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The term drayage was coined in the earliest days of freight handling and referred to “transport by a sideless cart” by horse, which was called a ‘dray’.  Today, intermodal domestic drayage services are used to deliver export goods to and from marine ports (such as Port of Houston, Texas), and to deliver containers that arrive on sea faring vessels from major export leaders like Mexico and China. 

For the commercial business owner, drayage services can involve a complete container of cargo that must be picked-up and delivered to their business location, or to another mode of transportation, such as rail (transmodal).  It can also involve break-bulk or ‘picking’ palletized goods from a partial container for the commercial customer.

Types of Drayage

There are six (6) different types of drayage, that depend on the method of shipping, and the volume of freight that is being moved for the commercial business:

  1. Inter-carrier drayage is the movement of cargo over a short distance between different carriers.  This can include pick-up or container drop-off coordinated with other trucking companies or transmodal to and from railroad stations. 
  2. Expedited drayage is the direct over-road delivery of time sensitive goods.  This can include perishables, or units that require immediate delivery for production (manufacturing), healthcare supplies and other urgent needs. 
  3. Intra-carrier drayage is coordinated where all aspects of the freight management are handled by one carrier.  From Port to warehouse for consolidation for example, and then full container loads that are delivered to a rail hub.  
  4. Door to door drayage is a simple pick-up from Port Houston and direct delivery from the marine port to the commercial customer, by road delivery. 
  5. Shuttle drayage is required when an intermodal (rail or air cargo delivery) is taken temporarily to a secure storage location, due to overcrowding.  The container is held in queue for pick-up or drop-off. 
  6. Pier drayage is a direct pick-up of imported goods, or drop-off of full or break-bulk cargo to a dock or pier from a transmodal hub. 

Transparent Cargo Tracking

At Canal Cartage, we provide a transparent way to track your cargo through our Customer Portal.  Track the progress of your delivery online, anytime. We deliver locally within the Greater Houston Area, across Texas and to surrounding states.
Contact our service team for more information about our drayage services. 

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