Can Alternative Energies Power the Auto Transport Industry?

Hydrogen 1You know that alternative energy – solar power, hydrogen power, electric fuel cells, biodiesel – is a big thing. It’s been a big thing for a while, now, truthfully, but change is slow in any industry, and that goes double for auto transportation. Alternative energies, particularly electric cars and hydrogen fuel cells, are looking like they’re the wave of the future. Chevy has introduced their Volt, Nissan has introduced the Leaf, and just about every popular personal vehicle sold by any major automobile manufacturer has a hybrid version, from the Ford Fusion to the Toyota 4Runner. The number of charging stations for electric vehicles is increasing every day, getting into smaller cities as well as major metropolitan areas. Even China, the global leader in oil consumption, is getting on board. So, when we’re asked the question of whether alternative energies can power the auto transport industry, we’re inclined to say yes.

 Of course, it’s all a matter of power. Electric and hydrogen cars can only go so fast and for so long; the Model S, by Tesla, can achieve 265 miles on a single charge, but most cars barely top out at a hundred miles. Hydrogen power right now offers a higher range and fuel efficiency, but the infrastructure is slow to develop, and there are concerns about the support of such a vehicle moving forward, especially when electric vehicles are becoming so popular. Electric vehicles are acting sort of as a stopgap; we can’t rely on them outside of normal commuting around town, and road trips are out of the question given how long some vehicles take to charge. Toyota is set to unveil their new hydrogen-powered car next year; this may be a great benchmark for the technology, but it’s also going to act as an experiment, much like the Prius did when it was first introduced. Of course, given Toyota’s track record, their new hydrogen-powered car might just be the thing that finally knocks internal combustion off its pedestal.

Lack of power, availability and infrastructure are three major things that are stopping the adoption of alternative energies in the car shipping industry, but at this point it’s just a matter of time. We may not hear about it much, but do you think there’s not a research firm trying to adapt existing or promising alternative energies to long-haul trucking industries? Auto transport and other types of long-haul, large commercial trucks belch out diesel like they have a stomach flu, polluting the environment and making everyone driving behind them cough and breathe in that black crap. Alternative energies in many logistics industries are needed, and needed badly, but it’s going to take time for implementation to even start, let along overtake current diesel models. However, it’s going to happen; as of now, the momentum is in the hands of electric-powered vehicles and hydrogen, the latter of which is our bet for long-haul industries due to its capabilities. Electric vehicles can increase range with newer technologies, but we doubt it’ll ever be able to produce enough power to haul ten cars around at 60 miles per hour for ten hours a day.

Auto Transport Tips: Know Your Carriers

direct carrier auto transport quotesAuto transportation is an imperfect industry – more of an art than a science, really. This is mainly due to the fact that there are so many car shipping companies out there, each one competing for some slice of the pie that you bring when you start looking for a transportation company. Basically, there are two types: Brokers and Carriers. Brokers are easy to find – they’re all over the internet, and if you fill out our free online quote form you’ll actually get 6-8 free quotes from reliable and reputable auto transportation brokers. Brokers are the companies you hire to wade through all those thousands of carriers and find one for you – that’s literally their job, to facilitate communication between you and a driver and make sure that everything runs smooth. But what they don’t tell you is that it’s up to you to choose your carrier, and while they can give advice on it, knowing ultimately what carrier you should use is kind of hard if you have no idea what the differences between them are. That’s why we’re here: we’re going to break down the basics about the different carriers in the industry and give you good links to each for more information.

Open auto transport carrier
An open carrier is the most common type of truck on the road today (in the car shipping industry, anyway). Capable of hauling up to ten vehicles at once, open shippers minimize their costs and help customers save money by shipping in bulk and lining up new jobs a week or two out. These are typically the cheapest of methods, and as such roughly 90% of all vehicles transported overland are shipped via an open auto transport truck. Open shippers also have a higher rate of damaged vehicles than other types, mainly because they drive so much and the vehicles they ship are exposed to the elements and the environmental hazards of an open freeway. However, damage during open transport occurs in roughly 3.8% of vehicles transported per year, which shows an increase in safety over the past five years.

