Carrier 14In the auto transport industry, there are thousands of different carriers on the road, but not all of them haul freight for every customer. Between all the open, enclosed and flatbed haulers out there on the road today, most of them are common carriers, but some are contract-only and others are private shippers that only haul for select people or businesses. While most customers – likely including yourself – will use a common carrier found by a reliable and trustworthy auto transport representative, it’s still a good idea to understand what different carriers do what and why they haul what they do. Let’s start with the common carrier.

A common carrier is a for-hire truck that anyone can hire for the right price. These are the carriers that auto transport companies use to book freight for day-to-day customers, as mentioned in the paragraph above. They are the most numerous and most of them haul freight on open transport trucks, as they tend to be the most cost-effective to drive. Common carriers are often the cheapest and fastest method of shipping a vehicle, as there are more common carriers on the road than any other type and the industry in which they work is a competitive one indeed. All common carriers will be fully license, bonded and insured.

Contract carriers are those that are under contract with one company and hauls loads only for that company. This is usually how shipping companies that are technically brokers advertise that they are carriers as well – they have contracts with specific carriers, often a multitude of them. This is becoming less and less common in today’s car shipping industry on account of the fact that common carriers can find more loads for better prices that ultimately make them more money. Contract carriers still exist, though since they only work with one company only the largest brokers tend to use these types of carriers.

The first two types of carriers offer their services to the public – customers such as yourself can hire both types of carriers, generally through a brokerage service as that tends to find them quickly and it’s rather cost-effective. But the third type of carrier is the private carrier, and they don’t offer their services to the public. You likely won’t ever ship a car with a private carrier – they tend to work with major corporations and businesses that haul a lot of cars to and from different parts of the country. Usually it’s vehicle manufacturers that use their own transport trucks to move cars from the production facility to the showroom, but there are likely other companies in other sectors that have their own trucks as well.

To get free quotes from public auto transport companies that generally use common carriers – which are usually the cheapest and fastest of all the different ones out there – you should take a minute to fill out our free quote form. When you do, you’ll get multiple free quotes from top-rated auto transport companies emailed to you free of charge, and once you have your quotes you can then compare their prices and services against one another to find the company that’s the right fit for you. If you have questions about our services or need some help getting your free quotes, you can speak to one of our live agents at 800-930-7417 any time.

direct carrier auto transport quotesUnderstanding how companies that ship vehicles end up choosing the freight that they ship will help you a lot when it comes to finding the right shipping company for your needs. There are thousands of different auto transport companies out there that you can choose from, and it can be kind of an overwhelming experience especially when it’s your first time shipping your vehicle. Different companies run different routes and service different parts of the country, so finding a carrier that will ship your vehicle is a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But there are also other factors that carriers use, and a lot of different factors that can affect their decision-making regarding picking your vehicle up or not, so read on to find out more about how auto transport carriers choose their freight – and what you can do to make yourself more appealing.

To start, car transporters won’t even touch a load if it’s not paying enough. Money talk and BS walks in the auto transport industry, and usually the more you pay the better the service you receive will be. This is one of those industries where it just is what it is – when you can choose a job that pays $300 or $600 for the same amount of time and work, you’ll go with the one that pays twice as much, won’t you? Of course you would, that’s just free money you’re leaving on the table. Auto transport carriers work the same way, on the whole, especially those that run pre-established routes across the country.

And that’s something else that carriers keep in mind – the routes they run. Auto shippers like to stick to major routes along major interstates and other transport corridors, and as different carriers run different routes and at different times it can take time to find a shipper willing to transport your vehicle. Scheduling plays an important role in what vehicles carriers pickup; if they can’t easily fit a vehicle into their daily drive they likely won’t pick it up at all even if the price is decent. Of course, for the right price anyone will switch their schedules up, but this is rather subjective in the auto transport industry.

There are other factors, too, like what you’re shipping and how big it is as well as inclement weather along the route that they will be driving along. Most carriers, as mentioned, like to stick to known routes through areas they tend to frequent, as the familiarity helps them run routes through the area faster as well as avoid areas that are prone to traffic jams or bad weather. Weather can play a crucial factor in your shipping price and timetable, particularly during the fall and winter when the weather starts getting severe. You should discuss your route and your price and your options with a live auto transport representative, though, as they will be able to give you the full scoop on your exact shipment.

