Are you wondering, “what is a drayage trucker?” If you’d like to understand more about what a drayage trucker is, you must first understand the question, “what is drayage?”

Drayage is a specialty logistics service. It specifically refers to freight that is moved over a short distance. When you see shipping containers being transported by trucks along the highway, those are drayage trucks.

In simple terms, a drayage trucker is someone who drives a truck that is transporting shipping containers. However, there is a lot more to it than that.

Learn everything you need to know about what a drayage trucker is right here, from job descriptions to their impact on the U.S. economy and even how to start your career as a drayage trucker.

Drayage is the Backbone of U.S. Logistics

Before we dive into the specifics of drayage trucking, let’s discuss why it’s so important. Drayage is the backbone of U.S. logistics and an essential part of the supply chain.

In 2018, the truckload and private truckload segment of freight transportation were worth about $695 billion and that number has only grown in the years since. In 2020, the intermodal freight market worth was an estimated $25.2 billion. If you had an extensive wait for a package due to freight delays like many saw around Christmas & COVID 2020, then you know just how vital drayage is.

In the U.S., by value, vessels carry 53% and 38% of U.S. imports and exports, respectively. This is larger than any other method. When goods are coming or going from the U.S, they need to reach the port from which they will be shipped.

That’s where drayage comes in. Drayage truckers take goods to and from ports in what is often the shortest part of the logistics journey and the best option to ship goods across the country.

How to Become a Drayage Trucker

Becoming a drayage trucker is possible for almost anyone. The main requirement for being a drayage trucker is obtaining a CDL (commercial driver’s license). On average, it takes only seven weeks to obtain your license if you are attending a full-time driver training program.

Drayage truckers also require a special permit to enter a port. You will have to apply for a transportation worker identification card (TWIC) and get registered in the UIIA’s driver database Once you obtain your TWIC and are registered in UIIA, it is like being given the top-secret clearance for the trucking industry. However, not everyone who applies will get one. They can also be revoked if you fail to meet requirements.

There are some common requirements that many employers also ask, for such as:

  • Class A CDL
  • TWIC Card (administered by TSA)
  • Operate a 10-speed manual transmission
  • 21 years of age or older (different states have different regulations on the age of truck drivers; however, most employers will only employ those over 21 years of age so they can cross state borders with loads.)
  • No major accidents in the last 3 years
  • No DUI/DWI

Why Work with Freight Management, Inc.?

If you’ve been in this industry any amount of time, you know the hardest part of the job can be bidding for jobs. Not with Freight Management, Inc.! Our proprietary online drayage directory for carriers, called Draydex™, allows carriers to compare your rates against the market pricing of your competitors, and set rates that are more in line with the current market.

That’s not the only advantage Draydex™ will give you. You get 24/7 web access so you can check rates any time of day or night, no matter where you are. The 99.7% uptime gives you the reliability you need.

As a carrier, you can also take advantage of our My Freight Manager®, our proprietary TMS to stay more productive and efficient. You’ll be able to upload your invoices and bid on available shipments. Not only that, you can check payment status and post your available capacity. You can also upload pods and confirm billing amounts, so you can stay busy and get paid without logging into multiple, complicated systems, which take time away from the other parts of your business.