Having a hard time with drayage management?

This small, but impactful piece of your supply chain features more complexities than often meets the eye.

Long-distance portions of a supply chain like transpacific vessel routes, continent-spanning railroads, and long-haul trucking often get the bulk of shippers’ attention. Those topics tend to garner headlines and dominate industry conversations. But it’s often the smaller pieces of a logistics system that make the biggest difference.

Drayage is one such small piece, often drastically impacting the effectiveness of an entire supply chain system.

Drayage by definition may seem simple. A truck picks up a container and moves it a short distance to its next mode of transportation or storage. But definitions can be deceiving – drayage is as complex, challenging, and critical as any other logistics step. Shippers who attempt to manage their own drayage needs often run into roadblocks. Let’s explore a few challenges common to drayage logistics.

Scheduling and Coordinating Drayage 

Planning and tracking drayage can present challenges as well.

For starters, there are thousands of drayage providers throughout both the U.S. and the world. Finding the right company can be a challenge – especially if you don’t already have strong relationships in the industry.

Beyond that, picking up a container is more complicated than simply showing up at a hub or terminal. Ports typically have dedicated pick-up and drop-off time slots. Drivers must sign up for appointments and comply with the schedule. This has a meaningful impact on the timing of container movement further down your supply chain. One miss-planned pick-up can mean a missed rail booking, or late delivery.

These undesirable outcomes can trickle down to affect your customers.

For instance, improper or inaccurate drayage planning could mean that you’re unsure when your container will arrive. If it arrives at the wrong time or arrives late, you may not have the resources to unload it quickly. As a result, inventories are skewed, orders are delayed, and customers are dissatisfied.

Drayage Costs and Pricing Fluctuations

Unfortunately, drayage costs aren’t fixed. In fact, fees and prices can vary significantly due to a spectrum of variables.

  • LOCATION: From different ports to different continents, location plays a major role in drayage costs. Regional prices vary depending on market conditions, container volumes, chassis availability, and more.
  • COMPANY: As with any industry, drayage providers price their services differently from firm to firm.
  • SEASON: As freight volumes fluctuate by season, so do drayage costs.
  • DISTANCE/DESTINATION: Pricing for drayage also varies depending on where your container is going. Total distance, transit time, and destination type can all influence drayage fees.

Drayage Affects Demurrage and Per Diem Fees

On-time drayage services are crucial to avoiding demurrage and per diem fees. Getting it wrong can result in extra costs that affect your bottom line.

Demurrage comes into play when your containers stay at terminals past their allotted dwell times. If there has been a drayage scheduling mishap, you run the risk of receiving a demurrage charge. On the other hand, per diem charges are assessed for every day until a container is returned to its proper port.

Shippers risk running into both fees without proper drayage planning.

Make it Simple with Dedicated Drayage Management  

All of this can be quite a lot for anyone to track or manage. Without proper care, drayage efficacy can slip quickly.

The best solution? Leave drayage logistics to the experts with a dedicated drayage management strategy.

Dedicated Drayage Management turns to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) for comprehensive drayage planning and tracking. The logistics experts at a 3PL have the experience and industry understanding to navigate drayage challenges of all types, allowing shippers to focus their energy on what they do best: running their business.

Ready to take advantage of Dedicated Drayage Management? Contact Scarbrough Logistics to learn more from a 3PL expert.