50 state by state shipping facts that impact freight cost.

December 13, 2018

When you ship goods to different locations throughout the United States, you may notice freight rates fluctuate depending on the origin and destination. 

While there is a pretty widely used formula for generating freight rates, each state is unique and a number of state-specific factors can affect freight costs throughout the year. Here is a state-by-state list of shipping facts that explain how rates are impacted when shipping to or from any of the 50 states. 

  1. Alabama Shipping

    Freight rates in the summer are generally heightened as the demand for trucks to ship agricultural products (poultry, corn, cattle, etc.) increases.

  2. Arizona Shipping

    The warm desert climate can inflate outbound freight costs because it allows for a longer growing season. The state’s freight rates are heavily influenced by the produce industry.

  3. Arkansas Shipping

    Freight rates remain steady throughout the year in Arkansas, but shipping to and from the many rural areas can lead to higher costs.

  4. California Shipping

    The ease of access and number of railroads in California make it a great state for low-priced intermodal transportation. This is due to the fact that it is common for those shipping freight from the Golden State to move it to New York, Florida and Texas. 

  5. Colorado Shipping

    Freight rates in Colorado can be expensive, especially in the winter, due to the mountainous terrain and slippery conditions.

  6. Connecticut Shipping

    Outbound freight rates are usually more affordable in Connecticut since it is a very heavy consumption state (many trucks eager to find another load once deliveries are complete.)

  7. Delaware Shipping

    Intermodal transportation is a great shipping option due to the number of available ports and railroads in Delaware.

  8. Florida Shipping

    The summer presents the best time to get lower rates shipping to Florida. There are opportunities for trucks to haul produce back out of the state.

  9. Georgia Shipping

    If you are shipping out of Georgia, it’s best to do so outside of the peach, pecan and peanut growing seasons, as trucks can become more difficult to find.

  10. Idaho Shipping

    Rates into and out of Idaho are largely dependent on the state’s onion and potato markets. The proximity to major metro areas also impacts the state’s shipping costs.

  11. Illinois Shipping

    The abundance of industry, high population and centralized geographical location all combine to make Illinois economical for freight shipping. California, Texas and New York are the most common destinations for freight leaving Illinois. 

  12. Indiana Shipping

    Indiana’s shipping industry does not fluctuate much around seasonality, making it a reasonable state for both inbound and outbound shipments year round.

  13. Iowa Shipping

    Iowa’s consistent terrain and climate combined with its central location lead to steady freight rates in both directions.

  14. Kansas Shipping

    The high number of hubs and railways make Kansas a great intermodal transportation state. The more rural areas of the state can result in higher shipping costs.

  15. Kentucky Shipping

    Kentucky is home to a very large auto assembly industry. As a result, freight rates leaving the state are typically higher than inbound.

  16. Louisiana Shipping

    The high-traffic port located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans gives Louisiana very reasonable freight rates.

  17. Maine Shipping

    The imbalanced nature of Maine’s freight makes for generally more favorable outbound shipping rates.

  18. Maryland Shipping

    Maryland’s shipping rates are generally reasonable. An abundance of LTL shipping occurs within the state’s boundaries.

  19. Massachusetts Shipping

    Outbound freight rates are very reasonable in the Bay State as numerous goods are brought into the state, leaving shippers with many available trucks.

  20. Michigan Shipping

    The automobile and industrial manufacturing industries within Michigan lead to expensive outbound rates, but much more affordable inbound rates.

  21. Minnesota Shipping

    Freight rates in Minnesota tend to be a bit higher than other parts of the country due to the lack of major cities across the state.

  22. Mississippi Shipping

    The agriculture and produce markets make outbound shipments more expensive in the summer months. However, if you’re looking to ship goods into Mississippi, summer might be the most cost-effective time.

  23. Missouri Shipping

    Missouri’s placement in the center of the United States makes it a very affordable state for both inbound and outbound freight.

