The Cost for Container Shipping within the United States Explained

If you are tired of some of the inflated price rates and all the sneaky fees companies add, you have come to the right place. Read on to understand how container shipping works and the costs involved for the next time you need to ship a container within the country.

Know What Determines the Container Price

The average rate of shipping a container across the U.S is about $3000. However, this cost could vary based on your cargo and the location. If you were to break the cost per mile, it might probably cost $2.50 per mile on average. However, it is essential to figure out some of the things that contribute to such expenses, as indicated below:

The Geographical Location

The accessibility of one city to another varies if the area is landlocked, the transit fee will be different. The total distance impacts the fuel rates and the final shipping expenses. Talk to the best shipping companies to get the shipping rates by land and air freight.

Delivery Cost

Choosing the right supplier is vital as the delivery fee could affect shipping costs significantly. The prices differ based on the number of containers you want to be delivered and the delivery time. Learn more about the shipping rates here!

The Container’s Size

Of course, the container size affects the cost. For example, a 40 feet (ft.) container is about 25-30% more than a 20 feet container, yet there is a huge difference in the price range. Therefore, it would be better to choose to ship a 40 foot container than a 20 foot one if you want a better value for your money.

Which Type Of Container Are You Shipping?

There are three primary standard containers, namely, 20 feet, 40 feet, and 40 feet-high cube (HC) containers. Find out how much it will cost you to ship each of them:

20 Ft Container

It is ideal for transporting raw materials and any large machinery. This type does not require specialized equipment to lift it in the port. The average rate of a 20-foot container is about $3,000. However, factors such as the distance and the shipping company also matter.

40 Ft Container

These containers are by far considered the best by many as they look at them as an investment. Such containers can transport consumer goods like food, clothes, and electronics. Depending on the distance, you might spend between $4,000 and $6,000.

The 40 Ft HC Container

This container has more space and extra height compared to the other two discussed above. It mainly transports big, bulky things such as furniture, grains, and clothing. Depending on the company, you might spend about $4,500 to $10,000, but there is always a negotiating space if you find the right team.

Additional Cost to Know About While Shipping Containers

Although most people think about the initial shipping costs within the country, you should also consider other expenses that come along with this process. Here are some extra costs to consider:

  • Inland delivery expenses: You will incur such expenses if you ship your containers from one port to the next. The right company will advise on the approximate cost of moving your container from the port to the next destination.
  • Guarantee expenses: Sometimes, you might have officials inspecting your container only to find unclean items that they deem harmful to the ecosystem. It mainly happens when shipping items in a container; therefore, stay prepared for such an extra charge.
  • Inspection fee: Although with the technological changes, there are minimal chances of your containers being physically inspected, sometimes it does happen. Shipping enterprises will ask you to pay such costs if your containers look suspicious to the customs officials and require extra expenses.

Shipping Containers in Military

Shipping containers in aviation has become critical, especially as storage solutions for manufacturing and engineering. The majority of military and cargo flights utilize shipping containers during the transportation of different military spare parts. Most airfields use containers as miscellaneous housing for patrol, barrier equipment, and other daily demands. Most aviation fabricators use shipping containers when moving cargo in the military sector. The same factors apply when moving their cargo within the country since the rates are based on size, location, and mode of container transportation.


Shipping your container across the country does not have to be a hectic process. The steps you must follow for a smooth process include looking at the size of the containers, knowing the destination, and other additional expenses. Furthermore, there is no need to take a risk by choosing to ship a container without talking to professionals who have been in the industry long enough and understand this field’s dos and don’ts. Contact Ship A Car by phone at (866) 452-3657 for more information or get a quotation online for free!