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How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Semi Truck?

Published by Joe Webster.

What's in this article?
  1. Semi Truck Shipping Costs A Comprehensive Guide
  2. How Much Will I Pay for Semi Truck Shipping?
  3. What Options Do I Have to Ship Semi Trucks?
  4. Can I Ship A Semi Truck That’s Inoperable?
  5. What is the Price for Semi Truck Transport?
  6. Remove Personal Items and Loose Items Before Transport
  7. Clean the Exterior and document Its Condition Before Transport
  8. Remove Protrusions/Aftermarket Components
  9. Drain Fuel from the Fuel you want to Transport
  10. Contact A-1 Auto Transport Now To Get A Quote or Price For Semi Truck Shipping
  11. Factors Affecting Shipping Costs
  12. Type of Shipping Services
  13. Customer Demand and Delivery Urgency
  14. Location and Origin of Shipping
  15. Type and Size of Loads
  16. Quality and Reputation of Service Providers
  17. Information and Communication
  18. Choosing a Reliable Shipping Company
  19. Customer Service Excellence
  20. Diverse Fleet and Specialized Equipment
  21. Reliable Freight Services and On-Time Delivery
  22. Knowledgeable and Professional Drivers
  23. Comprehensive Network and Coverage Area
  24. Efficient Problem Resolution and Flexibility
  25. Required Permits and Special Transport Considerations
How Much Does It Cost To Ship A Semi Truck?

Semi Truck Shipping Costs: A Comprehensive Guide

The cost to ship a semi-truck depends on factors like distance, weight, and size of the truck. Shipping a semi-truck locally within the same state can cost around $1,000 to $3,000. Shipping a semi-truck nationally across different states could range from $2,000 to $5,000. International shipping costs for a semi-truck can vary greatly depending on the destination and specific requirements. Additional costs may include insurance coverage, permits, and any necessary modifications for transport. If you need to ship a semi-truck – either locally or across the country – you may not be sure where to start. How much does it cost? What are your shipping options? In this guide from A-1 Auto Transport, we’ll help you learn a bit more about the basics of shipping a semi-truck.

Low Cost Of Semi Truck Shipping

How Much Will I Pay for Semi Truck Shipping?

The cost of shipping a semi-truck varies, depending on a lot of factors. You’ll typically be charged a flat rate per mile – but this rate will depend on the size and dimensions of your truck, how far it’s being shipped, the shipment method you choose, and a number of other factors.

Let’s take a look at a few of these factors and how they influence the cost of shipping heavy trucks.

  • Truck dimensions & weight – The larger and heavier your truck is, the more it will cost to ship. For example, a day cab truck will usually be smaller than a semi-truck with a sleeper cab and may be cheaper to transport.
  • Distance of shipment – The total distance of your shipment usually has the largest impact on the price you’ll pay to ship the heavy equipment. This is because, like most other vehicle shipping jobs, shipping a semi-truck usually costs a set, per-mile rate.

    This per-mile rate will actually be higher for short distances, and fall as the distance of your shipment increases. However, you’ll still pay more for a long-distance trip, since more distance will be covered by the driver and the truck.
  • Shipment method – You can often have a semi-truck towed short distances, which is cheaper than hiring a flatbed. For long distances, though, you’ll need to have it transported by another truck using a flatbed. Read the next section of this guide for more details about these shipping methods
Semi Truck Shipping Service

What Options Do I Have to Ship Semi Trucks?

For short distances, it’s possible to tow a semi-truck behind another semi-truck – this is a very simple and inexpensive method of shipping. However, this is not practical for long distances, since it puts more stress on the drivetrain. A flatbed lowboy or step deck is the best option for long-distance truck shipping.

If your semi-truck is being shipped by towing, it’s usually linked to the “fifth wheel” of another semi-truck. Then, the front wheels or rear wheels (depending on the semi-truck) are allowed to remain on the road, and the truck is put into neutral. Then, it’s towed behind the other semi truck to its destination.

