Cargo ships with full container receipts to import and export products worldwide

Drayage: A Vital Role in New York’s Supply Chain

Speed and efficiency of U.S. supply chains have varied over the years. This is especially true for New York, which is a vital supply chain hub. New York’s (and New Jersey’s) ports and shipping logistics are a lifeline for transporting goods.

With numerous options to move cargo, the largest East Coast container port provides in two important ways. First, cargo has direct access to one of the largest consumer markets in the world: the Tri-State Area. Second, our NY ports provides fast access to the inland markets.

A vital role in this process is drayage services. Whether your freight goes from ship to truck or truck to ship, the link in the supply chain is drayage services. If your business ships goods through the ports of New York and New Jersey, you will need reliable drayage services.

NY & NJ Ports We Serve

  • Global Terminal
  • Maher Terminals
  • APM Terminals
  • Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT)
  • Packer Avenue Terminal
  • New York Container Terminal (NYCT)
  • Croxton Terminal
  • CSX
  • Red Hook Container Terminal

Freight tug pushing cargo ship to the port in New York City and Lower Manhattan skyscarpers skyline in background

What is Drayage Services?

Drayage is most commonly known as pulling containers from a port, then loading or unloading them, before ultimately returning the container to the shipping port. Typically, this transport service occurs over short distances.

Freight shipping is a complex process. While traveling a short distance, the supply chain would be incomplete without drayage services. Basically, it is the short-haul trip that happens before or after the long-haul shipping process. It connects goods to consumers across the country.

When your freight arrives to a New York or New Jersey port, you will need drayage services. Our drayage services include transporting from the port, to the final destination. Another popular option we offer is hauling freight and goods to a storage facility, and then the final mile. Additionally, Iron Horse Transport provides chassis on a rental basis for drayage in the ports of New York and New Jersey.

Drayage: Solving Modern Shipping Challenges

Transporting freight has developed throughout history to be the intermodal system we see today. Shipping containers, and the drayage services used to move them, play a vital role in the modern shipping process.



Containerization is the method of transporting freight by putting it in large containers. These containers are standard sizes, so that they can be easily stacked, loaded, and unloaded. Containers are shipped efficiently over long distances, to another port.

Container handling is fully mechanized, so that all movement is done by cranes and special forklifts. Once a container arrives in a port, it is moved onto a chassis. Then, the chassis and container are hauled to a warehouse or to the final destination.

The development of containerization improved and sped up the long-range shipping process. By standardizing the shipping methods, the supply chain is more efficient.

Aerial view of Global Container terminals in Bayonne, New Jersey. GCT is the terminal in the harbor servicing large vessels and cargo.

Global Terminal – Bayonne, NJ


Port Logistics

The ports in New York and New Jersey are constantly busy on a day-to-day basis. Then, we see seasonal surges in cargo. Due to this, there is high demand and heavy competition for logistics companies.

One of the negative results of this is high traffic at ports, slowed transportation time, delays in deliveries, and damaged goods. Another major problem is when inexperienced “individual owner-operators” attempt to provide drayage services. When people are not qualified to provide a complete logistics solution, they add to the problem of overcrowded ports, shipping delays, or damaged goods.

For these reasons, you need a dedicated trucking team in New York. This team will be able to effectively orchestrate your drayage, cross-docking, and final mile solutions, in order to be sure that your containers are handled properly and efficiently.



Cross-docking is an optional service in the shipping logistics path. This service is typically used for less-than-truckload operations. Cross-docking means unloading your fright from an incoming container, and then loading it directly onto outbound trucks or trailers.

For companies that do not want to store their cargo when it arrives, or have goods in the containers going to multiple destinations, cross-docking is the best solution. Cross-Docking is a cost efficient part in the supply chain. By eliminating extra inventory holding and handling, your product reaches its final destination quicker and without additional fees.