Dry Run

Dry Run: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

If you have any question about dry run, you will find the answer right here.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is Dry Run in Trucking?



Dry run illustrates the unsuccessfulness of a trucker in making a delivery or pick up of a shipment.

As a result, an extra trip is bound to happen.

However, the extra trip attracts another full trucking fee for the shipment.

Why do Dry Runs Happen in Shipping?

There are two reasons why dry runs can occur in the event of dealing with a shipment.

These are;

  • During congestion at the port
  • A delay in the pickup of the cargo from the port of arrival

Congestion; this is more prevalent during a peak season and more so during holidays that can affect shipping like the Chinese new year.

The congestion creates a hindrance in accessing the shipment.

During the Chinese New Year, goods and shipping become numerous due to the high demand for goods from businesses.

This is to ensure the businesses do not run out of stock during the celebrations that last almost a month with all shops and manufacturers closed.

Hence the increased congestion before and after the Chinese new year can result to dry runs.

Moreover, owners may delay to pick up the cargo shipment from the ports on time.

Hence forces the trucker to engage in another trip, which results to the possibility of making a dry run.

What is the Difference between Dry Run and Pre Pull?

Pre Pull

 Pre pull

Pre-pull is the process which a trucker picks up a container, instead of making a delivery, it is given storage space at the truckers’ yard overnight.

In dry run, the truck completely fails to make a delivery or pick up of the cargo.

While in pre-pull, the cargo gets picked from the port prior to the last free day of the cargo at the port.

Are Dry Runs in Shipping Avoidable?

Yes, dry runs are avoidable.

However, this is completely dependable on the shipping management.

Good shipping management creates room for better planning for shipment pickups and deliveries.

Consequently, dry runs are avoided.

Moreover, there are instances where dry runs are inevitable.

Some factors are completely out of control from the shipping management.

For example, shipping managers cannot alter the Chinese New Year event which results to many instances of dry runs.

What is Dry Run Fee?

Dry run fee is the amount charged to the shipper following a miss in pickup or delivery of a cargo.

This is possible due to the information gap that exists between the shippers on the situation at the port.

This results to failure to pick up the shipment form the port yet bookings for a truck to pick up the cargo is already underway.

This fee is determined by the freight carrier depending on factors like drivers’ time and gas.

How much is Dry Run Fee?

Following the nature of dry runs, the fee is most dependent on factors like drivers` time and gas spent. However, this factors may be overlooked.

As a result, the dry run fee is not dependent on the fact that the truck covers a longer or shorter distance from the freight terminal.

Hence these factors cannot grant a more or less expensive dry run fee.

How do Dry Runs Affect Shipping?

 Dry run affecting shipping

 Dry run affecting shipping

Dry runs increase the cost of shipping.

This is because of the extra fee on the extra trip made to make the dry run tip.

Additionally, dry runs can affect the delivery of shipments in the event there is a delay at the port.

The truck has to wait for the port to clear the pickup hence can attract more fees.

However, the delivery of the goods will be efficient since loading is made efficient.

Moreover, dry runs become efficient when a shipper is in need of the cargo urgently.

The truck arrives earlier and stays overnight during which it is being loaded.

It is then set for departure very early in the morning to facilitate working within the timelines of the shipper.

Just like any other transportation means, cargo theft and damage are sometimes inevitable. However, to efficiently counter this, provide an insurance plan for your shipment.

What is the Difference Between Dry Run Vs Drop and Pick Vs Pick and Drop?

A dry run involves a truck with an empty trailer with the intention of loading cargo.

Thus the truck driver makes an empty trip to shipper’s destination to load for required cargo.

In drop and pick, the truck makes a trip to the shippers’ destination, loaded with the cargo. However, due to the nature of the cargo and the time, the driver gives the shipper time to unload the cargo and later comes back for the container.

In Pick and drop, the truck driver makes a trip to load the required cargo, makes it to the destination site, and unloads the cargo.

Unlike the drop and pick, pick and drop is time conscious and does not leave the container to come and pick up later.

How Can I Avoid Dry Run Fee?

