Do Freight Shipping Prices Vary by State?

January 1, 2019 by Maren Nader
Share on:

Short Answer: Yes

Several factors can impact the cost of freight shipping, including your shipment’s weight, dimensions and any special handling requirements, such as temperature or shape. Additionally, you may notice that the cost of your shipment changes depending on which state you are shipping to or from. Yes indeed, freight shipping prices do vary by state.

One important factor to note is that most carriers are not national, meaning they only ship within a region. Because of this, shipments often begin with one carrier and end up with a different partner carrier.

That being said, there is a uniform way to calculate your shipping costs, which can be calculated using our freight quote calculator. Regardless of where you are shipping to or from, this is the easiest way to determine what your shipping costs will be for every single shipment, every single time. Additionally, our freight experts are here to guide you through the process if needed.

If you frequently ship between states, or are considering opening a warehouse location in a particular state, take a look at our state-by-state breakdown below to help you make the best decision for you and your business.

State-by-State Freight Shipping Prices Breakdown

Alabama

Alabama freight rates typically see an increase during the summer months, when there is an increased demand for trucks to ship agricultural products, such as poultry, corn and cattle.

This state exports slightly more than it imports, with gravel, logs, non-metal mineral products, coal and natural sands being the most-shipped commodities by freight truck. The uncertainty of coal demand will definitely play a role in the future of the state’s freight exports.

Alaska

More shipments travel into (rather than out from) the state of Alaska. Most of the state’s food is imported, and therefore there are several refrigerated shipments that come into the state on a regular basis.

Alaska’s northern climate coupled with the vast and steep terrain present a unique set of considerations that make it important to select a knowledgeable freight partner when shipping to and from the state.

Additionally, the far distance away from the lower 48 states can increase the cost of shipping to Alaska, especially when the destination is a rural area, as the state has a limited number of highways. Because of this, most shipments go by air or sea.

Main hubs include Anchorage (south), Fairbanks (central), Prudhoe Bay (north) and Skagway (southeast).

Arizona

Arizona’s desert climate allows for a long growing season, with produce shipping out of state during a greater part of the year. The state’s freight rates are heavily impacted by the agricultural industry, which can cause rates to increase due to higher demand.

Phoenix and Tuscon are Arizona’s freight activity centers for consumer goods and manufacturing. Over $188 billion of freight shipments come in and out of the state each year, with about 41 percent coming into the state and 21 percent traveling outbound.

Arkansas

Freight rates generally remain consistent throughout the entire year in the state of Arkansas. That being said, shipping to or from rural areas can cause shipping rates to increase.

California

California has numerous railroads, making it a great state for shipping low-cost intermodal freight. On the other hand, the state’s higher fuel taxes can result in higher fuel costs for LTL shippers.

Colorado

Colorado’s mountainous terrain and seasonal changes can impact freight shipping costs. For example, winter conditions tend to make freight shipping more expensive.

Connecticut

Connecticut generally imports more than it exports, making outbound freight rates more affordable. Why? Because many trucks are looking for another load to carry once their deliveries within the state are completed.

Most freight shipments into the state of Connecticut go by way of truck (94%). Freight plays a significant contribution to this state’s business activity, accounting for $58.1 billion in 2014.

Delaware

Delaware contains a large number of ports and freights, making intermodal transportation a good choice.

Florida

Freight shipping in the Sunshine State tends to be less expensive during the summer months. This is because the state produces a large amount of produce, providing ample opportunities for truck drivers to haul produce back out of the state.

Florida embraces a multimodal transportation system, moving over 770 tons of freight annually. Additionally, the state serves as the primary gateway for shipments to and from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Georgia

Agriculture plays a big role in this state’s freight costs. In general, it’s better to ship freight outside of peach, pecan and peanut growing seasons, all of which typically make trucks harder to come by.

Hawaii

Freight shipping rates to Hawaii tends to be some the most expensive. The state’s distance from the centralized 48 plays a significant role in shipping costs to and from the island.

Additionally, the lack of major highways throughout all of the state’s islands affect costs as well. Truckload rates are calculated based on the distance traveled as well as time spent on the road.

Idaho

This state’s onion and potato seasons play a role in freight shipping costs in Idaho. Additionally, there are many rural areas within the state, which can be more difficult to access. Therefore, proximity to major metro hubs also influences a freight shipment’s price.

Illinois

Illinois is one of the more economical states when it comes to freight shipping. This is due to the amount of industry, high population and the state’s centralized geographical location.

Indiana

Indiana’s freight shipping rates tend to remain consistent year-round. This is because the industry generally remains constant regardless of the season.

Iowa

As a centralized state with generally consistent terrain and climate, Iowa’s shipping rates also tend to remain constant throughout the year.

Kansas

Kansas has a significant amount of hubs and railroads, making it a good option for intermodal freight shipments.

Kentucky

Kentucky contains several large auto assembly plants. Because of this, inbound freight shipments tend to be less expensive than outbound hauls.

Louisiana

The cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans see a significant amount of traffic back and forth. This results in reasonable freight rates within the state of Louisiana.

