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Different Trailers = Different Rates

Different Trailers = Different Rates.

Dry Van freight is by far the most common type of freight and and Dry Van trailers are designed to haul both Less than Truckload and Truckload shipments.  Most drivers prefer to haul Dry Vans because the freight is generally “driver no touch” and there is usually an abundance of freight suitable for the type of equipment.  These factors and the ubiquitous nature of these trailers keep Dry Vans the most economical way to ship freight.  Trailer types factor significantly into your freight quote.

Flatbed freight is generally the most expensive freight to move.  There are a number of factors for this.  

  1. Flatbed freight is usually hauled by more experienced drivers because of the increased safety and inherent liability issues associated with large awkward items hauled on open deck equipment.
  2. Most flatbed freight has to be tarped which required that the driver actually physically climb onto the freight and tarp the shipment to ensure protection from the elements.
  3. It is more difficult for Flatbed carriers to find “backhaul freight”.  On average, flatbed carriers must log more empty miles to find an appropriate load to match with their return trip.


Refrigerated freight is the second most costly type of freight to move base on the following factors:

  1. Refrigerated Trailers  “Reefers” constantly burn fuel in an extra fuel tank to keep the  refrigeration unit running on a temperature controlled trailer.
  2. Reefer trailers are extremely expensive to purchase and maintain.
  3. There is increased liability in hauling perishable cargo as well the risk of “Reefer Breakdown” insurance.
  4. Reefer units have a more difficult time than Dry Van’s in finding back-haul freight.  Even with the reefer unit turned off many shippers will not load a reefer with dry freight.  

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