Because a drayage load can mean a few different things, confusion among carriers is common. Many carriers link drayage with going into a port, but that isn't always true. While all drayage loads typically originate from a port of entry, there are often several legs of a drayage journey before a container turns up at its final stop. Legs of a drayage load may include:
You may be thinking, what's so important about drayage? It's such a small step in the container storage transport process. In reality, it's an integral piece needed in the logistics industry and a crucial part of U.S. supply chain management.
To truly understand the importance of drayage, let's use flowers as an example. Most cut flower shipments enter the market from areas in South America until they end up at Dutch auction houses. Once there, wholesalers purchase flowers in bulk and send those products to retail outlets worldwide. Because flowers are perishable, they typically need to be refrigerated and are often shipped in reefer containers. These refrigerated vessels must maintain a certain temp to prevent loss.
Drayage companies like RelyEx allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services. Drayage companies allow flower shippers to send their products from Argentinian ports to airports in the Netherlands with peace of mind, because their products are protected. The only way to accomplish this feat is with the help of swift, meticulous port drayage services.
If port drayage is compromised, it can cause delays and even fines. You know the packages you get delivered to your front door from apps like Amazon? Without drayage and drayage brokers, one or two-day shipping times wouldn't even be possible.
As a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, it seems like drayage shipping issues shouldn't exist. But the fact is inefficiencies and congestion are still major problems at ports. Whether it's a lack of carriers, absent chassis, or overburdened terminals, delays lead to missed deadlines, lost revenue, and worse.
But anytime challenges exist, so too do innovative solutions.QUOTE REQUEST
At RelyEx, we like to consider ourselves problem solvers. The nature of the container drayage industry presents new challenges every day, but we're firm believers that there's a solution to every hurdle we encounter. And while some drayage businesses implement a reactive approach, RelyEx customers choose us for our proactive mindset. We take pride in solving your company's drayage challenges to help you avoid frustrating fees, missed expectations, and delayed shipments. We strive to make every transaction successful and streamlined by partnering with shippers who prioritize transparent, prompt, and accurate communication.
RelyEx approaches your business from the customer's perspective - a unique approach that helps us provide high-quality, effective drayage services. We've been in the customers' shoes, know their pain points, and because of that, provide first-hand solutions to stressful supply chain issues. With over 30 years of collective knowledge, our team excels in:
Our varied, high-level drayage shipping experience helps us achieve our overarching goal: expertly managing your freight movement needs. That way, you can direct your time and focus on growing the core aspects of your business while we handle the heavy lifting. Throw in proactive planning to avoid bottleneck situations and strong communication for transparent customer relations, and you can see why so many companies trust RelyEx.
When it comes to shipping logistics, it only takes one mistake by a mediocre worker to disrupt your business. That's why, at RelyEx, we pride ourselves on forming and nurturing relationships with carriers who match our standards of care. Our founding partner started his career transporting freight for companies as an on-demand carrier. He uses that knowledge to maximize the resources of our carriers so that our customer's expectations aren't just met - they're exceeded.
Based in the port city of Raleigh, RelyEx has a keen understanding of the challenges of managing the inbound and outbound flow of containers. Our team of container drayage experts provides your business with unique solutions to nuanced shipping problems, minimizing demurrage and ensuring the successful delivery of your freight.
Customers choose RelyEx because:
Some drayage brokers don't care how customers feel about their service as long as they sign a contract and get paid. As a solutions-oriented team, RelyEx takes the opposite approach. We're motivated by the opportunity to overachieve for our customers and to provide them with the best logistics experience possible. With professional experience as carriers and shippers ourselves, we know the roadblocks and challenges you're facing. We excel at mapping out the best plans of action to solve those problems. But that's just the start.
Our tracking experts monitor and manage every aspect of your drayage shipment from booking to delivery, 24/7. Once booked, we look for the availability of your containers hourly once they're at port. When they arrive, our team acts quickly to access your storage containers when they're available.
Plus, RelyEx ensures your company's requirements are met by the carrier during loading and delivery and provide necessary documentation as fast as possible. With real-time tracking updates and access to our customer service professionals, your team has complete visibility throughout the shipping process.
Over the years, RelyEx has built a strong network of drayage carriers, transloading locations, and container storage spaces to provide you with the best possible options to match your drayage service needs. We know that searching for quality service presents an added layer of complexity and stress to our customers. That's why we work hard to take that off your plate by connecting you with our reliable shipping partners.