Maine

Trucks dominate freight shipments in and out of the state of Maine. Currently, outbound shipping rates tend to be less expensive than inbound rates.

According to a recent DOT presentation, the state expects to grow freight shipments by 2-3 percent per year over the next 30 years. This is due to their geographic location as well as capitalization of niche markets, including e-commerce, petroleum and food and beverage.

Maryland

Maryland sees a considerable amount of LTL shipments within the state. Freight rates tend to be consistent and reasonable in this state.

Massachusetts

The Bay State receives a lot of inbound shipments. This helps to decrease outbound rates due to the number of available trucks.

Michigan

Inbound freight shipping rates in Michigan tend to be more affordable than outbound rates. This is due to the automobile and industrial manufacturing industries in the state.

Minnesota

Minnesota lacks several major cities, causing freight rates to be a bit higher in this state than other parts of the country.

Mississippi

Agriculture and produce affect freight rates in Mississippi, making outbound shipments more expensive during summer months. On the other hand, when looking to ship into the state of Mississippi, summer is likely the time to get the best inbound rates.

Missouri

The Show-Me State shows shippers very affordable freight rates year-round, both inbound and outbound. This is due to Missouri’s centralized location within the United States.

Montana

Montana is a very rural state, without a great deal of industrial manufacturing. As a result, shipping costs tend to be higher than average in this state.

Nebraska

Nebraska hosts a significant number of agricultural shipments. This makes freight shipping for both inbound and intra-state shipments reasonably priced.

Nevada

Las Vegas is the most cost-effective city to ship to and from in the state of Nevada. That being said, outbound freight from the city tends to have slightly better rates than inbound freight.

Shipping to and from areas outside of major cities in Nevada can get pricey due to the rural makeup of the majority of the state.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire is home to many roads, railways and ports, making it an affordable state for freight shipping.

New Jersey

The Garden State’s shoreline location and bounty of freight carriers make this state a great location for freight shipping. Rates are typically affordable and routes are frequent.

New Mexico

Spring and summer months tend to be more cost-effective for inbound freight shippers in New Mexico. This is due to the influence of the produce industry.

New York

The state of New York imports quite a bit, causing inbound freight rates to be pricey.

North Carolina

North Carolina’s lumber industry causes outbound freight shipments to be more expensive during fall months.

North Dakota

There isn’t a huge demand for freight shipments in this state. As a result, rates tend to be more affordable than national averages.

Ohio

Ohio’s centralized location coupled with its large industrial markets makes this an affordable state for both inbound and outbound freight shipments.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma contains several freight hubs. Because of this, there are a number of both inbound and outbound freight shipments occurring at any given time. As a result, rates in this state are lower across the board.

Oregon

This northwestern state generally experiences an increase in freight rates during Christmas tree season. Otherwise, shipping prices tend to remain stable throughout the remainder of the year.

Pennsylvania

Rural areas, rather than cities, play a role in freight rates. Typically, rates are lower near major cities and more expensive in rural areas.

Rhode Island

While shipping costs in Rhode Island tend to remain steady throughout the year, inbound trucking prices are generally higher than outbound shipment costs.

South Carolina

South Carolina’s freight rates are affected by the textile industry. Supply and demand can cause rates to fluctuate. Additionally, the lumber industry can cause outbound rates to increase during the fall season.

South Dakota

Rural areas in South Dakota tend to experience higher shipping rates. That being said, the lower capacity and demand can sometimes result in lower rates.

Tennessee

This land-locked southern state sees seasonal price changes. Generally, lumber and Christmas tree exports cause freight rates to increase during the fall season. However, the state does have a high amount of intermodal shipments, making shipping by train often a cost-effective choice.

Texas

The Lone Star State is a year-round producer of oil and heavy industry. This makes it a state that generally sees affordable shipping rates year round.

Utah

Shipping costs in Utah tend to be more affordable than national averages. Generally, the state only sees fluctuations in pricing when California-bound shipments spike rates.

Vermont

Vermont houses several international ports and intermodal rail lines. This makes the state an affordable option for both inbound and outbound freight.

Virginia

The state of Virginia has great access to intermodal transportation, often making it the most economical choice for outbound shipments.

Washington

Similar to its neighbor Oregon, Washington’s freight rates are typically consistent throughout the year, with the exception of Christmas tree season, which causes rates to spike.

West Virginia

The lumber market and rural areas are key factors in freight shipping costs in this state. Shipping to and from the state’s rural areas will often result in higher costs.

Wisconsin

The industry that has the most impact on this state’s shipping rates is the paper industry. Generally, shipments leaving the state will see lower rates.

Wyoming

Shipping to and from Wyoming tends to be affordable year round. This is due to the coal and natural gas industries.

Regardless of which state you’re in, or where you’re shipping to, FreightCenter can help you find the most cost-effective quote with the best carrier for the job. Yes, we even do international shipping!

Get a quote online or contact one of our freight experts by calling 800.716.7608.

 

Share on:

Let's Get Started

Compare Shipping Rates in an Instant

Get My Freight Quotes