Enclosed auto shipping carrier
Enclosed transportation services are used primarily to haul high-end, luxurious vehicles for individual shippers that don’t want to see anything untoward happen to their vehicle. Enclosed transportation is more subjective; it costs more, takes longer to ship and to find, but it all but guarantees that your vehicle will arrive without a scratch on it. Enclosed shipping is more expensive because it protects vehicles from the hazards present with open transportation services, but since so few people actually ship enclosed (numbers vary, but it’s anywhere from 8-12% of auto transportation customers), there aren’t a lot of transportation companies operating enclosed trucks. Competition among those companies is more fierce, making prices skyrocket by 50-75% or more in some cases. Talk to your representative for more information about their stable of enclosed auto shippers.

Flatbed auto transporters
I’ve been debating taking this out of our rotation of carriers to know about, but at the end of the day they do come in handy for some people, so we’ll include them on this list. Flatbed transportation accounts for about 1-3% of all vehicles transported in a given year, mainly because they only haul certain types of vehicles. Flatbed shippers handle the automobiles that open and enclosed shippers can’t, namely oversize vans and pickup trucks, vehicles that cannot be rolled on or off a carrier, and oversize equipment (like bulldozers and the like). Flatbed shipping is generally not a method that you can request; your shipping company will let you know if it’s required. It’s the most expensive version, namely because of the size of the vehicles that they usually ship. Keep that in mind.

Knowing what carrier is best for your specific needs isn’t always easy, so if you still have questions or concerns, give us a call or fill out our free online quote form. If you fill out our free form, you’ll get multiple free quotes from reputable and reliable auto transportation companies who can answer your questions about as well as I could and also get you some free auto transport quotes for your troubles. Auto shipping is a pretty fluid industry, all things considered, and the more you know, the easier your shipment will be in the long run. Call 800-930-7417 for free quotes or to get some of your questions answered.

Why Does Rural Auto Transport Cost More?

United States 1Shipping a vehicle is never cheap - whether it’s 300 miles or 3000 miles from pickup to delivery, you’re going to be paying some serious dinero for auto transportation services, because it’s an expensive industry. Transporting vehicles from one location to another requires shipping on the back of a large car shipping truck, pretty much like the ones you see hauling new cars to dealerships every so often. These shipping companies run tight schedules and usually don’t have a lot of leeway in their finances, as much of the price you pay goes into keeping fuel in the truck, the engine of said truck running and the machinery on the back working, and making sure that the driver can actually make a bit of money by being on the road all day. These are the main reasons why auto transporters tend to stick to routes that run through metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan area, such as Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, New York City and Boston are all major shipping areas because there are a lot of customers in those areas, they are easy to get to and from and there are always people moving in and out of those cities. Running routes between New York and Florida, for instance, is always going to net a full load for a good 90% of auto transportation drivers out there, and that’s what they’re looking for. Shipping to the middle of nowhere in Kansas or North Dakota or eastern Oregon doesn’t net them a lot of jobs, just a lot of deadhead, which makes it more difficult for them to keep their truck in running condition and out on the road hauling cars. This is the main reason why rural auto transport services cost more. Since auto transport companies don’t have the luxury of taking more than one load at a time when they ship to rural areas, they get that cash in a different way – by charging you more to ship your vehicle.

If you absolutely have to ship your vehicle from or to a rural area, expect to pay quite a bit more, depending on the area and how quickly you need transportation services. Usually you can save time and get your vehicle picked up faster if you move your pickup and/or delivery cities to major metro areas, but not everyone can do this. If you can’t, you have two options: be stuck waiting at a lower price until a shipper feels sorry for you and picks your car up out of sheer pity, or else pay a lot more money to have them pick it up in a reasonable amount of time. Need quotes? You can give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to a live agent, or you can also fill out our free online quote request form to get multiple free quotes e-mailed to you over the next hour from reputable, reliable and dependable auto transportation companies.

Auto Shipping Services to Mesa

Mesa 2Mesa is the largest suburb of Phoenix and the third-largest city in the state of Arizona, after Phoenix and Tucson (the two of which make up either end of the Sun Corridor, where much of Arizona’s population lives and works). Mesa is the 38th-largest city in the United States, at least by population, and is larger than many major cities such as Tampa and Miami, Florida; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, among others. It’s population as of a 2013 Census Bureau estimate is 439,000 residents, give or take, and Mesa has become known for being a high-tech, higher-education-based city in Maricopa County. Mesa, as it currently sits, is over 18 miles long from east-to-west, making it one of the longest cities in the state – read more about it here.