With a background moving freight as an on-demand carrier, our founding partner understands how to maximize the resources and equipment of our carriers to match your needs.
Like other industries, the global logistics space is complex. Mistakes will be made, and problems will happen. With those truths in mind, RelyEx has built its reputation as problem solvers. Unlike other drayage companies, we don't shy away from this industry's complexities because we take pride in solving problems. Even better, we aim to do what's needed to avoid those problems altogether.
As your logistics partner, we will provide your company with accurate, transparent, and prompt communication. If there are unexpected issues, we'll notify you immediately and will provide several options to remedy the problem. We even offer custom reporting for large clients who need at-the-moment updates and quick access to shipment documentation.
Why let the unpredictability of your industry dictate your success? With a background working in manufacturing, our founders are familiar with the demands of managing production schedules and sales orders. That experience makes it abundantly clear to us that every business and industry is different. If you struggle with seasonal surges or other factors, our team supports your business with a mapped-out plan and schedule, so you stay ahead of the game.QUOTE REQUEST
Typically, shippers need four specific documents to clear shipments through customs: A Bill of Lading (or BOL), a commercial invoice, a packing list, and an arrival notice. Seasoned drayage brokers like RelyEx are used to preparing these documents, but new shippers tend to miss this step due to inexperience.
If a shipper only pays for part of their shipment, a vessel operator may refuse to release their freight until their bill is fully paid. Payment delays lead to cargo detention at the port of entry, which triggers demurrage charges.QUOTE REQUEST
Paperwork is needed when you're shipping goods with a drayage company. When documents like the Certificate of Origin or Bill of Lading arrive at their destination late, you can expect demurrage fees. RelyEx avoids this situation entirely by being proactive when submitting paperwork.
Additional causes for demurrage fees can include:
At RelyEx, we know first-hand how stressful supply chain problems can be for business owners. Though drayage shipping might seem minor on the surface, it affects every stage of your shipping process. And when inevitable hurdles manifest, RelyEx propels you over the proverbial roadblocks with a proactive mindset and a passion for challenging projects. We believe that all problems have a solution, and our unique vantage point allows us to provide first-hand solutions to customers in a wide array of industries.
When it comes to your business, don't settle for anything less than RelyEx. Contact our office today to learn more about how we make your shipping experience streamlined and stress-free.843-885-3082
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Miami (6-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) at North Carolina State (5-3, 2-2), Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (ACC Network)Line: Miami by 4 1-2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.Series record: Miami leads 11-5-1.WHAT'S AT STAKE?Both the Hurricanes and Wolfpack are coming off wins that helped reclaim some lost momentum. Miami has won two straight games since falling to North Carolina, beating Clemson in double overtime and Virginia in another extra period. N.C. State regrouped from an ugly l...
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Miami (6-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) at North Carolina State (5-3, 2-2), Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (ACC Network)
Line: Miami by 4 1-2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Miami leads 11-5-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Both the Hurricanes and Wolfpack are coming off wins that helped reclaim some lost momentum. Miami has won two straight games since falling to North Carolina, beating Clemson in double overtime and Virginia in another extra period. N.C. State regrouped from an ugly loss at Duke by beating Clemson at home. The winner climbs to the top of a jumbled middle section of the league standings filled with 2-2 teams.
The pass rushes against the opposing offensive lines. Both teams have gotten after the quarterback, with Miami second in the ACC with 28 sacks and N.C. State third with 24. The Hurricanes have allowed just eight sacks, good for second in the league, while the Wolfpack's 16 sacks allowed are tied for sixth in the league.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Miami: S Kamren Kinchens. Kinchens was named the ACC defensive back of the week after returning an interception for a touchdown in the second half against Virginia. He finished with nine tackles in that game.
N.C. State: WR Kevin "KC" Concepcion. The freshman was named ACC rookie of the week for the third time after tallying 134 all-purpose yards in the Clemson win. He had 83 yards through the air and 51 on the ground with two touchdowns.
