportation to another. Think, airport cargo being loaded on to a truck, shifting goods from a docked ship into the cargo bay etc. Simply put, drayage is a process where each freight makes it from the port or intermodal terminal to the mode of transport that follows.

Is Drayage Service Needed?

If you think about it, drayage really is an essential service. Without it we would be missing a key component to all other forms of transportation. After cargo arrives somewhere, drayage is required to transport cargo on the short route that will lead to the next big journey, ultimately ending wherever the cargo is needed. Surprisingly enough, even once the cargo has arrived near the destination, drayage may again be needed to transport the cargo one final time before it has been properly delivered.

Drayage service is a crucial part of the transportation industry. Let's explore why; even when brought down to a smaller scale, such as a shopping mall, cargo goes in and out of stores on a regular basis. When you envision a shopping mall, there’s not external loading docks for each store. Rather there is one cargo loading area, typically located at the back of the shopping mall. The drayage service in this example would be the crew who unloads the cargo and products intended for sale and transports them from the cargo unloading area, to each individual retail store.


By this point it's not hard to see how drayage is a significant point of necessity for most transportation companies. New technologies such as data analytics and artificial intelligence are building drayage into a much more efficient process.

Drayage services can not be overlooked simply because they efficiently and effectively move freight from the dock to the intended spaces. Though it may seem like a small job, our supply chain couldn't move forward without this vital role.