Choosing the right drayage service provider is key to building an optimized supply chain. From helping you avoid demurrage and detention fees to improving the security of your shipments, there are a lot of substantial benefits to be realized by partnering with an experienced, passionate, and tech-forward drayage service provider.
To help you choose the ideal container drayage services partner for your organization’s needs, let’s look at the most important criteria to look for in a drayage service provider, as well as the top benefits of great drayage services.
A Recap of What Are Port Drayage Services
Simply put, port drayage is the process of transporting cargo from its port of destination to an intermediary. For instance, let’s say that a shipper has shipped freight to the Port of Long Beach that is bound for a truck to Fresno, California. Before it can be loaded onto a truck, that cargo must first be transported from the port to the shipper’s inland warehouse. This is where port drayage services come in.
While drayage may be a small leg of a shipment’s journey, it is essential nonetheless. Shippers often encounter delays, issues, and expenses without the right drayage service provider. And thanks to mounting demand for drayage services, finding the right provider is now more challenging than ever.
Drayage Market Forces Causing an Increase in Drayage Service Demand
In recent years, demand for shipping services has gone up across the board—and drayage services are no exception. Several key factors are driving the increased demand and decreased availability of container drayage services. A chassis shortage across the United States is one factor that dramatically reduces the availability of drayage services. With our supply of chassis from China still limited due to Trump-era tariffs on Chinese chassis, many drayage service providers are struggling to allocate the assets they need to meet rising demand.
In response to the growing demand for drayage services driven mainly by an increase in online ordering set off by the COVID-19 pandemic, many new owner-operators have entered the market since 2020. However, many of these truckers have been frustrated that they cannot capitalize on this high demand due to other supply chain shortages, such as the chassis shortage we already mentioned and a shortage of port employees.
Thanks to this reduced availability of drayage services, finding a service provider with the capacity, assets, and partnerships to meet your organization’s needs is vital to developing an optimized supply chain.
What to Look for in a Drayage Services Provider
In light of all the issues we outlined above, many shippers are now settling for the first drayage service provider who has the availability to accept their shipments. Even in the face of limited supply and increased demand, choosing your drayage service provider carefully is still essential. With that in mind, some of the most important criteria to look for in a drayage services partner include:
Great communication is the oil that greases the gears of port drayage services. When you are counting on a provider to deliver your valuable cargo from the port to its intermediary location, you need a provider who will always answer the phone when questions or issues arise and one that goes to great lengths to keep you updated and informed. At Port X Logistics, we strive to keep our customers constantly informed and in the loop via our commitment to clear, timely, and helpful communication.
Communication is a crucial part of transparency in port drayage services, but it isn’t the only requirement. Along with timely and clear communication, providing complete transparency into drayage operations also requires quality data and robust technology for collecting and processing it. At Port X Logistics, we use an industry-leading tech stack to provide our customers with complete visibility regarding the location and status of their shipments.
At Port X Logistics, we take on the end-to-end responsibility of port drayage. When you partner with Port X Logistics, you’ll never hear us say, “that’s not our job,” and never have to worry about silos creating disruptions and inefficiencies. We handle every detail of your shipment’s drayage and take full accountability for the entire process, ensuring that you never end up having to do yourself what you thought you were paying someone else to do.
Every organization’s drayage needs are unique; even within a single organization, those needs can change over time. At Port X Logistics, we have the expertise, technology, and partnerships to meet any customer’s demands. Whether scaling drayage services as your company grows or adjusting to address a new challenge or need, our flexibility as a drayage service provider ensures that you are prepared for whatever the future throws your way.
Every drayage service provider in the industry has some degree of experience. Deep experience, though, is what you want to look for. At Port X Logistics, we define deep experience as a comprehensive understanding of and in-depth experience with all that container drayage entails. We’ve seen it all over the years, and we’ve helped shippers overcome just about every obstacle imaginable. When obstacles arise in your own drayage processes, you can rest assured that we’ve been there before and know what it takes to find a solution.