This is not a good idea for long-distance shipping, however, since there will be heat buildup and wear & tear to the drivetrain components. If you are shipping a semi-truck a long distance, a flatbed trailer like a lowboy or step deck is used to load up your truck, and then drive it to its destination while keeping the wheels off of the road. This results in less wear and tear on your truck.

Can I Ship A Semi Truck That’s Inoperable?

Yes. In fact, this is one of the most common reasons for shipping a semi-truck across a long distance. If you’re selling or buying an inoperable truck, or you need to send in a truck for repairs or rehab, truck transport via another semi-truck is a great option.

However, you should note that it will usually cost more money to ship a semi-truck that’s inoperable compared to truck shipping a fully functional truck. This is because the logistics of loading and unloading the vehicle will be more complicated, and may require special equipment like a mobile crane.

Make sure you ask your heavy equipment shipping company about any extra fees and costs associated with shipping a semi-truck that’s not in working condition and be prepared to pay a bit more to ship your vehicle.

Ready Up My Semi Truck For Shipping

What is the Price for Semi Truck Transport?

Whether you’re having your semi-truck transport or shipped using a flatbed, there are a few steps you should take before you have it shipped. You should remove all personal items, clean the exterior, document their condition, and remove any protrusions or aftermarket components from the outside of the truck. In addition, you may need to drain most of the fuel from its tanks.

Remove Personal Items and Loose Items Before Transport

If you have any valuables or personal items in your truck, we highly recommend removing them, if possible. Anything that you don’t want to remove from your truck should be secured tightly to ensure it doesn’t move around during shipment. Removing your valuables will reduce the risk of theft or damage, and securing loose items ensures the interior of your commercial truck is not damaged in transit.

Clean the Exterior and document Its Condition Before Transport

Make sure to give your truck a thorough cleaning. Then, document the condition of the exterior. Take photos and videos of every part of your truck. This will make it a lot easier to get compensation if your commercial truck is damaged in transit. Major damage during shipping is rare, of course, but when tractor shipping a valuable piece of equipment like a semi-truck, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Remove Protrusions/Aftermarket Components

If you have any large protrusions like aftermarket antennae and other such things on the exterior of your commercial truck, it may be a good idea to remove them before the truck is shipped in order to eliminate any risk of damage during transit.

Drain Fuel from the Fuel you want to Transport

Most semi-trucks hold between 120 to 300 gallons of fuel – which means that a truck that’s full of fuel could be a few thousand pounds heavier compared to one with empty fuel tanks. Because of this, most tractor shipping companies will ask you to drain most of the diesel fuel from bigger vehicles. This also helps with safety, since it’s less likely that your truck will leak fuel, and there’s less of a risk of explosion or fire in the rare event that there is an accident involving your shipment.

Contact Us With Us For Shipping A Semi Truck

Contact A-1 Auto Transport Now To Get A Quote or Price For Semi Truck Shipping

As a leading semi truck transport service, A-1 Auto Transport has one of the largest networks of reputable truck shipping companies for the transportation of heavy machinery, including semi-trucks. If you have an inoperable semi-truck that needs to be shipped for repairs, you’re buying or selling a truck, or you need to ship a truck for any other reason, we’re here to help.

Contact us online or give us a call at (888) 230-9116. to speak to a tractor shipping specialist right now – and get a quote for the cost of shipping your semi-truck. We’re available to talk about your job 24/7.


Factors Affecting Shipping Costs

Navigating the intricacies of shipping costs involves understanding various factors that impact the overall expense. Whether you're a seasoned business team or an individual shipping a car, the experience can be influenced by elements such as the type of freight, diverse driver types, and the pickup location involved. From estimating costs in regions like Kansas City or Florida to considering different types of transportation, this guide delves into the factors that shape your shipping quote and total estimate..

Join us as we explore the nuances of freight logistics, pick-up teams, and the array of variables that contribute to the average cost of shipping.

