By Katie George Hooser, Chief Marketing Officer, IMC
Simply, drayage is the transportation of shipping containers by truck to its final destination.
A seemingly simple concept has become one of the most complex and important industries in the world. For this reason, we felt compelled to take a deeper look at drayage to demystify its meaning and highlight its importance to businesses and consumers alike.
The term "drayage" actually originates from dray or draft horses, exceedingly large, strong horses used to carry heavy loads. The word "dray" comes from an Old English term meaning to draw or to haul. Over the years, the term "drayage" has adapted and grown as has the drayage industry. Let's take a look at some of its major points of change.
Arguably, no one has transformed the process of transporting cargo more than American businessman Malcolm McLean, born in North Carolina in 1914.
During his career in transportation, McLean developed what is now known as the modern intermodal shipping container. He is widely known as the "father of containerization" since his innovation of the removable container can be transported via multiple modes of transportation and revolutionized the international supply chain for shippers and customers alike. In addition to containers being easier and more cost-effective, they are also safer. Since containers can be locked, secured and sealed, they are less likely to suffer theft and damage. This resulted in less cargo loss and lower insurance rates both of which benefit shippers and end users.
Countless articles have been written about Malcolm McLean's impact on the shipping world. After his death in 2001, Forbes Magazine remarked he was "one of the few men who changed the world."
Domestic drayage: In domestic drayage, product from a marine container is transloaded into a 53-foot domestic container and then moved inland.
Marine drayage: In marine drayage, the product remains in the marine container until it reaches its final destination. Every shipping container that arrives or leaves an ocean port must at some point be moved by marine drayage.
An estimated 30 million marine containers move in and out of the United States on an annual basis.
Without drayage, international trade would come to a halt. The United States could no longer import or export goods overseas.
Why is drayage important?
Drayage services the importers and exporters in our country to ensure the safety and health of our international trade system. As the thought leader in marine drayage, IMC is dedicated to optimizing efficiencies, innovations and partnerships to fully leverage the supply chain to continually exceed the expectations of the businesses we serve.