Thanks so much for re-posting this.
I must admit, I was a bit heart-broken (too strong a word, but I can't
find the right substitute!) when you cancelled your original question,
since the topic had developed into a surprisingly interesting search,
and the answer was sort of cool.
That said, here is the answer I had prepared a few days back...hope you enjoy it:
I suspect your musician friend has some familiarity with the world of
The total time it takes to ship an item door-to-door from Point A to
Point B -- the transit time -- is broken up into a series of smaller
units: the time it spends on a truck, the time it spends at transfer
stations, and so on.
The time it takes to get an item from its initial warehouse storage to
the loading dock is known as the 'dray time'.
'Dray' is an old-fashioned word for a type of heavy-duty sled that was
used to drag goods around. In fact, 'dray' and 'drag' have pretty
similar etymological origins. A dray-horse, for instance, is (was)
the animal whose job it was to drag the dray around. Dray-time is the
time involved in doing so.
Although the use of 'dray' itself has fallen by the wayside, the term
dray-time remains. It is also sometimes known as drayage.
You can see it used in the following papers, both studies of how to
improve overall transit time for moving merchandise:
WebShipCost -- Quantifying Risk in Intermodal Transport
...Dray time is incurred for moving goods to/from a stationary site
from/to the loading site for transport. Data for transfer time and
dray time are from a variety of data sources...
Approaches for Improving Drayage in RAIL-TRUCK Intermodal Service
[ Table 3 in this report, "Drayage as a Portion of the Total
Door-to-Door Cost", itemizes the dray time for different shipping
Though I've heard the term 'dray time' before, I'm not familiar with
your friend's specific phrase, "...better a little dray time than no
dray time at all."
However, its meaning would seem to be this. The only time that
there's no dray time is when no merchandise is being shipped...in
other words, when nothing's happening. Once you're moving goods,
there's bound to be some dray time.
So, "...better a little dray time than no dray time at all"
essentially means that it's better to have something going on than
nothing going on at all, even if the something takes a little time.
Or to put it a bit differently: So you're a bit late...no biggie!
I trust this information fully answers your question.
However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need. If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.
search strategy -- Personal knowledge along with a Google search on [
"drae OR dray time" ]
Well....that's it. Let me know if there's anything else I can do for
you on this one.
Clarification of Answer by
16 Feb 2006 12:52 PST
Well...be sure to have a look at all the comments that were posted
(below). Your question sparked a good deal of interest, and there are
certainly some good alternative possibilities there.
Let me just add a few thoughts:
1. It's certainly possible that your musician/model friend picked up
the phrase from a non-musician, non-model person -- his father,
cousin, friend, roommate, or someone else who learned it in the
shipping business more or less as I described it. webravi's comment
below certainly suggests that this might be the case.
2. I'm sure you have a very good reason for not simply asking your
friend, but on the off chance that this solution didn't present
itself, then by all means, go ahead and ask.
3. There's a Dr. Dre and a Little Dre in the rap/hip-hop world, and
listening to their music is sometimes phrased as getting some 'Dre
time'. You can see it used that way here:
Beyond that, I'm not sure what to add. But as always, if there's
something more you'd like me to look into, just let me know by posting
a reply to this note, and I'll be glad to help you out.
All the best,