If you’re not in the shipping or 3PL industries, it’s likely you’ve never even heard of the word drayage. Drayage is, quite simply, the hauling of containers from ships to different destinations. The destination could be another port, it could be railyards to have them shipped out via train, or the trucker themselves could drive the container to the final destination. Regardless of where the destination is, drayage is characterized by the fact that it is only hauled for a relatively short distance. Confused? That’s okay, drayage can be a bit confusing at first, but it’s an extremely popular industry. If you’re ready to learn more, we put together some facts about the 3PL drayage service industry that you might be interested in.
Drayage Isn’t Only Shipping
National Retail Services, Inc. is one of the leading names when it comes to drayage, but it’s much more than simply transporting containers. Drayage for a third party logistics company begins with taking the shipping containers from ships and transporting them to the 3PL’s facility. There, the packages are unloaded, organized for distribution, and reloaded to ensure proper delivery to whatever site they’re going to, whether it’s to be shipped off again or directly to stores. It can also mean that the company will process the goods in whichever way the client requests, including sewing labels on garments, pick and pack operations, and more. Drayage may begin in the shipyard, but it goes far beyond simply hauling containers.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Using New Jersey as an example, the Bayonne Bridge was recently raised in order to allow larger ships to come into the port. While some might think this is better for a 3PL business, it actually comes with many challenges. If you picture a truck on the highway hauling a container, imagine one ship carrying 21,000 of those containers at a time. There inlays the challenge: getting these containers off of the ships in a timely and safe manner to avoid demurrage charges. Some of the ways terminals are trying to decrease turn times is by implementing a reservation system, or by taking advantage of off peak programs like PierPass that offer night time and weekend solutions for curtailing congestion. Being a third party logistic company, we also spend time communicating with the Council on Port Performance (CPP) in order to lengthen hours of operation, giving us more time to do our jobs efficiently and productively.
Shortage of Drayage Drivers
Recently, there seems to be a shortage of truck drivers entering into the field, especially in the realm of the drayage services industry. Over the past few years, there has been a steady decline in the amount of truck drivers, which has admittedly hurt some of the businesses in the industry. Many new truck drivers often overlook the lucrative opportunity of pier driving when entering the field, but obtaining your TWIC endorsement, which allows truck drivers to operate within the ports that operate drayage services, is a highly sought after endorsement. In actuality, the TWIC endorsement is relatively easy to obtain, contrary to popular belief. For those looking to enter the drayage and pier operations industry, the benefits include staying close to home, bonuses, competitive pay per turn, congestion pay, safe driving incentives, and much more that makes this job appealing.
Safety is the Biggest Concern
When it comes to drayage, or any type of trucking, safety should be the number one concern. In fact, the Department of Transportation has done away with paper logging and replaced it with digital and electronic options. Truckers hours on the road were once logged on paper and could be wrong or miscalculated, the electronic services now tracks the amount of hours the truckers work. This way, if they are reaching too many hours in one day to the point of fatigue, they are prompted to head back to their headquarters, ensuring the best and safest job is performed.
Expert Drayage Solutions
If you’re searching for a third party logistics company who prides itself on efficiency, safety, and quality of service, look no further than National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS). With operations spreading from New Jersey all the way to Los Angeles, we cover a variety of ports across the seaboards. With cutting edge technology and a stellar staff, we are committed to transporting your shipments safely and on time, every time. If you’re interested or have any questions, feel free to contact us. Looking for a drayage job? Check out our job openings and apply today. Regardless of the capacity, when you join NRS, you become part of the family.
The Ultimate 3PL
National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.