Interstate or Intrastate Freight: Which Are You Hauling?

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If you’re a truck driver, it’s not only important to know what type of freight you’re hauling, but if it is classified as interstate or intrastate freight. Determining the difference between the two types of freight can be a little confusing, but thankfully we are here to help! Apex recently attended a seminar held by the Texas Trucking Association, which discussed the difference between interstate and intrastate freight and we’re sharing our knowledge with you.

Interstate or intrastate freight hauling: what's the difference?

Intrastate Freight

Intrastate commerce is based on where the freight came from and where it’s going, not necessarily on where the driver hauling the freight is located. If you are transporting goods between two companies within the same state, this would be designated as intrastate commerce.

Interstate Freight

If you haul interstate commerce, you are most likely hauling freight between two different states or through another state. Interstate freight also includes freight that is dropped off in a place outside the US or picked up in a place outside the US.

Why does the difference between interstate and intrastate freight matter?

It’s important to note, if you haul interstate commerce, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has authority, whereas intrastate commerce is ruled by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA also controls gravel and sand haulers, logging, agriculture and cement and concrete mixers. If you are a hazmat hauler, the DOT has authority whether you haul interstate or intrastate.

An example from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) website helps distinguish the differences between interstate and intrastate. 

If a trucking company hauls freight from California to Idaho and you, another trucking company, deliver the freight to its final destination, staying entirely in-state, the freight would be considered interstate because the original location of the freight covers multiple states. Additionally, delivery trucks who are picking up the load from the warehouse in Idaho would not be considered interstate commerce, if the delivery locations were not mentioned in the original shipment that traveled from California to Idaho.

For more information on the differences between interstate and intrastate freight, visit OSHA, FMCSA, or the DOT websites.

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