If you need to get a hold of someone, you should take a minute to fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. When you do, you’ll receive multiple free quotes from top-rated auto transporters, completely free of charge, in your email inbox. They usually start showing up within minutes of filling out the free form, and once you have your quotes you can contact those shippers over the phone or via email to discuss your shipment in more detail. Still have questions, or need some help getting your free quotes? Give us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live auto transport experts, who can help you by answering your questions, giving you advice on shipping your vehicle and helping you get your free quotes today.

Jefferson City 1Jefferson City is the capital of and fifteenth largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. Currently home to a population of over 43,000 residents, Jefferson City is the county seat of Cole County and also anchors its own metropolitan area, the Jefferson City Metropolitan Statistical Area, home to over 149,000 residents. Jefferson City was founded in 1821 to serve as the permanent capital of Missouri, though when the territory was organized in 1812 it was first placed in St. Louis and later St. Charles. It was named after Thomas Jefferson. A border state during the American Civil War, Missouri was claimed by both sides of the conflict and after the war the state has remained relatively on the fence about issues that continue to plague the country stemming from the war. Jefferson City was named as the best small town in the U.S. by Rand Mcnally.

Jefferson City’s metropolitan area is not all that large, but it is the capital of the entire state of Missouri and as such sees a bit of auto transportation traffic. It sits a few hours west of St. Louis, the largest city in the state, but only 30 miles south of Columbia, which is larger than Jefferson City and also located along a major interstate. Auto transporters would prefer to run routes into and out of other areas in Missouri, mainly because of the lack of people; though Jefferson City’s metro area is home to over 149,000 residents, it’s still not all that big when you compare it to metro areas with a few million in it. St. Louis is the more popular shipping location, and if you’re on a tight budget it might be worth driving the distance from Jefferson City to St. Louis to meet your carrier for pickup or delivery.

It doesn’t help much that Jefferson City can only be accessed directly via state highways, which are things that car shippers tend to try to avoid if they can. The interstate highway system is their main way of getting across the country – it makes sense, considering the IHS was built for that express purpose (well, more for defense, but the idea is easy access to important, major cities in the country). Columbia is probably going to be cheaper to ship to than Jefferson City – might not be as cheap as St. Louis, depending on where you’re shipping from (or to, if you need to ship out of the Jefferson City metro area), but I-70 runs right through Columbia which gives carriers easy access to the area. Many will likely run routes into Jefferson City for customers for little to no extra charge, as it’s less than 50 miles away – maybe 50 miles total from Columbia down to Jefferson City and back up.

Located in central Missouri, Jefferson City’s weather can vary wildly depending on the time of year. During the spring and summer is usually when auto transportation services into and out of Jefferson City are at their busiest, namely due to the fact that the sun is shining, people are moving and things are chipper and sunny and awesome. During the fall and winter, though, the temperatures in the entire region tend to drop, and Jefferson City can see upwards of 3-4 inches of snow per month – while that’s not anything near what the northern states see, it can be enough to delay auto transportation services to or from the city, so keep an eye on the weather reports when you’re shipping your vehicle.

If you need help getting quotes or information about shipping to or from Jefferson City, give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents. When you do, you can discuss nuances such as pricing and timetables and also get free quotes from top-rated auto transport companies. If you’re not one who enjoys phone conversations, you can also get your free quotes by filling out our free online auto transport quote form right here on the website; when you do, you’ll still get your free quotes emailed to you within the hour but you won’t have to talk to anyone if you don’t want to. Either way, no matter what you prefer, let American Auto Shipping help you get there.

Chevy Camaro 1When shipping a vehicle, time is a rather important factor that too many customers do not give themselves enough of. Transporting a vehicle is much more time-consuming than simply driving your vehicle yourself that same distance, and there are several different reasons as to why, the main one being the fact that auto transport carriers have to pickup up and deliver other vehicles than yours on their travels. You spend a lot of time waiting on your shippers to do things when you book your shipment, and all these need to factor into the planning you do when shipping a vehicle, as these factors can affect when the best time to book your shipment will be.

If you know you’re going to have to ship a vehicle but you’re not sure exactly when, get quotes now. More than one – try to get anywhere from 8-12 different price quotes from different transporters. You should do this regardless of how much time you have to book your shipment, of course, but it’s really useful if you know you have to ship a few weeks or a month down the line. Getting those quotes will give you the extra time you need, and once you have them you can book your order with one of those shippers at any time. When you book is important, too, but if you’re unsure of when exactly you need to ship your vehicle you should jump on it right away – the more time you give yourself, the better your shipping experience will be.

