Drayage is the retrieval of shipping containers from ports and hauling them to inland locations such as rail heads, distribution centers, or stores. Ports in the US struggle to position chassis efficiently, and chassis shortages are a key contributor to port congestion. The issue of chassis maintenance and repair is also a sticking point in employer negotiations with longshore labor unions.

US importers shipping through various ports are often concerned about such challenges as congested marine terminals, lengthy truck turn times, equipment shortages, and distribution warehouses stuffed beyond capacity for weeks or longer. Major gateways also experience various degrees of equipment shortages, and delays in the return of empty containers. Some ports in Asia could also risk experiencing a shortage of empty containers.


The reason blockchain has so much appeal to owner-operator truckers is that it puts them on an equal footing with their larger competitors.

News & Analysis

15 Nov 2019
Trucking companies that employ owner operator drivers in the Port of New York and New Jersey are again battling an attempt to change the rules that determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, while unions are pushing for the legislation to become law.
13 Nov 2019
A New Jersey law that reshapes the way the state assesses whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee has triggered opposition from truckers who say it will damage the Port of New York and New Jersey’s drayage fleet.
29 Oct 2019
Weston LaBar, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association, said turn times in Los Angeles-Long Beach have improved noticeably this year due to collaboration among truckers and marine terminal operators.
09 Oct 2019
A California Court of Appeals has ruled that the “ABC” test can be applied retroactively, a decision that means truck drivers can calculate damages for past misclassification.
09 Oct 2019
A California-based digital freight marketplace sets a five-year goal to replace its asset-based diesel fleet with alternative power.
03 Oct 2019
Truckers in the Port of New York and New Jersey say extra trips required by ocean carriers to deliver empty containers are consuming their driver time and hurting productivity.
24 Sep 2019
Los Angeles’ 2018 inventory of air emissions, like the Long Beach report that preceded it by a week, shows the largest US container port has already met or exceeded to emission-reduction goals that had been set for 2023.
17 Sep 2019
Some trucking industry representatives say recently passed California bill AB 5 will severely restrict the independent contractor model in harbor drayage, although the owner of a Southern California trucking company isn't worried about significant changes.
12 Sep 2019
Expanding an appointment system in the Port of New York and New Jersey could hamper the ability of truckers to pick up cargo, according to the head of the largest drayage group operating at the port.
05 Sep 2019
Digital freight broker Loadsmart is adding to the list of startups aiming to revamp way shippers can procure drayage capacity in an effort backed by sizable investment from Maersk and Ports America.
26 Aug 2019
JOC Associate Editor Ari Ashe explains why chassis shortages are such a problem in the international transportation space and why finding a solution is so difficult.
21 Aug 2019
The strong quarter for Maersk will strengthen its resolve in making what amounts to an existential bet that the integrator path is the best response to the commodification of ocean shipping.
Directory of Trucking Companies | 2019
16 Aug 2019
The 2019 JOC Directory of Trucking Companies is a one-stop source of information for North American shippers and third-party logistics providers on nearly 180 select trucking companies in the United States and Canada.
09 Aug 2019
The first use of an electric drayage truck in the Port of New York and New Jersey adds to the portfolio of initiatives in use by the port in a bid to reduce truck pollution without hurting port efficiency.
26 Jul 2019
Sponsored: Gulf Intermodal Services’ President Will Connell on the driver shortage, chassis availability, and the resin boom.
23 Jul 2019
A VIP program to be rolled out by Fenix Marine and Blume Global in Los Angeles this autumn aims to push actionable shipment data and appointment slots for specific containers to BCOs, NVOs, and truckers to reduce truck visit times as well as cut down on multiple handling of containers.
US drayage rates rise as length of haul shrinks
19 Jul 2019
Although drayage rates are rising annually, digital load-matching platform DrayNow says expenses are dropping due to shorter lengths of haul, a trend true for international containers, too.
10 Jul 2019
Truckers continue to battle turns of more than an hour at times in BNSF’s Lot 16 outside Chicago, where the railroad has instructed all empty containers to be returned. This means drivers complete fewer jobs per day and shippers have to wait longer for service.
08 Jul 2019
Union Pacific Railroad will begin charging truckers and logistics providers for missed appointments for intermodal terminals and tighten free storage time for demurrage to 24 hours in all terminals beginning this autumn.
BCOs seek short-term chassis relief as overhauls stall
05 Jul 2019
There has been progress in finding a solution to the chassis woes plaguing the containerized shipping industry, but those advancements have been very slow coming. Larger solutions will take years and face many hurdles along the way.
Rail is critical link in chassis solution
05 Jul 2019
Although chassis discussions usually are focused on marine ports, figuring out a solution to chronic equipment shortages must take into account an equally complex set of railroad operations across the US heartland.
Technology not enough to fix marine terminal pain points
02 Jul 2019
The technology is available and money can be found to add visibility into the black hole of the marine terminal, but increasing complexity caused by bigger ships and larger container exchanges — and difficulties in getting supply chain partners to share data — are limiting stakeholders’ ability to optimize performance.
01 Jul 2019
TRAC and DCLI have reached an interoperability agreement for the BNSF terminal outside of Dallas, which could lower the likelihood of chassis shortages. Open choice advocates worry this "duopoly" will spread to other Gulf Coast markets and limit trucker choice.
20 Jun 2019
The unique characteristics and low margins of the drayage market mean it has been slower to adopt technologies that have gotten traction in other over-the-road segments, but marketplaces are starting to percolate.
19 Jun 2019
Drayage operators urge agricultural shippers to use their influence as cargo owners to get other port stakeholders on board with efforts to improve truck turn times at marine terminals and rail hubs.
13 Jun 2019
With chassis regimes at many ports and inland rail hubs cracking under pressure during peak periods, or plagued by on-again, off-again shortages and bad-order chassis, K+N executive Bill Rooney proposes an interoperable “utility” model in which an advisory board oversees availability and roadability.
12 Jun 2019
Canadian shippers preparing for the upcoming electronic logging device mandate have a good model in the US experience.
04 Jun 2019
Union Pacific Railroad and Norfolk Southern Railway announced a series of changes to cross-country service, which will require a crosstown drayage in Chicago for a number of international loads heading to and from ports.
04 Jun 2019
In an effort to maintain terminal fluidity amid growing cargo volumes, the Port of Charleston’s largest container terminal will open gates to truckers one hour earlier and close them 30 minutes earlier than usual during the week.
17 May 2019
Trucking companies, government agencies, and unions in Vancouver responding to commissioner’s plan for wage hike and rule changes with goal of meeting July 1 implementation deadline and heading off possible labor action.
17 May 2019
Drayage truckers in the Port of New York and New Jersey fear that a proposal to ban trucks with engines aged 1996 and older would make the port uncompetitive.
16 May 2019
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka tells JOC.com a port-wide trucker appointment system and off-dock chassis storage must be implemented now if the nation's largest port complex is going to avoid terminal congestion and equipment dislocations in the upcoming peak season.
01 May 2019
San Francisco-based domestic freight broker Opus9 has added a new dimension to its instant pricing functionality by offering instant drayage rates.
30 Apr 2019
The port of Montreal’s primary container terminals are developing programs that will cut turn times by allowing truckers to process container documentation before they arrive at the port in an effort to cope with rising cargo volumes.
30 Apr 2019
Supply chain stakeholders in the Port of Oakland argue that the development of a new baseball stadium on port property will disrupt trucking and rail operations, potentially bringing the port to “gridlock.”