1. Type of Shipping Services

The type of shipping services you choose plays a significant role in determining the overall cost of shipping. Different shipping methods, such as open trailers, enclosed trailers, or specialty services, come with varying price points. Open trailers are often more budget-friendly, making them suitable for standard vehicles, while enclosed trailers provide additional protection and are generally more expensive. Specialty services, like expedited shipping or white-glove services, cater to specific needs but may incur higher costs. Understanding the nuances of each service type allows you to make an informed decision based on your budget and shipping requirements.

When selecting a shipping service, consider the nature of your shipment, the level of protection needed, and your timeline. Assessing these factors will help you choose the most cost-effective option that aligns with your preferences and ensures the safe delivery of your cargo.

2. Customer Demand and Delivery Urgency

Customer demand and the urgency of delivery significantly impact shipping costs. High demand for shipping services, especially during peak seasons or holidays, can cause prices to soar. Additionally, factors such as distance, weight, weight, and type of service chosen can also affect the overall cost of shipping a semi and lead to increased prices. Additionally, the urgency of delivery, such as expedited or rush shipping, often comes with higher rates. Understanding the market dynamics and considering the flexibility of your delivery timeline can help you navigate cost fluctuations.

To optimize costs, plan your shipments during periods of lower demand if possible. Communicate openly with shipping providers about your delivery timeline and explore options that balance cost-effectiveness with timely delivery. By aligning your shipping needs with market conditions, you can make strategic decisions that meet both your budget and delivery expectations.

3. Location and Origin of Shipping

The geographical location and origin of your shipping play a crucial role in determining shipping costs. Shipping from or to remote areas may incur higher costs due to limited accessibility and increased transportation challenges. Understanding the logistics of your shipping route, including any potential obstacles or detours, is essential for accurate cost estimation.

Consider the proximity of your shipping origin and destination to major transportation hubs. The closer your locations are to well-connected routes, the more cost-effective your shipping may be. Communicate with shipping providers to gather insights into the logistics of your specific route and explore ways to optimize costs based on the geographical considerations of your shipment.

4. Type and Size of Loads

The type and size of loads being shipped directly impact the shipping costs. Larger and heavier loads generally incur higher transportation fees due to the increased resources required for handling and delivery. Additionally, specialized loads, such as fragile or high-value items, may require extra care and attention, contributing to higher shipping costs.

To manage costs effectively, accurately assess the size and weight of your loads. Consider consolidating smaller shipments to optimize space and reduce per-unit shipping costs. Discuss the nature of your cargo with shipping providers to determine the most suitable shipping method that balances cost efficiency with the safe transportation of your items.

5. Quality and Reputation of Service Providers

The reputation and quality of service providers also influence shipping costs. Established and reputable carriers with a track record of reliability may charge higher rates, reflecting the perceived value of their services. While choosing lower-cost carriers may seem budget-friendly, it's crucial to consider the overall quality of service, including reliability, communication, and customer satisfaction.

Investigate customer reviews and testimonials to gauge the experiences of previous clients with different carriers. A carrier with a positive reputation for delivering goods safely and on time may justify slightly higher costs. Prioritize the reliability and professionalism of service providers to ensure a smooth shipping process and minimize the risk of delays or damages.

6. Information and Communication

Clear and effective communication, coupled with accurate information, is key to managing shipping costs. Providing detailed and precise information about your shipments, including dimensions, weight, and any special handling requirements, enables carriers to offer accurate price quotes. Clear communication also helps in understanding the terms and conditions of the shipping agreement, preventing any surprises or additional charges.

Ask questions and seek clarification on any aspects of the shipping process that may impact costs. Stay informed about the carrier's policies, insurance options, and any potential surcharges. Proactive communication helps build a transparent relationship with the carrier, allowing you to make informed decisions and manage shipping costs more effectively.

In summary, the factors affecting shipping costs encompass the type of services chosen, customer demand, location and origin, type and size of loads, quality of service providers, and the importance of clear communication and information. By navigating these factors strategically, you can optimize shipping costs while ensuring the secure and timely delivery of your cargo.


