Flatbed Shipping Costs, Numbers, and Practical Information

Logistics News

Flatbed Shipping Services

Are you thinking of shipping your products or materials to another city or state? Are you considering shipping by flatbed truck? Are you confused by flatbed shipping costs? While you may have already made the decision to go with a flatbed and need to contact a freight company, here is some information to give you a general understanding of what shipping by flatbed truck typically implies.

Flatbed Shipping Costs

You might be reading this article because want to get an idea of the typical flatbed shipping costs—but you either can’t find any information—or you find websites that say they will give you flatbed shipping costs and then demand that you provide very specific information in order to give you a quote. If you want some ball park figures, finding a “get your quote now” button or a “quote calculator,” just to find yourself face-to-face with a “subscribe to our website” pop-up form can really be frustrating.

Well, the answer is that it depends on the part of the country you are in and where you are shipping to. However, the average price goes from 2 to 4 dollars per mile, with the West of the country having the lowest rates and the East Coast having the highest rates. These flatbed shipping costs are an estimate of the national rates as of September 2018.

Take into account that these rates should be used just for a very loose estimate and the actual cost will vary greatly due to a number of factors. These factors include the distance between the loading and unloading points, the need for additional services like tarping or chains, legally allowed routes, need of loading and unloading equipment (like a crane or a loading platform), any permits and fees that your load might require from local and national government offices, the type of flatbed truck that you’ll need, and of course, the weight and size of your load.

Flatbed Truck Dimensions

A typical flatbed truck has a length of 48 feet and a width of 8.5 feet. The typical maximum load weight for a flatbed truck is 48,000 pounds.

As with the flatbed shipping costs, these dimensions you require can change a lot depending on your load. Always be sure to give your shipping company the exact dimensions of your load. You don’t want the truck driver to arrive and tell you he can’t take the load because it’s too high or wide or long. It’s not a whim, as even an inch of difference means he might break the law and suffer penalties if he takes your load. If you have special needs, you should discuss those with your shipper.


Bureaucracy is a headache. But permitting has to be done and that means someone must do it. Certain types of loads, especially oversized loads or wide loads require permits. What is considered oversized varies from state to state but it’s typically anything over 8.5 feet wide or over 102 inches high. Those loads require permits from the driver and in extreme cases, they may require pilots, which are one or two vehicles in the front and back of the flatbed truck. Meals and lodging for all these drivers might increase your cost significantly.

Finally, consider the information provided here as only for general reference purposes. We hope you find it useful. But before shipping, get the actual, current information, preferably with the aid of a reliable shipping company.