FACTS & FIGURES
Miami has won four straight meetings, with the last two coming by a combined four points. The Hurricanes won 44-41 after a late touchdown in Raleigh in 2020, then took a 31-30 home win the next year. ... N.C. State's last win in the series came at home in 2008. ... The Hurricanes have spent four weeks in the AP Top 25 this year. ... Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren tied the program record for coaching wins with his 77th win last week. He is tied with Earle Edwards. ... Miami had rallied from double-figure deficits in each of its last two wins. ... N.C. State has managed 176 yards rushing in the last two games, including 64 against Clemson. ... Wolfpack linebacker Payton Wilson is sixth in the Bowl Subdivision ranks by averaging 11.1 tackles per game. ... Kinchens' four interceptions in eight games (0.5 per-game average) is tied for sixth in FBS. ... The Hurricanes can surpass their Year 1 win total under Mario Cristobal with a victory. ... The Hurricanes are eighth nationally against the run (86.9).
On March 27, Raleigh’s First Citizens Bank transformed its present and future by purchasing the remains of the failed Silicon Valley Bank. Overnight, it went from the 30th largest U.S. bank to the 16th, adding $56 billion in deposits and nearly doubling its loans.The move surprised many in the finance world. Silicon Valley Bank was the go-to bank for early-stage tech startups before a bank run sparked its collapse on Ma...
On March 27, Raleigh’s First Citizens Bank transformed its present and future by purchasing the remains of the failed Silicon Valley Bank. Overnight, it went from the 30th largest U.S. bank to the 16th, adding $56 billion in deposits and nearly doubling its loans.
The move surprised many in the finance world. Silicon Valley Bank was the go-to bank for early-stage tech startups before a bank run sparked its collapse on March 10.
“When you started one of these companies, you didn’t give another bank a second thought,” said Igor Jablokov, founder of the Raleigh AI management firm Pryon. “You just started working with SVB.”
In reputation and portfolio, First Citizens was the opposite. It was a family-run bank founded more than 120 years ago in Johnston County. While First Citizens would eventually move north to the burgeoning technology hub of Raleigh, it never focused on the type of venture banking done by the Bay Area-based SVB.
However, it did have a track record of buying distressed financial institutions. In that way, the acquisition made sense.
“I was excited because they’re a local bank,” said Jud Bowman, a serial entrepreneur in Durham who had an SVB account and loan for his startup Sift Media.
So, seven months later, how is Silicon Valley doing under First Citizens?
Answers arrived last week when First Citizens released its latest earnings.
In the five days following the sale, deposits in the SVB segment of First Citizens Bank fell $7 billion as clients moved money to larger banks that were perceived to be safer. By the end of April, deposits had fallen a total of $15.5 billion since First Citizens took over.
Since May 1, however, the deposit exodus has largely ceased. The SVB division of First Citizens finished September with roughly the same deposit level it had six months prior — $40 billion.
“From the data, it seems at least they’re not hemorrhaging (deposits),” said Qi Chen, an accounting professor at the Duke Fuqua School of Business.
First Citizens has put resources into reassuring startup founders that SVB is still a reliable banking option. It launched a nationwide “Yes, SVB” campaign and, despite laying off around 500 former SVB employees in May, First Citizens has retained several former SVB staffers in local markets.
The SVB managing director in the Carolinas remains Chris Stoecker, who is based in Raleigh. Stoecker has been with SVB since 2010 and previously worked at Square 1 Bank in Durham.
“I talk to Chris every few weeks,” Bowman said. “For SVB to survive and thrive under (First Citizens), they’ve got to hold on to that talent base.”
Like founders nationwide, Bowman felt the chaos of SVB’s demise this spring. Silicon Valley was itself the 16th largest bank in the country, with a reputation for helping technology startups stretch their venture funding. But as interest rates rose, some grew anxious about the company’s significant holdings of long-term bonds. This ignited a bank run, which prompted the federal government to assume control.
Bowman was unable to extricate Sift Media’s money before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. froze SVB accounts.
“Is this the end of the company?” he recalled thinking.
Under its business loan agreement, Sift Media was obligated to keep an account with SVB, he said. But Bowman is confident in SVB’s future regardless of this requirement.
“They understand they have to convince us,” he said. “I think they’re back.”
Bowman was further reassured a few weeks ago when he attended a dinner with First Citizens Bank President Peter Bristow, who married into the Holding family, which has led First Citizens since 1935. Bowman said he left the dinner feeling First Citizens would make a strong commitment to startups.
While Sift Media only banks with SVB, others in the Triangle who had exclusively banked with SVB now diversify their deposits.
“As a firm, we follow the same policies we suggested with our companies,” said Jason Caplain, general partner and cofounder of Bull City Venture Partners in Durham. “So we have a cash balance at SVB that’s now smaller in size and the rest we pushed off to another bank.”
