Understand the Difference Between Parcel Delivery and Drayage

Whether you’re in building products, auto parts, fabricated metals, lubricants, food products or another industry, reliable transportation plays a crucial role in the success of your business. As you’re researching the different options that are available, it’s helpful to know what companies mean when they use the terms parcel delivery and drayage.


What is Parcel Delivery?

Atlanta and Savannah Drayage ServicesParcel delivery is a term that’s most often used in the United Kingdom. In the United States, this type of service is often referred to as package delivery. While parcel delivery can refer to smaller to shipments like high value mail or parcels, it’s commonly used to refer to shipping containers. One of the potential drawbacks to parcel delivery is that transport packaging must be matched to the logistics system that’s being used. As a result, uniform pallet loads and mixed shipments may not be suitable for sending together via express carriers.


What is Drayage?

Drayage is a term used in logistics and the shipping industry. It refers to transporting good over a short distance. This is generally done as part of a longer overall move. The transport is usually done within one work shift. Academic research has defined drayage as “a truck pickup from or delivery to a seaport, border point, inland port, or intermodal terminal with both the trip origin and destination in the same urban area.” Drayage can also be used to refer to the fee paid for this type of service.

As defined by the Intermodal Association of North America, there are six main types of drayage. They are shuttle drayage, pier drayage, IMX or intra-carrier drayage, expedited drayage, door-to-door drayage, and cross-town or inter-carrier drayage. These descriptions cover forms of drayage that range from movement between a hub and parking to movement that takes place between two railroads.


How Container Drayage Works

To fully understand this term, it’s important to have insight into the steps in the container drayage process. Freight is received at a warehouse, intermodal point or marine port. From there, it is separated, loaded and put on course to its next destination. Because the distance between major shipping hubs is generally short, trucks are the preferred method of transport.

One of the most effective ways for companies to ensure efficient, safe and quick drayage is to use terminals that are strategically placed near delivery or pickup points. Another effective strategy is to move freight among short-term storage areas based on fluctuations in available hub space.

As previously mentioned, one of the key points that separates drayage from other forms of transportation like long-haul trucking is the transport can be completed in a single work shift.


If you’re looking for an Atlanta company that can manage your transportation needs, has dedicated facilities and provides flexible storage solutions, be sure to find out more about what Bonded Service Warehouse has to offer.

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