Find safe and reliable carriers with the most competitive freight shipping rates in Charlotte, North Carolina. Convoy makes it easy to find a truck that meets your needs and budget.
Charlotte, North Carolina Freight Shipping Quotes
Freight Shipping in Charlotte
North Carolina made the list of the 10 states with the most outbound flatbed and van loads in 2020, coming in 10th place for both with 742,780 flatbed loads and 551,374 van loads. Overall, $240,413 million worth of freight was shipped into the state, $273,497 million worth was shipped out of the state, and $162,822 million worth was shipped within the state in 2017.
Charlotte is at the center of much of this freight activity.
For example, the Charlotte/Douglas International Airport shipped almost 96,000 tons of air cargo in 2004, earning it the ranking of 33rd largest air cargo volume for the year within the U.S. The airport is known for efficient shipments both domestically and internationally.
Charlotte is also surrounded by the nation’s largest consolidated rail system, which connects the area with 23 states on the eastern side of the U.S. via 27,000 miles of rail.
This system, along with the fact that around 300 trains pass through the city every week, qualifies Charlotte as a port city even though it’s about 175 miles inland. A Seaboard Railroad System connects the Charlotte Intermodal Terminal (CIT) — the first fully operational inland container storage and staging facility in the nation to be operated by a port authority — with the Port of Wilmington in Delaware.
Finally, 40% of the country’s largest trucking firms operate in Charlotte, and over 200 trucking companies service the area.
Major Industries and Commercial Activity in Charlotte
Major industries in Charlotte include distribution, banking, transportation, and defense. The city is known as:
- A major wholesale center. Charlotte has the highest sales per capita in the nation, ranking sixth in the U.S. for total wholesale sales.
- A national and international financial center and the financial hub of the Southeast. The only U.S. city with more banking resources is New York.
- A hotspot for defense industries. Four of the top 10 defense contractors in the U.S. have facilities located in Charlotte.
18 of the largest Fortune 1,000 companies in the U.S. and nine of the largest publicly traded companies are located in Charlotte. Fortune 500 companies in the area include Bank of America, Lowe’s, Duke Energy, Nucor, Sonic Automotive, Honeywell, and Truist.
Goods produced in Charlotte include paper products, textiles, computers, food products, aircraft parts, printing and publishing products, primary and fabricated metals, and machinery. Produce season is most likely to affect transportation availability from June to August in North Carolina, when products such as soybeans (the predominant crop) need to be moved.
North Carolina’s top interstate trading partners include South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and Georgia.
How Weather Impacts Freight Shipping in Charlotte
Weather is a potential risk to freight shipments in any area, and North Carolina is no exception.
The state had 23 extreme weather events causing $1 billion-plus in economic losses between 2007 and 2016, including five droughts, two wildfires, 12 severe storms, three hurricanes, and one flood. However, Mecklenburg County specifically, in which Charlotte sits, has only had one weather-related disaster since 2010 — a drought.
Of all the types of natural disasters that could occur in Charlotte, hurricanes are of particular concern: North Carolina has had the third most hurricanes of any U.S. state since 1851. Hurricane season lasts from June through the end of November in North Carolina, and is expected to arrive early and be more active than usual in 2021.
Freight Carriers in Charlotte
Truck driving is the most common job in North Carolina, meaning that finding a carrier typically isn’t a problem.
Convoy makes this selection process easier by forging relationships with local carriers: Our digital freight network includes more than 50,000 trucks serving nearly 500 facilities in the Charlotte area. Then we match shippers with the safest and most reliable carriers that meet their specific needs and budget, helping to ensure a safe and efficient delivery.