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What is Drayage?

Understanding the drayage shipping process and its origin can help you make the most of this logistics service. The term drayage is specifically a supply chain process that involves shipping container freight over a short distance. Drayage loads typically have departure and arrival points in the same metropolitan area and do not focus on long haul or national movements.

Initially, the term “dray” was described as a low wagon or cart without sides. During the 1700s and 1800s, merchants often relied upon this type of horse-drawn vehicle to carry barrels and other merchandise from one place to another.

The same function is now done using strong metal frameworks. The chassis of a truck supports the components used to transport freight. Drayage services describe the hauling of standardized metal shipping containers between ports and warehouses for conveyance onto ships, trucks, or rail cars. Freight shippers pack a wide variety of goods into these freight containers.

Why Port Drayage services matter

In the operation of modern supply chains, the availability of dependable port drayage services plays an important role. This intermediary process plays a crucial role in transferring shipping containers (and cargo) between temporary storage facilities and distribution systems. Insufficient drayage resources can result in increased shipping costs or the loss of perishable merchandise in transit.

Important terms to know

SCAC (Standard Carrier Alpha Code)

The National Motor Freight Traffic Association developed the SCAC code in the 1960s to help road transport companies computerize data and records which are are commonly used by the automobile, petroleum, forest products, and chemical industries; as well as suppliers to retail businesses, carriers engaged in railroad piggyback trailers and ocean container drayage.

UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

UTC is the base point for all other time zones in the world.. This 24-hour time standard is kept using highly precise atomic clocks combined with the Earth’s rotation. UTC is used in plane and ship navigation, where it also sometimes known as Zulu. UTC uses the Gregorian calendar.

MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company)

MSC tracking container tool enables easy, convenient and quick MSC shipping container tracking to provide you with an instant update on the location of your cargo. To leverage the Mediterranean shipping tracking tool, you can enter the Master Bill of Lading/booking or container number and get the system will show you the real-time location of your shipment.

UIIA (The Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement

UIIA is the only standard industry contract that outlines the rules for the interchange of equipment between intermodal trucking companies and equipment providers (ocean carriers, railroads & equipment leasing companies). If you do not have insurance that meets UIIA requirements, then a motor carrier will not be allowed into a port or rail yard.

TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential)

TWIC is administered after a background check by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to those who need unrestricted access to maritime areas, including ports, port facilities, boats, and continental shelf facilities. This is a federal credential that is used by the U.S. Coast Guard and other transportation professionals.

Emodal: SaaS

This solution allows terminal customers and port authorities to manage and expedite the movement of cargo and trucks. eModal is an application which connects you, the user, to the terminal’s operating system for various functionality such as terminal access, cargo availability, scheduling appointments and fee payment


All the truck’s detention payouts vary, starting with $25 to $70 per hour after the free period, the only truck type which gets the most payout on the waiting period is Drayage, which gets around $70 per Hour minimum after free period.

Drayage service isn’t a one-size-fits-all method. You’ll find a number of classifications of drayage services:

Expedited drayage:

Freight containers are transported quickly. This best applies to time-sensitive shipments.

Inter-carrier drayage:

This is what comes to mind first when most people think of the word drayage. It involves the movement of goods between different carriers. As an example, inter-carrier drayage might involve transporting goods from a trucking terminal to a rail station.

Intra-carrier drayage:

Intra-carrier drayage involves taking freight to two different hubs owned by the same carrier. Cargo might be transported from an intermodal hub to a rail hub.

If you don’t want to get into the hassle and calculation, Eagle Enterprise is here to keep your business moving with cost-effective, convenient and flexible vehicle solutions as a substitute for renting or leasing your fleet. Whether you are meeting long-term rental demands or are engaged in short-term demands, we are here for you.

Get going now on the road to success.