Jablokov said SVB under First Citizens has been more “liberal” in permitting his startup, which has an SVB loan, to store some of its deposits at other banks as well.
“‘There’s no way any sort of (chief financial officer) in these startups is going to allow you to not have a backup (account),” he said. “So, we do have relationships with other banking providers now.”
Like Bowman, Caplain and Jablokov described the transition of SVB to First Citizens as seamless.
“For us, there’s been no change,” Caplain said. “Still the same account. Still the same software. Still the same people.”
Today, First Citizens is the 15th largest bank in the country with more than $200 billion in assets. Yet some Triangle entrepreneurs say they still prefer to keep funds with the handful of national banks more universally deemed to be “too big to fail.”
For example, the largest U.S. commercial bank, JPMorgan, has $3.4 trillion in assets. Charlotte-based Bank of America is second with $2.45 trillion.
“Since First Citizens purchased SVB, uncertainty has been largely diminished,” said Ben Scruggs, CEO of Altis Biosystems in Research Triangle Park. Still, he has decided to keep Altis’ primary accounts with bigger banks that he finds “understand small companies.”
Compared to deposits, SVB loan levels have more consistently declined since the acquisition.
The bank added $68 billion in loans with the sale but had around $57 billion as of Sept. 30, a 17% drop. This decrease slowed over the summer, and in its Oct. 26 earnings presentation, First Citizens said that about half of its recent loan slide was due to winding down SVB’s global banking unit.
Speaking to investors, First Citizens Bank CEO Frank Holding acknowledged that the current “private market investment landscape” continues to suppress fundraising activity, exits and deals.
Higher interest rates have caused the entire sector to be more cautious, said Chen of Duke University.
“The (loan) industry itself is in a quiet period,” he said. “Nobody wants loans, nobody’s getting loans. So, it’s not clear going forward whether those innovative small business startups, when they need money, will still come to SVB.”
First Citizens bought SVB’s deposits and loans in exchange for company stock worth up to $500 million. It’s a decision that appears to be paying off.
Since the acquisition, the share price of First Citizens has soared. On the year, the bank’s stock is up 79%. In contrast, the Dow Jones U.S. Banks Index is down 16%.
First Citizens beat analysts’ expectations last week, as the company ended September with around $146 billion in deposits. For comparison, the company had less than $88 billion in deposits the same time last year.
Holding told investors the SVB purchase has given his bank access to new U.S. markets it was “already targeting.” Legacy SVB has a strong presence in Northern California, while First Citizens’ California branches were clustered in the southern part of the state.
First Citizens seems to be hiring, too, at least locally. According to data provided to The News & Observer by the North Carolina Technology Association, First Citizens was the Triangle’s top hirer for tech jobs in September.
“First Citizens has experienced significant growth over the past couple of years,” company spokesperson Frank Smith said in an email. “As a result, we continue to assess our tech talent requirements and positions to ensure we are meeting the needs of our growing enterprise.”
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This story was originally published November 2, 2023, 7:00 AM.
Leesville Road High’s Deiondre Goldston entered this season aware his quarterback game needed growth beyond bigger, stronger, faster. To become a field general, he says he takes a little something from everybody.Let’s start with John Mark Shaw, a UNC Pembroke freshman QB who was The Pride’s starter in 2022 and 2021. Goldston, the understudy as a sophomore a year ago, studied Shaw.“I picked his brain a lot,” Goldston said. “He’s a buddy. I learned from him that to be a leader, the team h...
Leesville Road High’s Deiondre Goldston entered this season aware his quarterback game needed growth beyond bigger, stronger, faster. To become a field general, he says he takes a little something from everybody.
Let’s start with John Mark Shaw, a UNC Pembroke freshman QB who was The Pride’s starter in 2022 and 2021. Goldston, the understudy as a sophomore a year ago, studied Shaw.
“I picked his brain a lot,” Goldston said. “He’s a buddy. I learned from him that to be a leader, the team has to respect you and trust you. He told me to stay poised and always be doing the right thing.”
Goldston spoke Monday between a team meeting and practice as he prepares for his first post-season start in the NCHSAA 4A East Region playoffs. Leesville (8-2), the No. 15 seed, faces No. 18-seed Richmond (5-5), a Rockingham school, at 7 p.m. Friday on The Pride’s field.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder’s rise to varsity starting quarterback was a goal he set as earlier as youth football.