One of the surest way of avoiding dry run fee is to arranged earlier pick up dates from the port prior to the last day.

Additionally, freight carriers can as well dismiss the cases of a dry run.

However, this is subject to discretion between the carrier and the owner of the cargo.

Nonetheless, the most certain way to avoid dry runs is to be time conscious with the pickup date of your cargo.

What is Cargo Readiness and how does it Influence Dry Runs in Shipping?

Cargo readiness refers to the specific time and date a shipper`s cargo is ready for transportation.

Being sure of the time and date the cargo is ready, allows the shipper to book trucking services early in advance.

As a result, events of dry runs are as well avoided.

Nonetheless, the calculations might go amiss.

This happens when the predictions of a shipper on the time and date are interfered by unforeseen factors like congestion.

Congestion results to delays which reflects to having dry runs.

Which Elements determine whether Cargo is ready for Transportation?

Cargo readiness is thus under the influence of three factors.

These are

  • Availability of the cargo
  • Cargo packaging
  • Full cargo documentation.

Availability of the Cargo

One of the factors that guarantee the readiness of a shipment is its availability.

This is in the sense that the shipment fulfills the agreements between the buyer and the seller.

Availability of the cargo assesses the quality and quantity of the cargo as per the specifications of the buyer.

This extends to making sure that the full order cargo is present.

The invoice and packing list create an easy time to check for the availability of the cargo for shipment.

Cargo Packaging

According to shipping rules, all shipments must adhere to the outlined shipping standards.

This includes packaging the cargo in a manner that protects it from damage in the course of transportation.

To illustrate the strictness of this rule, if a shipment does not obey the packaging rules.

It does not receive clearance for shipping, until the correct packaging is implemented.

Additionally, there is sea cargo packaging and air freight packaging.

Make sure you choose the right packaging depending on the type of transportation you choose.

Full Cargo Documentation

These entails being in possession of all documents pertaining your cargo.

From having the invoices to the clearance certificates for easier transport of your cargo.

Additionally, do not forget any licenses or permits applicable to your shipment.

The above three requirements only determine the cargo readiness.

This does not mean the cargo is not subject to a customs clearance procedure.

The authorities must conduct a customs clearance in order to fully commence on the shipping.

Additionally, when availing packaging material to the freight warder, you should be aware that the material affects both size and weight of the cargo.

Ensure you provide the acceptable packaging material.

Consulting with your freight forwarder on the same is important.

How do I Enhance Communication in my Supply Chain to avoid Dry Runs in Shipping?

Supply chain management

 Supply chain management

Dry runs are costly.

As a result, any means necessary to evade such costs and ensure that shipments arrives to its destination is applicable.

One of the ways to especially evade dry runs is through communication.

To enhance communication between shipper and carrier can be done through;

Creating Real Time and Transparent Communications.

This translates to highlighting of major events that could affect shipping hence result to dry runs.

Additionally, transparency closes the information gap that exists between the carrier and shipper on the time lines to pick up the cargo.

Most carriers miss on the exact arrival and pick up dates of the cargo due to lack of exact date and time from the shipper.

This arises in the event there are some changes at the port made know to the shipper and the shipper fails to inform the carrier.

Enhancing Secure Data Transmissions for Communication Purposes.

This helps to reduce cases of lost information regarding cargo pick up dates and arrival at the port.

How does Port Choice Influence Shipping in Relation to Dry Runs?

It all depends on how busy the port is and the management of shipping in the port.

A port that has high inflow of shipments and a poor management most likely attracts dry runs. However, sometimes it’s not due to management.

There are peak seasons where the ports are bound to be congested.

Congestion is a major factor that contributes to dry runs.

Therefore, as much as a port is more credible, reliability is also important when determining the port.

The carrier should opt for a more reliable port in terms of vicinity as well other factors that could evade accruing dry run fees.

Are there Exceptions to Dry Run Fees?


  • For shipments cancelled at specific hours (carriers sets the ETA window) before pick-up
  • If the carrier makes an ETA with an accompaniment of a written letter like an email to confirm on dry fee charge
  • Availability of a written bill of approval for the dry run by the carrier.

What is a Deadhead Charge in Logistics?

