If you work in an industry that involves shipping, then you may have heard of something called drayage service. This is a type of shipping in which dry materials are moved a short distance. For instance, if someone ships a container of oats an hour down the road, that would be considered drayage. Some people can go their whole careers in shipping without ever having to use a drayage broker as it is a bit of a niche industry. However, if you ever find you need to hire a drayage service, it's good to know a bit about it. Here are some key questions you may have.
How do drayage services move the goods?
Drayage usually takes place via the railroad system. This allows the drayage broker to move the goods while they are still in their original shipping containers. So, if your goods come into a port in a container, you can have a drayage service load that entire container on a train, haul it to the next town over, and then unload the container. They never have to access or unload the actual materials at all, which is really convenient when you're shipping dry goods like grains or other commodities.
How much volume do you need to hire a drayage broker?
This depends on the broker. They each have their own minimums and limits. In general, however, drayage brokers want to take on clients who have a lot of materials to move in a short period of time. This way, it's worth their while to bring out their trains and other heavy equipment. This is a lot of work, and it's not generally worth their while (or yours) for one or two containers. If you do have a smaller amount to move via a drayage service, though, you may be able to collaborate with other business owners who also need to move smaller amounts. If you can meet the minimum together, then the drayage shipper can likely work with you.
Can drayage brokers ship refrigerated goods?
Some drayage brokers do have the capacity to ship refrigerated goods, and others do not. If you call one company and they can't ship refrigerated goods, they can typically refer you to someone who offers this service.
Hopefully, this article has provided you with a good overview of drayage services and what they involve. These services really come in handy when you need to move things a short distance.