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Drayage Freight + Ocean Tracking: The Journey of an International Shipment

Drayage Freight + Ocean Tracking: The Journey of an International Shipment

Have you ever wondered what it looks like to ship international freight overseas? The journey of a shipment from Port A to Port B isn’t so simple. In fact, having visibility on your ocean shipments can get pretty complicated.

Shipwell has many hands in the international freight shipping world, including ocean tracking, over the road hauls and drayage. Here’s the journey that products make when shipping over the ocean.

Transporting from original facility

First, the shipment needs to be picked up from the shipper’s facility and hauled to a freight warehouse near the port. This process usually involves a truck or a train and can come from anywhere in the country to the most strategic port for international shipment.

Shipwell is no stranger to over-the-road freight. In fact, we have an award-winning platform that provides shippers, brokers, and carriers with real-time freight visibility and centralized information.

From staging terminal to port

Next, this shipment is unloaded in the warehouse and prepared in a staging area for customs check. After a shipment has cleared customs in the warehouse, it is grouped in the warehouse with other shipments heading to the same destination.

A couple of days before the ocean voyage, shipments are put into containers and then trucked to the port. This part is called drayage, and once truckers arrive at the port, the containers are dropped off and loaded onto a large shipping vessel for oceanic transport.

Shipwell has drayage truckers that we have built relationships with to manage terminal-to-port shipments to make it easier and more visible to shippers about where their freight is located.

Oceanic travel

Finally, the shipment takes to the oceans for the bulk of its voyage.

Similar to public transit for humans, the container could take a nonstop trip or have several connections at different ports until it reaches its destination. Through the Shipwell platform you have access to real-time ocean tracking every step of the way.

This journey can sometimes take a couple of weeks to make it across massive oceans and small straights around the world, but having ocean tracking visibility helps you stay on top of freight deadlines.

Destination port and staging

Now, ships arrive at the port. Once the containers clear customs, they move to the port and Shipwell sends a drayage carrier in for shipment retrieval. Then, the truck heads over to the destination warehouse where the container is offloaded and staged for transport.

The drayage truck can return the container to the port or haul a loaded container back for a future shipment.

The receiving warehouse

Then, the freight is staged and separated, and Shipwell sends a carrier to take it to the destination warehouse.

Generally referred to as the consignee or receiver, this warehouse offloads the freight and either keep it in inventory for future use or ships it on a last mile delivery truck.

Shipwell’s carrier network has over 800,000 drivers. We use several modes of tracking technology to provide transparency to your freight for the length of its international journey.


Are you shipping across the ocean and need help running your shipments from your warehouse to the port? Shipwell wants to help! On top of FTL and LTL shipping solutions, we offer drayage management to give full visibility to your freight.

Our award-winning platform is easy to use and connects shippers, brokers, and carriers inside one platform to centralize information.