Drayage Trucking

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Drayage Trucking

Major ports in the United States

Four of the top ports in the United States based on the number of drayage trucks that access these ports are the Port of New York & New Jersey, the Port of Seattle — Tacoma, the Port of Houston and the Port of Oakland.

The Port of New York & New Jersey

  • In 2018, the Port of New York and New Jersey handled cargo containers valued at nearly $200 billion, making it the busiest port on the East Coast.
  • Port authority figures show that this port has 19,100 registered drayage trucks, however, about 9,500 trucks actively serve the port.

The Port of Seattle — Tacoma

  • The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma merged in 2015 and they are jointly operated by the Northwest Seaport Alliance. In 2015, this port accounted for 5.3% of the total cargo volume in the US.
  • The Port of Seattle — Tacoma has an estimated 4,500 registered drayage trucks.

The Port of Houston

Port of Oakland

  • The Port of Oakland is one of the three main West Coast gateways for US containerized cargoes. Additionally, it is a major gateway for U.S. exports, particularly agricultural exports.
  • This port is heavily dependent on drayage, with up to 90% of containers leaving the port on a truck. The port has between 6,000 and 7,000 trucks that actively serve the port on a regular basis.

Research Strategy

To determine five major ports in the U.S. in addition to the San PedroBay port based on the number of drayage trucks that access those ports, we began by looking for a list of the major ports in the United States since we assumed that the number of trucks registered to a port would be a function of the volume of trade. We found a list of the top 10 ports in the U.S. by trade volume and subsequently searched for official and industry sources to determine the number of drayage trucks that access them. For some ports, we found the number of trucks registered to those ports, for others we found the number of drayage trucks that access the port on a daily or regular basis. This process helped us determine that the number of trucks at the selected ports are close to the number of drayage trucks in the San Pedro Bay Port.

After an extensive search, we were unable to find the number of drayage trucks for the following ports, which are listed as part of the top 10 ports in the U.S.: Georgia Ports, the Port of Virginia, the Port of Houston, South Carolina Ports, and Port of Miami. Since these ports are among the top 10 ports in the U.S., we can assume that they have large numbers of drayage trucks even though we were unable to determine the actual number for these ports. That is the reason why we have only provided four major ports in this response as opposed to the five major ports that were required.


Fuel Consumed By the US Drayage Industry Per Annum

The US Drayage Industry consumes an estimated 4.1 billion gallons of fuel each year. The fuel consumption was triangulated using the drayage industry's share of the American trucking industry.
  • In 2018, American trucking revenues were reported to be $796.7 billion.
  • According to the American Trucking Associations, 54.3 billion gallons of fuel were consumed by trucks used for business purposes in 2016.
  • The drayage industry was valued at $60 billion in 2019.

Calculation

Drayage industry's share of the trucking industry = $60 billion/$796.7 billion = 7.53%

Drayage industry's share of fuel consumed = 7.53% * 54.3 billion gallons of fuel = 4.089 billion gallons of fuel

Research Strategy

To determine the total amount of fuel consumed by the US drayage industry per annum, we started with a direct search in official and industry sources including the American Trucking Associations, IbisWorld, Freight Wave, and Trucks.com. We were unable to find the information using a direct search because of the niche nature of this market, however, we did find the fuel consumed in the entire US trucking industry in 2016 in American Trucking Associations. We did additional research in order to find fuel consumption for 2018 or 2019 but this was the latest fuel consumption data that was publicly available.

We subsequently expanded our search to determine the value of the US trucking industry since we had the value of the drayage industry. The logic behind this was that the quantity of fuel consumed by the drayage industry should be in proportion to industry revenues and could be used to triangulate the fuel consumed since a direct search had proved futile. We subsequently used the drayage market's share of the trucking industry to triangulate the annual fuel consumption of the drayage industry as shown in the calculation section above.


Total Number of Drayage Trucks and Total Number of Miles

The total number of trucks performing drayage services in the U.S. is estimated to be 72,000. New drayage trucks in California travel between 55,000 to 100,000 miles annually depending on whether they operate within or outside the state. However, drayage trucks that are older than 10 years travel about 22,000 miles annually regardless of where they operate.

Total Number of Drayage Trucks

  • The San Pedro Bay port has 18,000 registered drayage trucks.
  • The Port of Long Beach is one of the largest ports in the U.S., together with the Los Angeles Port, they're responsible for more than a quarter of the total container trade in North America.
  • The port drayage truck registry for the Port of Long Beach terminals has more than 17,000 trucks and the majority of them are operated by independent truck owners. Additionally, 13,000 of these trucks are active every month.
  • The Port of New York and New Jersey has 19,100 registered drayage trucks.

Calculation

  • Assuming that there is no overlap in the ports that the drayage trucks load from and that all port registrations are unique.
  • The San Diego Bay port comprising the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach has 18,000 registered drayage trucks. Additionally, this port is responsible for more than a quarter of the total container trade in the U.S.
  • If one- quarter of U.S. trade requires 18,000 drayage trucks
  • The total number of drayage trucks = 18,000 *4 = 72,000 drayage trucks

Total Number of Miles

  • The total number of miles traveled by each drayage truck per year depends on whether the drayage truck operates only within the state or also operates outside the state. It is also a function of its age since the number of miles traveled by a drayage truck reduces as the truck ages.
  • Drayage trucks that operate only inside California annually accrue about 55,000 miles when they are new while trucks that operate interstate annually accrue 100,000 miles.
  • Additionally, when they are more than 10 years, the annual mileage from drayage trucks is the same regardless of whether they work inside California alone or interstate: about 22,000 miles.
  • According to San Diego's 2018 Feasibility Assessment for Drayage Trucks, the maximum daily mileage for a drayage truck is assumed to be 800 miles per day.

Research Strategy

To provide the total number of drayage trucks in the U.S. we first attempted a direct search of official and industry sources such as American Trucking Associations, Joc.com, and Transport Topics, however, this search proved futile since it only turned up estimates for the number of trucks in the U.S. and not specific to the niche drayage industry.

We then attempted to triangulate the information using the number of registered drayage trucks in each of the U.S. ports. However, our previous search had shown that information for some ports was not publicly available. As a result, we used the number of trucks registered to the San Diego Bay port to estimate the total number of trucks in the U.S. since that port is responsible for a quarter of U.S. container trade.

Additionally, we also searched extensively for the total number of miles traveled by a drayage truck per annum and we were unable to find any specific data for drayage trucks. The only source of information located provided data specific to California, which we have used as a proxy for the entire industry since their ports account for a quarter of U.S. container trade.
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