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What is a street turn?

A street turn refers to an intermodal container being used for one trip, usually a live unload, and then immediately getting used for another trip, usually a live load. Typically, on a live unload, the empty container is brought back to the rail yard where it will end up being reserved for future use. With a street turn, the entire return trip is cut out, and a trucking carrier can complete another load without heading back to the rail.

For trucking carriers, street turns cut down on the time spent on each trip. Drivers can end up spending a lot of time in congested rail yards looking for the container that has been reserved for their trip. With street turns, that time spent goes down to 0. The total amount of empty mileage a carrier must drive also decreases, which then increases their dollar per mile revenue.

Not only is it efficient for the carrier to street turn a container to complete two loads, but customers also benefit from not having to find equipment for their next freight move. Street turns allow the intermodal marketing company (IMC) frontline to spend less money, time and energy on trying to find empty containers for their live loads. This frees up the opportunity to attend to other live issues and not get caught up in the minutiae of finding equipment.

Empty intermodal containers can be very hard to come by, especially at the time of this publication, as the past year has been marked by container and chassis shortages. Identifying containers that can be used for live loads is a major asset to any business. Imagine if every delivery could be paired up with a pickup. That right there could play a big role in resolving the intermodal equipment shortages.

How does DrayNow facilitate street turns?

On the DrayNow marketplace, loads are getting dropped off and picked up every day in close proximity, setting up the opportunity for carriers to find street turns. In these instances, carriers have the visibility to see what freight would work best for them. DrayNow can also match up empty containers from completed live unloads with pickup loads that need a container. The combination of sourcing capacity and equipment is making drayage service better and more connected than ever.

How do we match up containers? DrayNow has an algorithm on our platform that looks to connect intermodal containers that are on active trips with all loads in need of these drayage containers on the DrayNow marketplace. This algorithm creates street turn opportunities all within the platform, aiming to maximize intermodal container utilization.

If you’re interested in trying out the DrayNow platform to post your intermodal freight and get street turns, please check out the Customer page and fill out your information on that page.

Be sure to also check out our other resources about street turns and how DrayNow technology is facilitating street turns.

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