When you’re shipping items from one state to another, this can affect almost everything about the shipment, from price to choosing the right carrier and so much more. When choosing a freight company, it’s good to keep certain things in mind so that your packages arrive safely and on time – without costing you a fortune. While the cost of the shipment shouldn’t be your only consideration when choosing a carrier, you should still make yourself aware of the factors that directly affect the price you’ll pay for the service.
The rules regarding interstate transport of various items aren’t complex, but they can still be confusing to the average citizen. This is especially true when you consider that the things affecting your shipping costs can include things such as what state you’re shipping to and even what season it is. The bottom line is, freight shipping costs can and do vary by state, and they can be affected by other things as well. When it comes to both the price and other aspects of the shipping process, below are five things you should know.
- Rural Locations Versus City Locations
Many rural areas are more difficult for truckers simply because some of those destinations have special requirements. Things such as narrow streets and low-hanging trees often make it difficult for truckers to manoeuvre suburban locations. If your goods are being shipped to or from locations that are made up of mostly rural areas, you can expect that the delivery will cost a bit more and will likely take longer to arrive as well.
In more rural areas, there is also limited access to forklifts and such, which means truckers must have a liftgate, and this can affect both price and sometimes the time it takes to transport the items. Shipping that involves curbside pickup and delivery is considered basic; if anything happens that complicates the process, which often happens in rural locations, it can cost you more.
- The Carriers’ Role in State-to-State Transportation
While you may not have noticed it, some carriers are not national. In practical terms, this means they will only ship items within certain regions of the country. If your shipment is going across the country, another carrier may have to take over at some point. Again, this can affect both the cost of the service and the time it takes for the items to get to their destination. Each carrier has its own method of determining what their freight rates will be, but when two different carriers are used, that usually means two different rates will be used as well.
Keep in mind that in certain states during certain times of the year, the economic conditions of those states also affect transportation details. If you’re transporting to a state that doesn’t do as much imports and exports as other states, your rates are likely to be much lower.
- Distance and the Price of Fuel
Naturally, the distance the truck has to travel to get to its destination affects your price. If you are shipping from one side of the continent to the other, it is naturally going to cost you more than when you ship something that isn’t that far away. If you end up with cross-country shipments accommodated by several different carriers, it could get very expensive.
Fuel prices also affect the transportation process, and since each state is different when it comes to how much they charge for gas, the higher-priced states will always cost you a lot more for shipping. LTL shippers in particular often end up paying a lot more when fuel prices are high, so with interstate freight of any kind, this is something that must be remembered.
- Looking at Peak Seasons in Certain Areas
If a particular state is involved in exports or imports of certain items, the peak season for that item can cause the shipping price to go up. The timing, that is, season, and the exact location of the destination always play a part in how long the shipping will take and the total price. If the area grows produce, for example, then the produce season affects the freight rates. Regardless of what the actual product is, those products likely have a “season” that involves when most people buy them, and this always has a direct effect on the prices you end up paying for shipping your goods somewhere.
- The Infrastructure of the Area
The overall infrastructure impacts freight rates, and it isn’t just city versus suburban areas that matter. The number of hubs, railroads, and ports found in a certain area matter, and the more the state has of these things, the more affordable the shipping rates will be. Port cities tend to be less expensive than other cities, but very populated areas are sometimes higher in price simply because they see lots of shipments on a daily basis. The infrastructure of a certain area is something many people don’t think about when getting items ready for shipment, but it does affect the entire shipping process in several ways.
When getting items shipped from one location to another, a lot of factors come into play. At MF Freight, we can help you learn more about the process and find ways to make your shipment a little more reasonable when it comes to things such as price and shipping times. From start to finish, it’s always easier to have a shipping expert by your side, and this is what we do best.
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