Feb 19 2018

Drayage: From Horse Power to Horsepower


Waiting for shipments is expensive, frustrating, and disruptive to your business. Schedules are always in flux and no one wants to see timelines shift to the right, but you can ease those aggravations by partnering with a reliable, efficient, and effective drayage service provider. Drayage is a vital part to any business’ supply chain management because it is the small things that make the difference between success and failure. The timely transportation of products over short distances, such as between the port and a nearby warehouse or distribution facility, can improve operations and increase revenue. Drayage may not be the most glamourous component of the global supply chain, but it is one that can cause a negative ripple effect when done wrong and hurt your bottom line. Throughout history, drayage services have assisted in simplifying the supply chain process by moving products closer to customers and end-users.  

On the Origins of Drayage

If you’re like us, and we know we are, you may be wondering how drayage got its name. Taken from the word drayage, “dray” refers to a horse and cart that distributors utilized dating back to the 17th century, a much simpler time in supply chain management versus the present but still with its own challenges and pain points. Simply put, dray was a horse-drawn wagon with low sides that was typically used for heavy freight and short distance shipments.

History has shown that there has always been a need for the timely distribution of cargo. The term dray eventually transformed into drayage as years passed and supply chain management developed, mature, and evolved. Drayage services have existed for centuries and continue to change as technology rapidly advances. Regardless of the year on the calendar, drayage aims to reduce costs and minimize delays.

Drayage in today’s supply chain

The dray cart system has been replaced by modern day shipping solutions that are more efficient and effective. Shipments are now transported by a different type of horsepower and are trackable through new digital, real-time management systems. The modern methods of transportation and tracking help improve consumer satisfaction as well as decrease the risk of any hindrances that may delay shipping processes and create problems for businesses. Disruptions are inevitable, but with increased visibility, mitigation efforts can be more proactive and goods can continue on the journey from source to end-user.

What to look for in Drayage providers

Horses come in all different varieties and so too do drayage service providers. Before you select a partner, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Can your drayage service be integrated with other supply chain solutions?

  • Do you own you own equipment? How new is it?

  • Do you use your own proprietary technology?

  • How can you help me avoid Detention fees?

  • Are your drop lots secure? Who owns and operates them?

  • Can I have real-time visibility of my goods?

  • Do you provide off-peak service?

  • How can you help me avoid Demurrage fees?

  • Do your dispatch teams operate in-house or are they outsourced?

  • Can you quickly adjust to demand spikes?

While the above list is not inclusive of all the questions you should ask, they offer a great starting point to a wider discussion about your overall supply chain strategy. Be sure to ask the questions that matter most to your business and make an informed decision that offers the best solution to your needs.

To learn more about how Seldat is becoming the global leader in technology-driven supply chain solutions, reach out to our team today:
Phone: 646.517.6767 x100
Email: Global Sales 
Or fill out this form: Contact Us

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