How to Navigate the Complexities of Today’s Drayage Market

Reading Time: 3 minutes
stacked port containers

North America’s drayage market is as complex as ever. Congestion at the ports, increasing demurrage costs, competition for chassis, and other mounting issues have created havoc for shippers attempting to get a hold of their supply chain.

As NFI continues to help customers navigate through the intricacies of the continent’s port complexes, NFI Vice President of Drayage and Transload Sales, Richard Jung, offers advice for executing successfully in today’s market, and points to consider when partnering with a drayage provider:

What is the key to seamlessly navigating ports and transload facilities?

The answer is complex, but can be boiled down to a single characteristic: Execution. 

Having the network — meaning the assets, scale, and people — to accommodate fluctuating demand at points of entry is only one piece of the puzzle. Port and rail drayage customers suffer from unique problems like chassis dislocation, delay costs, and missing documentation, that require solutions specific to the movement of containers. 

What top companies like NFI provide are customized operating platforms designed from the ground up to support container drayage operations. These platforms enable drayage providers to completely automate their processes, from order to receipt, and provide valuable, real-time shipment data. Working within these systems provides benefits that can be attributed to NFI’s executional success in the drayage space. The benefits NFI is able to pass onto its customers are:

1) Supply Chain Visibility

  • GPS enabled in-transit updates that provide on-demand visibility to container movements
  • Real-time access to data via EDI and APIs; automated email alerting capability
  • Automated container tracing, interfaced with dozens of marine terminals and rail systems
  • Connection to over 200 third-party systems

2) Fleet & Equipment Management

  • Last Free Day (LFD) calculations for per diem, demurrage, and rail storage
  • Automated reporting and electronic PODs
  • Dispatch workflow; remote and paperless mobile dispatch
  • Chassis management

3) Business Intelligence (BI)

  • Automated dwell time reporting
  • Event measurements and gate activity
  • Geofencing for reporting, driver breadcrumb trails, and driver wait times 

Knowing when to act is the key to keeping costs low and productivity high. Management of freetime is also especially critical in today’s congested reality. NFI enables customers to reduce costs by automating its container tracking and managing LFD costs, increase productivity by managing freetime and designing dispatch workflows, and improve business processes with electronic PODs and automated BI reporting.

Taking advantage of these often costly drayage platforms is not typically an option for shippers and smaller providers. When partnering with a drayage provider, it’s important to both understand the capabilities of the tools used to manage operations, as well as the provider’s ability to utilize those tools to generate cost savings for the customer.

NFI Cal Cartage is fortunate to have the scale, expertise, and technology to do just that. I encourage shippers to thoroughly investigate the technological capabilities of its service providers to ensure executional success.

Richard Jung, VP of Drayage and Transload Sales

With over 30 years of international transportation experience in the ocean carrier and logistics service provider arena, Jung provides sales leadership to promote and grow NFI Cal Cartage’s drayage portfolio. To stay up-to-date on drayage and other industry news provided by Jung, subscribe to NFI Cal Cartage’s monthly port drayage newsletter.