Cost to Ship a Tank per Mile

25' * 15' * 15' Tank Transport

Cost to Ship a Tank Per Mile

Running FRP tanks across the country can be very tricky and time consuming. The bigger size tank that you are trying to ship obviously the more headaches that can come along. FRP tanks are never heavy, so overweight shipping is typically out of the question. But with that, since the weight is so light, it usually never takes the bow out of trailers causing the height to be higher than most expect. Trailers are made to bend when weight is added, that’s structural engineering 101. no weight no bend..
This comes into play 99% of the time when dealing with carries that have never run FRP tanks before and are dealing with tanks over 11’6 high. Another aspect to deal with is how exactly are these tanks going to be load, saddles? Foam padding? carpet? there are many ways to load tanks that can help with the height of the tank if needed. If you can be wider than tall, that’ll help a ton. friendly tip.. If you are a person who deals with the dimensions of the load and trying to understand what the shipping dims of the piece will be make sure to account for all kickers or any handles that may stick out. In side dims will not work, you need to give outside dimensions so there are no hiccups when it comes to loading time.
Anyone who ships OS/OW loads understands the complications that come along with dealing with permitting offices and states to acquire the correct permits for transfer of their material. FRP tanks are no different.

Everyone’s been asking how much it costs to ship a tank. So, let’s make it simple by giving you an example shipment. For this example, I have picked FRP water tank. It weighs 12,000 lbs, has a length of  25 ft, has a width of 15 ft, and a height of 15 ft.

For the example, lets say that it is picking up in Western TX and is going out Northern Virginia. Total miles would be 1546, but we can not assume that will be the actual miles. Since we have to route around states, roads, on/off ramps and other things, we cannot quote this as an over sized load that is going 1,546 miles. We would essentially have to find a double drop or tank trailer that can accommodate this tank. Very specialized equipment can come from 500+ miles away, if you want the right guy to get it done.

That means our total cost to ship the tank would come out to be $20,000-$30,000. Still not bad when compared to a disaster situation where you damage the tank, a bridge, other vehicle, or get stopped by DOT and are forced to either obtain new permits or wait for clearance. The cost to ship a giant 15*15 (W*H) tank would be $12.93-$19.41 per mile. In reality, you can cut that down 30% since the actual miles will be 1000+ more than what a normal route would consist of. The driver ends up with $2-$4 a mile when it’s all said and done. Money well earned.

Other Things to Consider

The standard $2.00 to $2.25 a mile doesn’t apply to all shipments. There are a few constraints to consider.

  1. Distance.
  2. Location
  3. Capacity

Distance is a very important factor in price. Coast-to-coast shipments are cheaper per mile than local runs. It is important to remember, whether you are going a long ways or running 50 miles down the road, you will still be paying for the drivers time.

Location is another factor that impacts the price. We get a lot of shipments that pick up in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and other states that do not have a very dense population. This can cause the rate to come up because drivers tend to be situated around bigger cities where loads are most likely to appear. We would essentially have to pay them to drive out and get the shipment (deadhead). This rule also applies to deliveries in remote areas. If you are 200+ miles away from a major city, be  prepared to pay a little more than the usual rate.

Capacity is the final constraint to consider/understand. Driver’s are constantly moving all over the country. When you have a surplus in one city, then the price goes down. The drivers will compete for loads. If you have a shortage of drivers in a city, then the price goes up because the driver will have their pick of the lot. The highest paying freight will be moved first.


We hope that this article sheds some light on shipping partial loads, tractors, booms, elevators or any other type of equipment. We are always fighting to get you the best price with the best service. We are a family-owned and operated company with strong values on the relationships we create. Give us a call and see how we can help you.

(313) 651 7080

Fide Freight Team


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