“When I started playing, I loved having the ball in my hands,” he said.
Goldston moved through his chain of neighborhood schools from Briar Creek Elementary School to Pine Hollow Middle School to wearing The Pride’s colors.
“I’m glad this was where they sent me,” he said. “I love playing for Leesville Road. Our students always show up. We have a great atmosphere here every game.”
Leesville head coach Ben Kolstad said Goldston’s growth this season began with focusing on football as his primary sport.
“We called him a basketball kid playing football before this past year,” Kolstad said. “He has taken the game seriously since the off-season.”
Kolstad added Goldston, a drop-back quarterback, has become a “a student of the game” under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Jim Bob Bryant, a veteran head coach. As Havelock’s head coach, 2008-16, Bryant won three straight 3A state titles, 2011-13. When Kolstad took over at Leesville Road in 2017, Bryant joined his staff out of a desire to relocate in the Triangle.
“Deiondre’s decision-making has really improved,” Kolstad said. “Early in the year, he was holding the ball and taking sacks. It’s good he wasn’t throwing interceptions, but if you hold the ball and take a sack, it effects down-and-distance.”
The Pride’s traditionally strong program again contended for a conference title this season under Goldston’s stewardship. Leesville and Cardinal Gibbons were both unbeaten in 4A Cap 6 play when they met last week in the regular-season finale. At stake, in addition to the title, was a higher seed between the two in the playoffs.
The Crusaders won with a fourth-quarter rally, 33-23, in a game that was closer than the final score suggests. Gibbons (8-2) thus earned a No. 5 seed and is at home at 7 p.m. Friday against face No. 28 seed Overhills (5-5) of Spring Lake.
Goldston directs a balanced offense with 1,726 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns nearly equaling 1,858 passing with 20 TDs. Goldston’s own passing yards totals are 1,759 with 19 touchdowns. He’s completed 170 of 251 passes (68 percent) with only three interceptions.
The competition percentage and limited interceptions are examples of making good reads, said Kolstad. The passing game is largely perimeter routes, but the Pride has Goldston take deep shots.
“He’s good on the short and long balls,” Kolstad said. “He throws a ball that is easy to catch.”
But there is someone else that Goldston is trying to take a little from — his father, Donald Goldston.
Donald, back in the day at Southern Durham High, was a 6-foot-4 football tight end and basketball player. But don’t worry, this story isn’t taking a detour about a meddling father. Deiondre mentions him because he envies his pop’s personality.
“I’m not a talkative guy, and I have to get out of my comfort zone if I want the team to respect me,” Goldston said. “My dad is a big talker, so I can learn from him. Everywhere we go, he’s always talking to somebody.”
Goldston is still hoping to make a mark on the 2023 season, of course, but when asked to look ahead to the recruiting game, he said he plans to attend offseason camps at NC State and Duke and other events. He’ll pick up pointers, no doubt, but Kolstad has eyed something else about his QB he hopes Goldston returns with in the fall of 2024.
“His dad is a big guy,” Kolstad said. “Deiondre has long arms and a long body. He might still have some growing in him.”
N.C. State hosted Mount Olive on Wednesday night in an exhibition game and learned a lot about itself.The Wolfpack defeated the Trojans, 89-79, behind a balanced scoring attack and mediocre defense. Head coach Kevin Keatts isn’t overly concerned with the final score — no one got hurt and the staff got a look at various lineups — but he knows there’s things to work out.Most of it goes back to chemistry, he said, while the players said there were jitters. It was the first time they were playing together in...
N.C. State hosted Mount Olive on Wednesday night in an exhibition game and learned a lot about itself.
The Wolfpack defeated the Trojans, 89-79, behind a balanced scoring attack and mediocre defense. Head coach Kevin Keatts isn’t overly concerned with the final score — no one got hurt and the staff got a look at various lineups — but he knows there’s things to work out.
Most of it goes back to chemistry, he said, while the players said there were jitters. It was the first time they were playing together in front of a crowd together.
“Obviously everybody knows we could’ve played better, but going forward, We’ve got to focus on us. We’ve got some stuff to clean up. That’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna take it game by game,” guard Jayden Taylor said. “This is a whole new team. We’re gonna have growing pains…Every team is gonna have adversity. I feel like coming in now, facing it now is way better than facing it late in the year. I feel like it’s just gonna help us get stronger.”
Here are takeaways from the Pack’s first outing together.
