Although it is a key part of many supply chains, there is still plenty of misunderstanding surrounding the topic of drayage and how it fits into the world of third-party logistics. Since a strong understanding in this area can be a key part of understanding how transportation works in the modern era, we took some time to overview the process and related elements. To do so, we looked to work by Freight Hub Group, a leading supplier of logistics services. Under the guidance of CEO Luis Lopez, the company can teach us much about drayage and transportation at large.
Let’s first take a quick look at the history of Freight Hub Group and how the South Florida company came to be recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., according to Inc Magazine. The company’s development is tied to the background of Luis Lopez and his work as both Founder and CEO. The logistics professional was first exposed to his industry through an unlikely connection — his passion for golf. While playing the sport in high school, he became connected to a number of professionals in the industry, which ultimately led to an opportunity to work in the space.
That opportunity gave the future CEO his first exposure to the specifics of transportation and how it functioned as a large-scale industry. One point of exposure that he took to heart was information about the transportation and storage of hazardous materials. At that time, he noticed that the handling of these materials left room for improvement and that there was space to provide more robust services to clients in this area. That observation became the foundation for his first foray into logistics as a business owner when he created a company that, among other things, was known for its same-day services surrounding hazardous material logistics.
To begin our examination of the drayage industry we should first tackle the basic and oft-overlooked question of what drayage actually is. Drayage is typically defined as the logistics service focusing on carrying freight over short distances. The term originates from the use of horse-drawn carts, known as “dray,” to move freight before the invention of automobiles. Since the horses drawing these carts were physically limited in how far they could move their freight, the term drayage became associated with transportation over short distances.
In modern times, this definition of drayage still holds true, however, it is most often utilized with the niche services surrounding the transportation of shipping containers. This service mostly concerns itself with the movement of these containers from ships to storage yards or other modes of transportation such as trucks and/or rail. The service helps bridge a critical gap in a typical logistics pipeline, solving the problem of how goods can move from a ship to the next phase of their journey. Typically, this service is carried out in the same port area at which a ship docks, moving goods to nearby storage facilities or transportation equipment.
From its headquarters in the South Florida area, Freight Hub Group offers drayage and other logistics services for both the Port of Miami and Port Everglades. This provides clients with flexibility as to where they’d like to have goods delivered and is in line with the company’s goal of offering its services in a flexible and agile manner. This high degree of flexibility helps clients avail themselves of the services they need in order to carry out their goals while staying unencumbered by services not needed at any given time.
Drayage services offered by the company are typically run through its drayage subdivision — Dray Hub. The subdivision provides access to a secure yard where clients can access storage for over 450 containers at a given time. The yard comes complete with a range of industrial tools outfitted to handle a variety of storage requirements. These tools include both 19,000 and 40,000 lb industrial forklifts. The company also provides outdoor trailer storage and is approved and licensed by U.S. Customs. Taken together, these factors allow clients to meet the full range of their container drayage needs through a single easy-to-use service.
Beyond its drayage subdivision, the company also offers a number of other third-party logistics services intended to help its clients transport and store goods at different legs of their journeys. Storage is handled through its WHSE Hub subdivision, offering a tech-savvy and cost-effective warehouse solution for the short-term and long-term holding of goods. The company’s facilities are secured 24/7 and offer a variety of features to accommodate goods of many different requirements. This includes materials that require special licensing or bonding for handling such as liquor, pharmaceuticals, and hazardous products.
The company’s other transportation options include its FTL Hub and LTL Hub subdivisions. Full truckload services include a range of trailer sizes and design configurations to provide clients access to shipping to all 48 contiguous states. A fleet of dedicated trucks and drivers ensure that goods are delivered in a timely and efficient manner. In addition, less-than-truckload services are available in and around the South Florida area. These services are comprised of pickup and delivery for last-mile transportation needs, including TSA-certified airport delivery. Like many of the company’s other offerings, these services are licensed for specialty goods such as liquor and hazardous materials.
Drayage and related transportation concepts make up a large portion of the typical offerings of third-party logistics suppliers. Since these services are integral to the movement of goods that help fuel the economy, the understanding of these concepts can be a key part of understanding the economy at large. The above information about Freight Hub Group and its CEO Luis Lopez can be a good first step for those seeking this type of information. For additional learning on the subject, look to the company’s ongoing teaching materials such as its blog and press releases.
More about Freight Hub Group at https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/freight-hub-group