Shipping Freight on a Cargo Van

Shipping on a
Cargo Van

Shipping on a Cargo Van

Shipping on a cargo van is something that has been done for decades. Companies like Ford and GM have had commercial vans in their vehicle lineup since the early 1960s. The cargo van segment has grown significantly since then and now consists of an impressive lineup of vehicles. This blog will focus on three vehicles in the segment that are built to better serve those looking to move larger or skidded freight. These three include the Mercedes Sprinter, the Ford Transit and the Ram ProMaster.

The Mercedes Sprinter

The Mercedes Sprinter is a great option for any company that needs a larger van. When you think about Mercedes, you think about luxury or performance, not commercial vans. That being said, Mercedes has developed a diesel van that performs very well, has good loading capacity and solid fuel mileage. The van comes with a higher upfront price and maintenance costs run higher throughout the life of the vehicle. Overall, the cost of ownership for a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter will be greater, but the usability will be at the top of its class. 

We have outlined the Mercedes sales figures below for the Canadian and US market. The data does have some slight skews due to the beginning of Covid and other factors related to production. That being said, a trend can be seen in both the Canadian and American market that shows a significant increase in sales year-over-year 2018 through to 2020.  

Mercedes Sprinter US Sales
Mercedes Sprinter Canada

The Ford Transit

The Ford Transit is another top option when looking to buy a commercial van. The Ford Transit has been one of the most tested models in the commercial van line. Cargo vans have been in the Ford lineup since their debut in 1965. They are a reliable vehicle that has stood the test of time and remained near the top of its segment. New model years of the Ford Transit come with the modern vehicle technology expected in a new car while also having the usability needed for a commercial vehicle.

The Ford Transit has had strong sales in the US for years. Whether that be the current commercial van or the ones from decades earlier, Ford has performed well. In the Canadian market, there was a massive change year-over-year between 2019 and 2020. Ford dominated the Canadian market as a whole and took the top spot in the segment. 

Ford Transit Sales US
Ford Transit Sales Canada

The Ram Promaster

The Ram ProMaster is the least popular out of the 3 vans we are comparing but that does not mean it isn’t a solid option. The ProMaster boasts some unique features to the segment such as front wheel drive, but the capable engine and large cargo area make is a very usable cargo van. Along with this, the ProMaster is priced at an affordable point that allows greater access to the segment for consumers.

The Ram ProMaster has similar sales figures to the Mercedes Sprinter across the Canadian and US markets. They have seen stronger consistency in the US market with growth being seen the past 3 years. Ram took a bit of a hit in the 4th quarter of 2020 and 1st quarter of 2021 with sales taking a heavy dive. Sales should see a bit of a rebound moving forward as they released an updated version of the ProMaster for the 2022 model year.

Ram ProMaster Sales US
Ram ProMaster Sales Canada

Other Vans in the Segment

The cargo van segment has a fairly long list of solid vehicles in the segment. Each one with similar characteristics, portraying the vehicle to the same target market. Other vehicles include the Chevrolet Express Van, the Ford Transit Connect, the GMC Savana, the Nissan NV200 and the Mercedes-Benz Metris. These vans are all great, usable options but they do not offer the same capabilities as the other vans mentioned in this blog. They have height, length and/or weight restrictions that could make moving skidded freight more difficult. 


The value in using cargo vans for shipping goods is clear. They have great usability and can handle deliveries that large vehicles like straight trucks or 53-footers may struggle with. Along with this, the technological advancements seen in the cargo van segment is quite impressive. As outlined in the Wood-Hall Logistics blog, companies are investing in electric platforms for the vans. These electric vans will start to hit the streets in the next few years. Overall, the cargo van platform has proven for decades that it can have a positive impact on the shipping industry and is an efficient way to move freight. 

We thank you for your time. We are always open to answering any questions and work our hardest to provide great services to our customers. Reach out to us today through [email protected] or give us a call at 519-213-1000!

The Team at ShipOntario,

A Division of Wood-Hall Logistics

Shipping Freight on a Cargo Van
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