  24. Montana Shipping

    The vast majority of the state is rural. Combine this with a lack of industrial manufacturing and you find above average freight rates.

  25. Nebraska Shipping

    The booming agriculture industry of Nebraska makes for affordable inbound and intra freight shipping rates.

  26. Nevada Shipping

    While shipping freight to and from Las Vegas is cost effective, the outbound Las Vegas shipping typically has the better rates. Rates outside the major Nevada cities can be more expensive due to the rural makeup of the majority of the state.

  27. New Hampshire Shipping

    Like many northeastern states, the availability of roads, railways and ports all combine to make New Hampshire an affordable state for shipping.

  28. New Jersey Shipping

    The coastal location and abundance of freight make New Jersey’s shipping options both abundant and affordable.

  29. New Mexico Shipping

    The produce market that impacts the spring and summer months makes inbound New Mexico freight more affordable than outbound during these times.

  30. New York Shipping

    New York is a very high consumption state, which leads to expensive inbound rates.

  31. North Carolina Shipping

    Outbound freight shipping from North Carolina can be much more expensive during the fall due to the state’s large lumber industry.

  32. North Dakota Shipping

    North Dakota’s freight rates tend to be very affordable due to the low demand.

  33. Ohio Shipping

    The central location of Ohio, paired with its huge industrial markets, makes rates affordable when compared to the national average. 

  34. Oklahoma Shipping

    Oklahoma is home to many freight hubs. As a result, there are numerous inbound and outbound trucks at any given time, reducing rates across the board.

  35. Oregon Shipping

    Oregon’s shipping prices remain relatively stable throughout the year, although prices may escalate during Christmas tree season.

  36. Pennsylvania Shipping

    Rates in Pennsylvania are very dependent upon the shipper’s location. Those near major cities will generally experience lower rates, while those in rural areas will see slightly higher costs when shipping goods.

  37. Rhode Island Shipping

    Inbound trucking prices are generally a bit higher than outbound rates in Rhode Island. However, shippers can expect fairly steady prices all year.

  38. South Carolina Shipping

    The textile industry makes South Carolina’s freight rates a bit trend-driven. And much like its neighbor to the north, the lumber industry can lead to expensive outbound rates during the fall.

  39. South Dakota Shipping

    Shipping rates in the rural areas of South Dakota can be high. However, lower capacity and lower demand generally lead to lower rates.

  40. Tennessee Shipping

    Lumber and the exporting of Christmas trees in the fall tend to lead to higher rates. Due to the high amount of intermodal activity, shipping by train might be a cost-effective option.

  41. Texas Shipping

    Freight rates generally tend to be favorable across Texas, as it is a year-round producer of oil and heavy industry.

  42. Utah Shipping

    Shipping in Utah is generally very affordable. The only fluctuations in price tend to occur when there are hikes in produce heading to California.

  43. Vermont Shipping

    Shipping to, from or inside Vermont is very affordable as the state has access to international ports and intermodal rail lines.

  44. Virginia Shipping

    Shipping outbound freight via intermodal is typically the most economic option due to Norfolk’s high amount of intermodal transportation activity.

  45. Washington Shipping

    Much like Oregon, rates in Washington remain fairly steady throughout the year, except when Christmas trees are in season and being sent out of the state.

  46. West Virginia Shipping

    Shipping to and from West Virginia is mostly impacted by the lumber market. Additionally, rural areas of the state tend to see higher shipping costs.

  47. Wisconsin Shipping

    Wisconsin’s massive paper industry can impact shipping rates. Freight leaving the state will generally see lower rates.

  48. Wyoming Shipping

The coal and natural gas industries make shipping to and from Wyoming very affordable throughout the year.


Next time you’re shipping to or from any state within the U.S., consider this list of state-specific factors that can impact freight cost. And if you’d like to get a jump start on the process, contact us today at Freightquote by C.H. Robinson to learn more about our self-service tools.

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