As a truck driver, you want to always be pulling a load. This means that after you deliver a shipment, you want to be loading up a new load that same day and bringing it back home. This is truck driving 101. You know that not all loads are created equal: a van shipment will pay less than a flatbed, and a flatbed will pay less than a reefer. But the prices vary dramatically by state. If you are able to control more precisely where you deliver to, then it would be best to pay attention to the best and worst states for outbound freight. For simplicity sake, we will look at flatbed rates.

The Worst States for Outbound

Let’s start off with the worst states. These are the ones that you will want to avoid if possible; but keep in mind that there are always regional variances, niche markets, and a number of other aspects that can throw all of this off.

Washington D.C. – Ok, not exactly a state, but D.C. is the bottom of the bottom when it comes to paying for outbound freight. At a mere $1.67 per mile, you would be hard pressed to even make money.

Outbound Freight

New Hampshire – Sticking with the East Coast, New Hampshire ranks next on the list even though it pays $0.21 more cents per mile. But even at $1.88, you’re not likely to find good deals here.

South Dakota – Those long hauls through the plains aren’t likely to pay off if you head to South Dakota. They clock in barely above New Hampshire at $1.90 per mile.

New Mexico – Driving through the desert won’t get you much better than South Dakota. This state bumps up just a penny to $1.91.

Colorado – Stick to the western part of the state you at least you will have amazing views of the mountains. But don’t expect the pay to increase. Colorado ranks at $1.93

If your broker offers a shipment out of one of these states at these prices, don’t be afraid to say no. There will always be those trying to cut the rates, and there will always be those who accept these offers. Unfortunately you are going to be sacrificing a decent amount of profit. Instead, take loads out of the following states to maximize your profits.

The Best States for Outbound

The states that pay the most aren’t the ones you would expect. In fact, you have to head down south for most of them.

Mississippi – You could take a shipment out of D.C., or you could nearly double your pay by taking shipment out of Mississippi. At $2.81 this state has the highest average outbound rate.

Georgia – Even though Georgia comes in $.11 less than Mississippi, it is still more than $1 more than the worst of the worst at $2.70.

Arkansas – We stay down south in Arkansas and are still able to find loads that pay $2.68 per mile.

Alabama – Tied with Arkansas this southern state clocks in at $2.68.

Kentucky – Head just a little ways north and you still get into the good deals. Kentucky averages $2.62 per mile.

The Best and the Worst compiles average pay for loads for all of the states. These rates are based on their study of 2014 rates and

may have changed since they compiled their list. You can read the full report on the top 10 states and the full report on the bottom 10 states.

The idea here is not to boycott the low paying states, but rather develop relationships with those who pay better than average in those states. By doing so you can guarantee that you will be hired for the job, and through patronizing those that pay better, you can encourage the industry as a whole to pay better.

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