3PL logistics involves the transportation of many containers over long and, sometimes, multi-modal routes. This is especially true for large shipments that have to be transported across ocean ports, railways, and roads.

3PL companies have container drayage services to facilitate multi-modal logistics. Because of the complexity of the service, it is usually quite expensive to use. Understanding how drayage works will help you immensely when working out your shipping costs. Otherwise, your overheads can quickly rack up and get out of hand.

In this quick guide, we will explain five things you need to know about container drayage service. But first, let’s understand what container drayage is.

What is a Container Drayage Service?

Container drayage service is a logistics service that involves specialized trucks which can attach shipping containers to their chassis. Drayage container trucks have a special clearance to transport heavy loads to shipping ports. Attaching and detaching containers to these trucks is a labor-intensive process.

Shipping companies optimize drayage container truck usage for maximum delivery uptime. Any downtime caused by your shipment comes at a premium and allows drayage companies to issue additional billing charges. When you combine these costs with warehouse storage, your logistics budget can drastically inflate.

5 Things You Should Know about Container Drayage Service

1. There are Different Types of Drayage

There 6 types of drayage containers. Knowing which options your 3PL service can provide gives you an idea about what options are available. This is crucial when dealing with clients who have specific transportation needs.

Here are your options:

  Expedited drayage for speedy LCL loads that have special requirements like refrigeration

  Inter-carrier drayage for shipping containers that can be transported by rail from a pier as part of multi-modal services

  Pier drayage for transporting containers from a ship to a rail- carrier

  Shuttle drayage for situations where trucks need to move full or empty containers due to overcrowding

  Door-to-door drayage for cargo that needs to be transported directly to your business location, usually by trucks

  Intra-carrier drayage is a single carrier solution for all container drayage services

2. Storage May be Limited

Many drayage services have high volumes of traffic, and that could mean that your containers may need to be shifted to another warehouse, which could be costlier. Therefore, you should always check the storage space available for your cargo. You should also try to work out if your team is ready to pick up your inventory as soon as it arrives. That is the best-case scenario.

3. Inventory Management Options

Tracking and organizing inventory ensures timely deliveries. Check with your drayage service provider if they can provide adequate services to handle your items. Some service providers may give you a custom application to manage your inventory, while others can integrate their information systems readily with your internal systems.

4. Fulfillment and Packaging Options

When shipping dangerous materials or sensitive cargo, you may want to consider a service that offers a range of packing solutions. Packing services help you complete these two objectives:

  Reducing packing costs by outsourcing them to specialized teams

  Fulfilling orders by delivering packaged goods and materials to your client

5. How Large is the Fleet?

3PL services that have large fleets can provide a range of services to you that can create synergies with what you offer to your clients. For instance, you can request end-to-end shipping services from your drayage service provider. Large fleets are also helpful when you need to scale your logistics operations.

The Bottom Line

Container drayage services can help you deliver large or complex shipments for your clients. They also enable you to provide value-added services to your business partner while saving on transportation overheads.

If you are looking for an experienced team for 3PL drayage services, Gofreighthub.io has a range of options for your business. We give you easy access to intermodal transport, container drayage services, and other transport management solutions.

Contact us or schedule an appointment today.