Choosing a Reliable Shipping Company

Choosing a reliable shipping company is a crucial decision that involves considering various factors to ensure a smooth and efficient transportation process. Whether you are transporting personal goods or managing a business supply chain, factors such as highway regulations, customs clearance, and the choice of shipping container play a significant role in the decision-making process. This article delves into the essential considerations, exploring how the provider's reputation, available discounts, and the flexibility to accommodate different cargo types impact your shipping experience.

Join us on a journey through the complexities of choosing a shipping company, addressing key questions about length, height, tolls, and the intricacies of haulage and dispatch. Make an informed decision by understanding the vital elements that contribute to a reliable and effective shipping solution.

1. Customer Service Excellence

Choosing a reliable shipping company starts with prioritizing exceptional customer service. A reputable company understands the significance of effective communication, ensuring customers feel informed and confident throughout the shipping process. From the initial inquiry to the final delivery, a dedicated customer service team should be readily available to address any concerns, provide updates, and offer assistance. Evaluating customer reviews and testimonials is a valuable way to gauge the satisfaction levels of previous clients, helping you make an informed decision.

In addition to responsive communication, a reliable shipping company should offer transparent pricing. This includes providing accurate freight rates, offering discounts where applicable, and clearly outlining the variety of services available. Pricing transparency builds trust, allowing customers to understand the cost structure and make informed decisions based on their budget and preferences.

2. Diverse Fleet and Specialized Equipment

A reliable shipping company recognizes that each customer's shipping needs are unique. A well-equipped fleet with a variety of vehicles, including flatbeds, step-deck trailers, and gooseneck trailers, ensures the company can handle a diverse range of cargo and accommodate different shipping requirements. Specialized equipment is crucial, especially for transporting oversize or delicate items. This versatility enables the shipping company to address specific challenges and cater to a wide array of customer needs.

3. Reliable Freight Services and On-Time Delivery

Reliability in freight services is a key factor when selecting a shipping company. The ability to adhere to promised timelines and deliver goods on time demonstrates professionalism and dependability. The shipping company's commitment to punctuality contributes significantly to a positive customer experience. To assess a company's reliability, researching their track record, on-time delivery statistics, and overall performance in the industry is essential.

4. Knowledgeable and Professional Drivers

The expertise and professionalism of drivers play a crucial role in the overall reliability of a shipping company. Experienced drivers not only navigate the highways safely but also handle different types of cargo with care and precision. A reliable company invests in driver training programs, ensuring that their team is well-versed in industry regulations, safety protocols, and efficient transportation practices. This commitment to driver education enhances the overall quality of service provided.

5. Comprehensive Network and Coverage Area

A reliable shipping company should have a comprehensive network and extensive coverage area to efficiently meet the shipping needs of customers. This includes a well-established presence in different geographic regions, allowing the company to transport goods to various destinations seamlessly. A broad network also enables the shipping company to provide customers with a range of choices regarding routes, transportation modes, and delivery options.

6. Efficient Problem Resolution and Flexibility

In the shipping industry, unforeseen challenges can arise. A reliable shipping company distinguishes itself by its ability to efficiently solve problems and adapt to unexpected circumstances. Whether it's addressing issues during transit, modifying routes to avoid disruptions, or providing alternative solutions, a company's flexibility and problem-solving capabilities are critical. By assessing a company's approach to handling unexpected challenges, customers can determine its reliability and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Choosing a reliable shipping company involves a thorough evaluation of its customer service, equipment, reliability, driver expertise, network coverage, and adaptability in problem-solving. By prioritizing these factors, customers can ensure a smooth and dependable shipping experience that aligns with their unique requirements and expectations.


Required Permits and Special Transport Considerations

When shipping heavy cargo, understanding special transport considerations and required permits is crucial. Whether it's a step deck trailer or an oversize load, individual people and businesses in places like Florida (FL), New Jersey, Los Angeles, Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina, Colorado, Vermont, California, Chicago, Minnesota and U.S. must navigate regulations and find discount. Explore the peace of mind offered by reliable auto shipping services using a calculator and informative links.

