What you should know about freight shipping outside the contiguous U.S.

January 22, 2018

Freight shippers crisscross the United States on a daily basis, moving shipments from point A to point B. Whether using LTL (less than truckload) or full truckload services, freight shipping helps keep towns and cities flourishing by continuously trucking in goods. However, if you’re outside of the contiguous U.S. or shipping there, how do you get your shipments to where they need to go? 

Let’s highlight a few things you should know.


Shipping to Alaska.

Alaska is arguably one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. However, it’s also one of the most remote and expensive to ship to. Two driving factors for this are the lack of roads and sheer size of the state - roughly 663,000 square miles.

Due to the varying Alaskan terrain, shippers must consider whether or not they’ll need to choose intermodal transportation for their shipment in order to reach remote towns and cities throughout the state.

Another important factor to note is shipping freight from Alaska is generally cheaper than shipping to Alaska. Refrigerated (reefer) trucking is particularly lower in cost since most food is imported from outside the state. On the flipside, LTL shipping can be more expensive than other forms of shipping due to demand as well as driver shortages.  


Shipping to Hawaii.

Hawaii is a vacationer’s paradise, but the shipping rates to the islands can be expensive. Out of the 50 states, it is one of the most expensive to ship to. Air and ocean freight are the only ways of transporting goods to the state, which drives up the cost of almost everything sold on the islands. Typically, normal truckload rates are calculated for part of the way and then air and ocean for the rest of the way.

When shipping to Hawaii, you have to consider how it might be impacted by factors such as limited freight shipping options. Shipping to and from (or between) the Hawaiian Islands is generally more expensive because transportation modes are limited to the air and sea. While this factor is out of your control, you can work around it by using a trusted shipping service that has experience with intermodal freight shipping and will be able to optimize your freight’s route to save you as much money as possible.


Final thoughts.

Freight shipping outside of the contiguous United States includes a number of factors you have to consider in order for the shipping process to go smoothly. Between the icy tundra of Alaska and the blue Hawaiian surf of the islands, the challenges are different but can nonetheless be overcome when you have the right tools and experts by your side.

Freightquote by C.H. Robnson’s expert shippers can assist you with shipping outside the contiguous U.S. and provide the knowledge you need to ship with confidence. Our shipping tools like our freight calculator widget and custom API integration provide the technology needed to run your business efficiently. Wherever you ship, trust Freightquote to assist.

Looking for even more information about shipping to various states in the U.S.? Take a look at this blog post on state-by-state shipping facts that can impact freight cost.



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