Kansas Jayhawk transfer MJ Rice attended the exhibition but did not play. It was his first public appearance with the team since this summer. He spent time away from the program for personal reasons.
September 19, 2023 4:45 PM
Rice posted a photo on Tuesday to his Instagram story, showing himself after a workout with the caption “back.” Keatts told the media last week at the ACC Tipoff that Rice recently began working out with the strength and conditioning staff.
The graduate student committed just one personal foul in the exhibition, an impressive number considering he racked up 100 last year and had 14 games with at least four fouls.
Keatts said the staff worked with Burns over the summer with discipline, especially not picking or slapping down guards.
October 20, 2023 12:52 PM
Burns didn’t have his best defensive game. Keatts jokingly said his lack of fouls was because “he didn’t play any defense.” According to the advanced analytics, he finished with 2.9 net points, producing more than he allowed. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
“One of the things we talked about is how valuable he is to be on the court,” Keatts said. “That’s gonna be something that we continue to preach, because, as you know, I don’t care who he’s playing against. He is really tough to guard.”
Taylor, DJ Horne and Mohamed Diarra all impressed in their unofficial opener. They combined for 35 points. Diarra added seven rebounds and a block, while Horne contributed three boards and a block of his own.
Horne, from Raleigh, said it felt good to be back where his basketball career started.
“I definitely don’t want to just go out there and be a one dimensional type of guy,” Horne said. “Whatever I can kind of do to help my team and put us in a position to win. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
In total, five players finished in double digits and two were just shy of the mark.
October 25, 2023 4:15 PM
It’s early, so it’s not time to panic, but everyone will be looking for a consistent defense.
The Pack held the Trojans to just 24 points in the first half and gave up 55 in the second. Of those second half points, 24 came from 3-pointers.
N.C. State only allowed Mount Olive, a Division 2 school, to make one 3-pointer in the first half.
“I thought we had a couple opportunities that we missed; some 50/50 balls. One of the things we went into the game saying, I want to do a better job of guarding the 3,” Keatts said. “At halftime, they had one. We missed a couple possessions and then they ended up making some shots at the end.”
Kam Woods, from North Carolina A&T, also attended the game but did not play. Keatts previously said the program would submit a waiver for Woods to play immediately, since he transferred once already.
Keatts said Wednesday the waiver was filed, and the program is waiting on the NCAA. It did not receive an estimated time frame from the governing body.
The Wolfpack officially opens its season on Monday against The Citadel at PNC Arena. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the holiday season approaches, travel experts say to expect full planes and a lot of competition as leisure travel continues to rebound."Travel is certainly here to stay," flight expert Gilbert Ott said.Holiday travel chaos is on the minds of passengers like Pamela Higdon, who passed through the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday."I always just had to plan ahead, allow extra time, make sure that we had all of our documents and that we were as prepared as we could b...
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the holiday season approaches, travel experts say to expect full planes and a lot of competition as leisure travel continues to rebound.
"Travel is certainly here to stay," flight expert Gilbert Ott said.
Holiday travel chaos is on the minds of passengers like Pamela Higdon, who passed through the Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Wednesday.
"I always just had to plan ahead, allow extra time, make sure that we had all of our documents and that we were as prepared as we could be," Higdon said.
Passport delays are still long for millions of Americans with some facing a wait of up to 11 weeks, according to the State Department.
"A lot of people needed to renew their passports. There weren't enough staff to handle all the applications," Clint Henderson, managing news editor at The Points Guy, said. "The good news is processing times have come down slightly, and I think that's only going to improve the rest of the year."
The key to holiday travel this year is to book early if you haven't already, according to Ott.
"Thirty to sixty days for domestic travel tends to be a sweet spot," Ott said. "You want to start earlier, and last minute also can be a decent opportunity if you haven't found anything that works."
Ott said another way to save is setting price alerts early.
"They're free to set," Ott said. "You can track as many routes as you want. You should set it for direct flights you should set it for indirect flights, you should set it for nearby cities that you'd consider."
More money-saving hacks include using credit-card points instead of cash and looking at first-class fares domestically as Ott said the holidays are when business travel is down.
"Sometimes first-class fares domestically are nearly the same price as economy, but they come with the checked bags, the priority security, and you can actually end up saving money or kind of breaking even by going for the higher fare," Ott said. "They're less volatile because there's a little bit of a dip in demand for those seats up front while everybody is trying to grab a seat in the back to get home for the holidays."