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Intermodal Drayage Overview

Drayage is a term utilized by the shipping and logistics sector to describe the process of transporting goods over short distances. While drayage can be used for minor transporting of goods, usually it is confined to use by the container shipping industry. 

Intermodal Drayage Process

The intermodal drayage or container drayage process originates with the receiving of freighted goods at an intermodal point, a warehouse, or a marine point. The cargo received is then separated, loaded and taken to its subsequent destination point. 

The History of Drayage

Surprisingly, drayage has a history that stretches back much farther than many would suspect. While current methods for drayage utilize modern shipping and containing equipment, drayage actually predates the current industrial era and originated with older container types. 

Drayage Classifications

Inter-carrier Drayage

This method features the movement of units over a short distance between different carriers, such as with trucking and railroad stations. 

Expedited Drayage

For this method, units are transported over-the-road in a quick and efficient manner for time-sensitive material goods. 

Intra-carrier Drayage

A method similar to that of inter-carrier, intra-carrier takes freight from a rail hub to an intermodal hub, all controlled by the same carrier. 

Door-to-door Drayage

In this method, retail units are taken to a customer through roadways. 

Shuttle Drayage

During shuttle drayage, an intermodal unit is temporarily taken to a parking lot from its hub of origin, with this method being used for both loaded and empty units when overcrowding in the hub occurs.

Pier Drayage

This method utilizing roadways takes an intermodal unit to a dock or pier from a previous rail hub. 

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