But what if you have to ship your vehicle next week? The answer? Book now. Today. If you have to ship by the end of this week or next week, you need to book your order as soon as possible. You need to understand that there’s going to be a waiting period after you book, usually 4-7 days, before your vehicle will actually be loaded onto the carrier. Of course, then there’s the transit time – auto shippers average about 300-400 miles per day, so you can do the math there, but it’s more important that you book as soon as possible if you need your vehicle picked up within a week or two.

If you’re shipping to or from smaller cities or towns, especially those that are 50+ miles away from a major city, you may want to give yourself an additional week, and maybe budget a bit over the quotes that you get, because small cities and towns are not popular shipping locations for carriers and they tend to bypass loads out of there for more lucrative ones in bigger areas. This is a big reason why shipments to or from smaller, less-populated areas tend to be more expensive; car transporters need incentive to alter their routes and go off the beaten path, especially if you’re the only one they’re doing it for. If you need to ship out of a smaller area and need it picked up ASAP, it’s going to cost more, so if you’re not planning on shipping for two or three weeks you should get your shipment booked now.

If you don’t know where to go or who to talk to about shipping your vehicle, fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. If you do, you’ll get multiple free quotes emailed to you from top-rated auto transport companies. We clear all of them for reliability, but more than that we make sure that they’re good companies that are good with their customers; they can help you figure out exactly what you want to do when it comes time to ship your vehicle. You can even discuss your shipment with one of our own live agents; though they can’t give you a quote over the phone, they can help you get your free quotes and also give you friendly advice to help you better prepare for your shipping experience. Give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, or fill out our free form yourself to see what American Auto Shipping can do for you.

Winter 1The auto transport industry is a seasonal one, with demand waxing and waning depending on the time of year. Though the industry is still somewhat niche, it’s growing rapidly thanks to falling costs for auto transportation services, though it’s still not cheap by any means. If you ship a lot of vehicles or if you have some time to plan everything and are trying to find the best time to ship, you should be aware of how the seasons will affect your shipment – even if you’re stuck shipping when you have to, and not when you want to, it’s still a good idea to understand how the changing seasons and the weather that accompanies each will affect you when it comes time to transport your vehicle.

The summer is the most popular time of the year – with kids out of school, parents are free to move and make plans without having to disrupt their child’s education. There’s a lot more to it than just school, of course; the sun is out, it’s an optimistic time, the days are long, and people just figure summer is the best time to move (and it totally is, by the way). Summer shipping tends to be cheaper along many routes due to increased demand; on more popular routes, though, prices can actually increase as there is more demand for shipping than there are shippers available; this results in logjams and “cherry-picking,” where carriers can choose the highest-paying loads first because there’s more cars to ship than there are shippers. Winter is just the opposite; on many smaller routes, prices go up as demand goes down, but demand on popular routes tends to keep prices lower since there are fewer customers shipping in the winter months, and loads can be harder to find.

Spring and summer tend to act as transition times. Early spring is usually slow like the winter, but it tends to pick up around March and into April. Spring can be a good time to ship a vehicle, though prices are still in flux at that time, so you may see higher prices from some companies than others. Spring is a good time to ship as well because more carriers are getting back on the road after taking the winter off – it’s not incredibly common, but it’s not that uncommon either, all things considered. Fall is the same way, but reversed; as summer turns to fall, carriers are still trying to find loads and take advantage of the waning summer rush, but the closer you get to December and, of course, the official change to winter, carriers start adjusting their routes accordingly.

Late fall, winter and early spring can see routes frozen due to the variance in temperatures and seasonal conditions. Snow is prevalent in the northern states starting in late October in some areas (it depends, of course) and lasts well into early March. This freeze can kill routes for carriers and cause them to alter their established routes in order to avoid hazardous driving conditions. Snow and ice can cause major problems for auto transporters, so during the fall and winter they tend to adjust their routes to the south, as it’s warmer and there’s less chance of snow in most southern areas. This causes prices in the northern areas to rise during the winter.

There’s more to know, of course, so make sure you bookmark our blog and follow us on Twitter and Facebook and other social media outlets to make sure you stay up to date on all things auto transport. If you’re interested in getting some prices to ship a vehicle or want to talk to a direct shipping company, fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. When you do, you’ll get quotes emailed to you from top auto transport companies – we make sure they’re the cream of the crop so you can rest easy knowing you’ll be in good hands with whatever company you decide to book with. They’ll email you your quotes and from there you can compare prices and services and even talk to one of their live agents over the phone. If you have further questions, or need some help getting your free quotes, give us a call at 800-930-7417 to talk to a live agent about it today.