Deadhead refers to the scenario where a truck is travelling without a trailer.

In most cases the truck drive is heading to pick up a load or is from unloading a cargo.

Either way, the truck attracts fees payable to compensate the driver`s effort and the gas spent to make the travel.

The fee charged is known as a deadhead charge.

The carrier gets a notification confirming the arrival of a deadhead truck, and thus makes arrangement to cater for the charges.

Do Carriers Charge a Dry Run Fee in Addition to a Deadhead Charge?

No. Carriers are not allowed to charge the dry run fee and the deadhead fee to the same truck.

The carrier chooses one type charge to execute.

What is the Relationship Between Dry Run and Detention in Shipping?

In the event a truck makes a dry run, and further delays cause the truck to stay more hours than the allocated time, it attracts detention.

As a result, it is important to ensure further delays are short-lived and are within the time line to avoid detention fees.

Detention fee is the charge evaluated when the truck is held at the pick up or delivery location longer than the allocated time.

What is Shipping Management?

Shipping management ensures that all activities for shipping, such as maritime supervision, management of ships, the registration of the ships, maintenance are in place.

Shipping management generally caters for all the needs for shipping through the vessels.

How does Shipping Management Reduce Dry Runs?

In light to shipping management, there is a co-relation to dry runs. Good shipping management translates to less incidences of dry runs.

The shipping management keeps tabs on the maritime traffic on ships.

As a result, the management is aware of impending congestions at the port.

This allows the shipping management to make effective communication to the carriers who in turn inform the shippers of the congestions.

This affects the decision making of booking trucks due to possible causes of dry runs at the port.

Additionally, the shipping management makes efforts to inform owners of the cargos in the ship of the arrival dates to evade delays caused by late pickups.

Does Dry Run Affect all Kinds of Shipments?

Dry runs are common with road freights.

This is because trucks are most reliable to make the final delivery of the cargos to the owner.

It is rare to experience dry runs in air freights and sea freights, due to the expensive nature. However, delays and congestion at ports in air freights especially are well managed.

What is a Drop Trailer Program?

Drop trailer refers to a truck that helps drop off shipments at defined destinations.

The trailer has an allocated time to wait for loading or unloading of the cargo, before departure.

According to law, truck drivers are supposed to take a break after a certain period of time.

The drop trailer program accommodates that rest time.

Additionally, the drop trail program facilitates loading and offloading of heavy freight efficiently.

What are the Benefits of using Drop Trailer Programs in Relation to Dry Runs in Shipping?

Drop trailer program is convenient and thus comes with the following benefits;

The Drop Trailer allows for Better Service Levels

This is because of the rest time drivers acquire.

Even during the event of a dry run, drivers still need resting time.

Drop Trailer Program offers Good Time Management Skills

This owes to the electronic logging devices that help keep track of the drivers.

As a result, shippers account for any extra time wasted during loading or unloading the cargo.

It enhances accountability for time wastage at the same time ensures truck drivers arrive on time and get some rest.

Convenient to Shippers and Warehouse Workers

In most scenarios heavy cargo takes time to load or unload.

Especially in a warehouse where the workers are less and the cargo is huge.

Drop trailer program allows the trucks to drop the containers, and later pick it up, hence offering ample time to shippers and warehouse workers to unload.

Dry runs as well can help facilitate convenience.

In the event the cargo is ready, the freight forwarder makes preparations to make the cargo available.

Dry runs are thus convenient to shippers who wish to have their cargo earlier.

Hence the truck avails it earlier, makes an overnight stay.

During this time the freight company loads the cargo and the truck is ready for departure the next morning.

Reduced Shipping Costs

During dry runs, the cargo can avoid demurrage fees by being loaded unto the truck.

Same applies to the drop trailer program.

Cargos have a limited time to stay at the shipping ports.

Once this time lapses, there are fees attached.

To avoid this, the drop trailer program allows shippers to evade those detention charges from the port.

Same case applies when using the dry runs services.

As a trusted freight forwarder in China, BanSar will help you with all freight forwarding service from China to any global destination.

Contact us today for all your freight forwarding services from China.

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