Cleveland drayage trucking

Truck Talk: Communication is Key in Cleveland Drayage Trucking

Drayage trucking is something of an unsung hero when it comes to logistics. It doesn’t get a lot of glory, but it plays a crucial role in getting your goods where they need to go – primarily between ports, terminals, and distribution centers. As Cleveland drayage trucking providers, we are increasingly prioritizing better communication and visibility in the drayage process – which in turn helps our clients sidestep supply chain bottlenecks, minimize delays and costs, and boost their bottom line.

What is Cleveland Drayage Trucking?

Drayage trucking is typically one of the shortest links in the supply chain, but it can be one of the most pivotal in terms of keeping freight moving intact and on time.

For anyone unfamiliar, drayage is a term we use in shipping and logistics to describe the process of transporting cargo / containerized goods between short-distance connectors in the same metro area – typically between ports, terminals, rail yards, warehouses, and other distribution points – typically using trucks or vans.

You may have also heard the term “intermodal drayage.” This refers to transporting cargo by more than one mode of transportation (rail, sea, truck, air, etc.). Our Cleveland drayage trucking services help customers with cargo from multiple modes, including Cleveland Airport (TSA certified), CSX rail, Norfolk Southern, Cleveland Hopkins Airport, and various domestic and international ports.

Huge operations may handle their own Cleveland drayage trucking – with their own fleet, their own drivers, their own proprietary technology, and their own oversight. But most companies don’t have that capacity – or would simply prefer to have it handled by a 3PL or 4PL.

Common drayage customers include:

  • Importers and exporters
  • Freight forwarders and logistics providers
  • Shipping lines and ocean carriers
  • Retailers and manufacturers
  • Port authorities and terminal operators

On average, drayage cost can account for anywhere between 22% to 44% of the total door-to-door service. It’s usually not the most expensive element of transport (that’s final mile delivery) but it’s still significant – and worthy of more careful planning when possible. Without efficient drayage services, facilitating the movement of goods from ports to their inland destinations (and visa versa) would be a nightmare.

Customers count on fast, professional drayage services – especially when they’ve got time-sensitive orders and goods that can potentially spoil. But it’s not as simple as just picking up goods from one place and taking them to another. Efficient Cleveland drayage trucking can get pretty complex because it requires coordination among truck owners, truck drivers, shippers, consignees, port authorities, and terminal operators. When this goes sideways, it can lead to major backups and bottlenecks – which are then felt downstream throughout the chain of supply.

Improving Cleveland Drayage Trucking Communication

One of the things the pandemic really drove home was how largely decentralized and fragmented the trucking industry is as a whole. Drayage is no exception.

There are operators of all sizes and specialties, many using their own tracking platforms of varying quality and few prioritizing overall connectivity for smoother coordination.

A number of studies recently, including an analysis published in the International Journal of Production Economics, illustrated how complicated it can be to coordinate all of this efficiently. Some ports have begun setting drayage truck appointment windows. That can help keep things moving, but it does put pressure on drayage trucking companies to make certain they meet that deadline. That makes effective communication even more critical.

Recently, the Journal of Commerce spotlighted growing efforts and investments aimed at changing this – moving away from spreadsheets into more comprehensive software designed specifically for building better drayage routes, schedules, and stakeholder networks.

“Ports are a bottleneck for so many operations,” explained Michael Mecca, CEO of PortPro, a drayage communication tech company, in an interview with JOC. “But there is opportunity in drayage to reduce those bottlenecks because it’s a node of the supply chain that’s connected to almost all others. Improve the connectivity and communication at that first mile in drayage, and you improve the overall global supply chain.”

On Time Delivery & Warehouse offers streamlined, transparent Cleveland drayage services that prioritizes communication, visibility, safety, timeliness, and all the proper documentation (PODs, invoices, points of scale, etc.- so you have confidence that your container is on the most efficient route to where it needs to go.

For information on our Cleveland OH drayage trucking services, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or send us an email.

Additional Resources:

Optimization of drayage operations with time-window constraints, June 2016, International Journal of Production Economics

More Blog Entries:

Need a Lift? Advantages of Cleveland Trucking With Liftgate Services, Jan. 15, 2024, On Time Delivery & Warehouse Trucking blog

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