Best-in-Class Tech Stack
Today, a drayage service provider is only as good as their technology. At Port X Logistics, we’re proud to have developed an industry-leading tech stack that includes all the solutions we need to provide our customers with complete visibility into our operations and unparalleled service. Turvo TMS is one example of the innovative logistics technology we leverage, allowing for effortless appointment scheduling and real-time container tracking. Data visualization tools, smart notifications to keep you updated about shipment delays, and user-friendly communication platforms are a few more gems from our best-in-class tech stack.
A good craftsman never blames his tools, but a good craftsman would never purchase low-quality tools in the first place. At Port X Logistics, we have invested heavily in our tech stack so that our customers can reap the many rewards of industry-leading logistics technology.
Port X Logistics’s deep experience with numerous modes of transport and our wide-reaching geographic footprint enables us to accommodate any shipper’s needs—even when those needs change on the fly. Our multi-modal experience seamlessly lets us pivot to alternative transport solutions when issues arise and plans change.
Ability to Optimize Upstream at the Order Level for Downstream Efficiency
Drayage services don’t start when cargo gets loaded onto a chassis; they start when the order for the service is first placed. By optimizing our process upstream at the order level for optimum ease and efficiency, we can also ensure downstream efficiency and help prevent costly errors and delays.
Focus on Culture
At Port X Logistics, we sometimes get strange looks when we explain that our company has a Chief Heart Officer. But that’s fine with us; we understand the immense importance that company culture plays in determining the quality of drayage services, and that’s why we’ve spared no effort when it comes to crafting and maintaining our company culture.
So what is the Port X Logistics company culture? While it’s not so simple to define for those who have never experienced it, our culture is one of collaboration, excellence, and a genuine passion for our work. When a strong culture is the backbone of your drayage provider, you can look forward to quality service that is inspired by much more than simply a desire for profit.
Six Big Benefits of Great Drayage Service
Partnering with a high-quality drayage service provider offers shippers numerous advantages and benefits. The six biggest benefits of great drayage service include:
A drayage service provider that has optimized its processes for maximum cost-efficiency will be able to offer its customers savings as well. At Port X Logistics, we focus on reducing costs by cutting waste and inefficiency instead of cutting corners and are proud to pass those savings on to our customers. Our high-quality service and complete accountability also ensure that you never incur expenses due to a mistake made by your drayage service provider.
When you partner with a drayage service provider such as Port X Logistics that offers real-time container tracking capabilities, you can look forward to accurate, timely data that is always at your fingertips. From responding to issues in real time to forming reliable models and forecasts, there is no shortage of capabilities and benefits that accurate real-time container tracking data provides.
The time between when cargo arrives at port and when it arrives at its intermediary location is when it is most vulnerable to theft. At Port X Logistics, we take security seriously and go to great lengths to ensure that our customer’s cargo arrives where it needs to be in full and intact.
Improved efficiency of your drayage processes can offer a wealth of cost-saving benefits. From preventing delays to freeing up time in your team’s schedule via efficiency at the order level, our optimized tools and processes enable you to enjoy these many benefits.
5. A Flexible, Resilient Supply Chain
Multi-modal experience and a commitment to flexible, agile services mean that Port X Logistics can help our customers develop resilient supply chains that can easily adapt in the face of disruptions.
6. Improved Operational Planning
Planning and executing your port operations becomes much easier with access to the right technology and high-quality communication from your drayage service provider. Tasks such as planning for transloading/drayage, securing temporary warehousing, and brokering for inland distribution are all made effortless with Port X Logistics’ industry-leading tools and services.
Partner with Port X Logistics, A Drayage Service Provider
Your cargo might only travel a short distance between its port of origin and intermediary location, but what happens between those miles can make all the difference. At Port X Logistics, we help shippers guarantee that port drayage is not the weak link in their supply chain. To speak with one of our passionate and knowledgeable representatives about what Port X Logistics can do for your company, be sure to contact us today.