Interstate Versus Intrastate Trucking

It is simple and easy to confuse the words Intrastate and Interstate. They do however have two distinctly different meanings. If you own and/or operate a hauling or trucking company it is most important that you perceive the difference.

Let us begin by explaining the definitions of the two words as applied in the shipping community. The word “intrastate” indicates that the freight being shipped will not cross a state line at any time. The cargo will remain within the state from which the shipment originated.

As an example, if a freight load is picked up from a manufacturer in Houston, Texas and delivered and unloaded at a warehouse in Dallas, the goods did not exit Texas and was therefore an intrastate shipment. As a different example let’s say that the freight to be delivered and unloaded at that warehouse near Dallas was built, loaded and shipped from Phoenix, AZ. In that case the freight had to move across several state lines. This was a shipment defined as “interstate.”

It is a key element in recovering damages to understand the difference between the two types of shipments. This is because each kind is governed by a different legal authority’s regulations. Each different state or federal authority has different requirements and restrictions as to how goods get shipped, how often a load must be checked while being shipped, how the vehicle is loaded etc. There are also different regulations regarding the status of the shipping vehicle to make sure that it is properly maintained and is safe to be driving on the road. On top of that there are different jurisdictional restrictions limiting a driver’s hours and/or miles before a rest period. Each of these restrictions are in place to increase road safety for anyone who uses them.

These regulations are used to certify any vehicle which will transport shipped goods. Which ones apply depends upon the status of the shipment. The rules differ depending on whether the shipment will be interstate or intrastate. Insurance carriers also have similar rules and regulations, enforced by contract terms, which must be satisfied before their coverage will apply to any specific vehicle. The Smaller trucking/shipping companies frequently only provide one type of shipment. In these cases the entire truck and trailer fleet has certificates for either intrastate or interstate shipping.

Many larger freight hauling companies have huge fleets of trucks. These companies can and do provide both interstate and intrastate shipments for their customer companies nationwide. These companies situation can lead to confusion and it is key that the dispatchers and vehicle managers are aware of exactly which type of shipments each truck and trailer are certified for and that they are only used for that type of load. Failure to use the vehicles with the proper certifications for the shipment loaded on any given day can become a big problem. If an intrastate certified truck gets loaded with a shipment going interstate and then crosses a state line. Its insurance carrier will not reimburse any damages or claims if the truck has an accident because that vehicle was not certified or covered for shipments leaving the state.

A veteran, experienced attorney will understand these rules and regulations. Motor freight companies and their drivers must follow them and the attorney will know exactly who can be found liable for any damages.

Are you in Corpus Christi? Have you been in an accident with an 18 wheeler or other big rig?

Give Carabin Shaw a call. We can help. Call us at 361.444.1111, local if you’re in Corpus Christi.

Visits with the Attorney are by appointment only. Main office San Antonio, Texas.

The Carabin Shaw Offices in Corpus Christi are located two blocks south of the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Our Corpus Christi telephones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 361.444.1111.


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