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A global supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link. During a long transport, goods might go from a cargo ship to a freight train to a flatbed to a warehouse. Along the way, it’s the drayage drivers that help keep product moving and on time between transport modes.

What Does Drayage Mean?

The term drayage simply means the movement of goods over a short distance. It’s most commonly used as an intermediary step in a larger supply chain. Therefore, after a shipping container arrives at the port, it goes onto a freight train 15 miles away, and into a warehouse 50 miles away. Drayage is used to ensure the container gets from the port to its next stop on time.

Drayage is a critical link in any supply chain and when working with a 3rd party logistics provider, keep in mind that not all drayage services are created equal. Things to consider when choosing a provider include the following.


When your goods are moving long distances and across several different modes of transport, it’s important to track them digitally. Ensure that any logistics provider you’re considering uses the latest EDI technology for the safe transport of your products and seamless communication between everyone involved.

A woman taking inventory for beverage manufactures in a warehouse with a clipboard and an RFI scanner.

Option for Dedicated Service

Drayage services are often shared, meaning that the same driver that picks up your goods is also hauling other customers’ products. While there’s nothing wrong with shared drayage, it often means longer delivery times due to frequent stops, possible mix-ups with cargo, and incorrect deliveries.

Some businesses prefer a dedicated drayage provider. Dedicated providers only pick up and deliver your goods exclusively. This eliminates the need for multiple stops and concerns about incorrectly delivered goods.

Any logistics provider you’re considering needs to be flexible in their ability to provide dedicated and/or shared drayage services as your needs change.

Not Just for Inter-Modal Supply Chains

While drayage is most commonly used as an intermediary in a longer supply chain, sometimes you just need your goods moved over short distances. For example, when shifting inventory from one warehouse to another, transporting goods from a production facility to a nearby warehouse, or delivering goods to a nearby partner’s facility.

Verify that the service provider you decide to use is capable of handling both long-term/long-distance and short-term/short-distance transports. Your business needs can be unpredictable.

When selecting a logistics provider, ensure that they’re capable of handling your growth, your surprise needs, and are flexible and creative.

Trust CWI Logistics with Your Drayage Needs

At CWI Logistics, we’re your go-to 3PL for all of your drayage needs.

Reach out to us today to get started!

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