Understanding Special Transport Considerations

When it comes to trucking and shipping, especially for something like oversize or heavy cargo, it's crucial to be well-versed in the special transport considerations that apply. Some cases and items, like step deck trailers, may require specific permits and compliance with certain regulations to ensure safe and legal transportation.

One key aspect to consider is the unique regulations in different locations, such as specific rules in places like Phoenix, San Diego, New York, Maryland, and Michigan. Each place, state or city might have its own set of requirements and restrictions, and understanding this is vital for a smooth shipping process. Utilizing a reliable auto transport service that has a thorough understanding of these regulations is essential to avoid any legal issues and ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Required Permits for Special Haulage

Transporting oversize or heavy cargo often necessitates special permits. This could involve obtaining permits for overweight loads, oversize dimensions, or specialized trailers like step deck trailers. It's crucial to be aware of the specific permits required for the journey, whether it's cross-country transport or a local move. Working with experienced haulers who are familiar with the permit application process can simplify this aspect and help avoid delays or fines.

Relevant Statistics

  • On average, it costs $7,500 to ship a semi truck within the United States.
  • International shipping of a semi truck can range from $15,000 to $20,000, depending on the distance and logistics involved.
  • Approximately 85% of the total shipping cost for a semi truck is attributed to fuel expenses.
  • The average insurance premium for shipping a semi truck is around 3% of its total value.
  • Over 90% of semi truck shipments are completed within a week's time, ensuring timely delivery for businesses.

General Facts

  • The cost to ship a semi-truck depends on factors like distance, weight, and size of the truck.
  • Shipping a semi-truck locally within the same state can cost around $1,000 to $3,000.
  • Shipping a semi-truck nationally across different states could range from $2,000 to $5,000.
  • International shipping costs for a semi-truck can vary greatly depending on the destination and specific requirements.
  • Additional costs may include insurance coverage, permits, and any necessary modifications for transport.

Discounts and Cost Considerations

While shipping heavy or oversize items can be costly, exploring available discounts is a smart strategy. Many auto transport services offer discounts for various reasons, such as military service, multiple vehicles, or seasonal promotions. Taking advantage of these discounts can significantly impact the overall cost of transportation. Additionally, considering the amount and type of cargo being transported is essential for accurate pricing. Using online calculators, support services and content form link provided by reputable companies can help in estimating costs and making informed decisions.

In summary, navigating the realm of special transport considerations involves understanding local regulations, obtaining the necessary permits, and being mindful of discounts and cost factors. By keeping these elements in mind, individuals and businesses can ensure a successful and cost-effective shipping experience for their valuable cargo and cars.

Frequently Asked Questions


What factors affect the cost of shipping a semi truck?

Several factors influence the cost of shipping a semi-truck. The size and weight of the tractor-trailer, known as a big rig, impact freight rates. Trucking rates vary based on the type of semi-trailer, and the specific model, such as the Tesla Semi, may also influence shipping costs. Different shipments and carriers offers varying rates, making it essential to consider these factors when calculating the overall expense.


Does the time of year affect the shipping cost for a semi truck?

Yes, the time of year can impact the shipping cost for a semi-truck. Freight rates for tractor-trailer trucks, also known as big rigs, may fluctuate based on seasonal demand and conditions. Understanding how truck rates vary during different times allows individuals and businesses to make informed decisions when shipping semi-trailers, ensuring optimal cost-effectiveness and efficiency for their transportation needs.


How do I compare prices from different shipping companies for transporting a semi truck?

To compare prices for transporting a semi-truck, gather quotes from various shipping companies. Evaluate freight rates, considering factors like the type of semi-trailer (big rig or semi-trailer), and the specifics of your shipment. Examine the offers, keeping in mind that truck rates may vary based on the carrier and the times of the year. This approach ensures you choose the most cost-effective and reliable transportation solution for your needs.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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