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What is Drayage?

May 2, 2020


Drayage is the process of moving goods in shipping containers short distances via truck Goods are usually moved from an ocean port to a rail station, warehouse, different port,  etc. Drayage moves are always short distances, usually completed in a single work shift within the same metropolitan area.  There are over sixty million Drayage moves in the US per year. The market size of these moves is fifty billion dollars per year.

The charges for such a move are also called Drayage. Drayage charges are typically separate from the other charges associated with moving a shipping container, and tend to be more expensive (per mile).


Drayage costs generally run between eighty cents and one dollar per pound of freight. Freight that can be moved via forklift is on the less expensive end and more delicate freight on the costlier end.

Drayage costs can add up quickly, so here are a few things to look out for. Drayage charges are often rounded up to the nearest 100 pounds, so you will be charged the same price for freight that weighs 110 lbs as you would for freight that weighs 200 lbs. Freight in crates or on pallets can be moved more quickly and easily with forklifts, so whenever possible have your merchandise in crates or palletized. Labor costs for loading and unloading can also add up quickly, with hourly rates as high as $100 per hour, so make sure you agree on the hourly labor charges ahead of time.

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