Inbound Logistics | April 2023

the steamship line is in the port, when is my container getting off? When will my container be ready? When will it get to the warehouse? When do I contract my drayage driver?’” Herpich says. “Now companies are looking at all the individual containers when they come off the ports from a technology perspective—when they get scanned, and how that data gets uploaded into the system,” he adds. “We’re getting more efcient from it.

a push for innovation in the drayage eld. Funding and efforts behind tech improvements in drayage are on the rise. New efciencies in drayage could lead to dramatic and meaningful impacts, in part because there is so much room for improvement. In particular, drayage is ready for more widespread digitization that will lead to real-time tracking. “You can get a lot of information about the steamship lines, but the biggest questions have always been, ‘now that

All carriers, including those in drayage, are contending with “market economics,” Byrne says. “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration authority revocations have been at all-time highs,” Byrne says. “While the data isn’t broken out by equipment type, the information signals that the surge of new authorities that occurred in late 2020 and through early 2022 are exiting the market. “Carriers now face lower rates and higher xed equipment costs that make business nancials unsustainable for many,” he adds. FEELING BOXED IN Drayage is “a unique mode of transportation,” Mecca says, because of the many different parties involved— from shipping companies and equipment providers to terminals and ports. “Many different parameters are boxing in these operators,” Mecca says. “They have to run almost perfectly in order to have success because there so many day- to-day challenges can come up. There is a bureaucracy—and there are a lot of stakeholders—in the drayage space.” The lack of technology-enabled visibility and communication in drayage heightened the “pandemonium” around port congestion early in the pandemic, Mecca says. “A lot of companies didn’t have a great idea of what was going on in their supply chains,” he notes. Cargo visibility in drayage presents unique challenges. In other modes, cell phones play a key part in tracking and communication. However, that’s tough to replicate in drayage. “OSHA heavily restricts cell phone use in U.S. ports—the sheer chaos of moving equipment and vehicles, fall hazards from heights, and 40-foot container movements pose risks that cell phone distractions could compound,” Byrne says. “This creates a lack of visibility as tracking is often tied to check calls or tracking apps. Many providers manually check the port and terminal websites for cargo status.” The challenges that drayage faced early in the pandemic helped accelerate

Drayage, also known as cartage or haulage, is the transportation of freight between a cargo facility terminal and a customer's facility. There are six types of drayage: 1. Cross-Town or Inter-Carrier — A movement of an intermodal unit “across town” from one railroad to another for continuance of the move. 2. Door-to-Door — Retail drayage involving over-the-road movement of a unit to a customer location. 3. Expedited — A movement of an intermodal unit over-the-road to get it there on time. This exceptional drayage usually involves time- sensitive freight. 4. IMX or Intra-Carrier — A movement of an intermodal unit from a carrier's rail hub to the same carrier's intermodal hub. IMX drayage extends the reach of an intermodal hub. 5. Pier — An over-the-road movement of an intermodal unit from a carrier's rail hub to a port's dock or pier. 6. Shuttle — A movement of an intermodal unit either loaded or empty from a hub to another parking lot because the railroad has run out of room at the hub. IX TYPE OF DRAYAGE

SOURCE: Intermodal Association of North America

April 2023 • Inbound Logistics 87

Powered by