One of the best things about Mesa is the fact that it’s the largest suburb of Phoenix, itself the largest city in the state of Arizona. Phoenix is a popular auto transportation location, though not nearly as popular as Los Angeles, Houston or Miami, to be sure. Still, it sees a lot of traffic, as does Mesa, and it helps that it sits right along Interstate 10, a popular east-west interstate that runs through the most southern states in the U.S. and through major cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Cruces, Houston, San Antonio, New Orleans and Jacksonville – all fairly major metropolitan areas in the southern U.S. and most of them, particularly Los Angeles and Houston, are major shipping locations for vehicles and other consumer goods. All this adds up to a lot of carriers running routes along I-10, with most all of them servicing Mesa in one capacity or another. The fact that the city is also a major suburb of Phoenix, its high population for a bedroom city, and popularity among snowbirds only helps to keep prices lower into and out of it.

During the winter shipping season snowbirds tend to drive the industry, as it were, and many of them prefer areas in the Phoenix metro area, particularly its bedroom cities such as Tempe, Mesa, Sun City, and others. So, they go down during the winter, then ship their vehicles back north during the spring and summer to escape the hot Arizona sun – this is another big reason why Mesa is so popular as an auto shipping location. If you’re interested in transporting your vehicle to or from Mesa, or really anywhere else in the U.S., you should fill out our free online quote request form – you’ll get multiple free quotes from reputable, reliable and affordable auto transportation companies. We work hard to ensure all our advertisers are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and the customers that used their services. You can also talk to a live representative by giving us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417; there, you can get your questions answered, helpful advice about transporting an automobile, and even how you can save money when shipping to or from Mesa. It’s that simple.

How Auto Shippers Protect Your Vehicle from Damage During Transport

Carrier 7Damage to vehicles while they are being shipped is fairly rare, but on the whole it’s something that can happen to anyone at any time. Take this British car transport truck – you wouldn’t want that to happen to your vehicle, right? All on fire and everything, that’s not good for anyone. Luckily, it’s rare: quite rare, in fact, as there are only a handful of videos on YouTube that even show a car transport truck on fire, or losing loads to whatever. The reason why it doesn’t happen often is because auto shipping companies go to great lengths to protect the vehicles they are shipping from being damaged in some catastrophic way (and, should worse come to absolute worst, auto shippers have insurance for precisely this reason). In this blog we’ll detail some of the ways that auto shippers protect your vehicle from damage during transport.

One thing that auto transport companies do is secure your vehicle tightly via chains or other secure mechanisms after they load them. Making sure the parking brake is on, every auto transport driver will secure your vehicle to their truck, to ensure that it does not move while it is being shipped. This is good, obviously, as it prevents cars from rolling into one another or off the truck. Most of the time chains will be used – big, heavy chains – to secure your vehicle. They’ll usually loop them through the wheels, or more specifically the rims; if they can’t, they usually have a backup location they can secure your vehicle to to ensure it doesn’t go anywhere. Auto transport drivers are also happy to show you how they will secure your vehicle at pickup, if you are interested in learning more (you can also learn more at our videos section, where we actually have a video showing how the loading process works).

Of course, it’s easier to protect a vehicle that is in an enclosed trailer than on the back of an open auto transport truck, namely because it’s in an enclosed trailer and it’s harder to screw up a car when it’s literally protected from anything that could happen to it other than another semi slamming into the side of the truck. Catastrophic accidents and losses are incredibly rare in the industry precisely because of the safeguards that auto shipping companies put on their drivers, and the lengths that they will go to ensure that the vehicles they are shipping are protected. If they screw up and damage your vehicle, they don’t just lose the load, they lose money, because they have to pay for all those damages, and no one wants to do that – but since it’s required by law that they do, there’s not much auto shipping companies can do other than make sure that the vehicles arrive in the same condition they left in. If you’re interested in getting quotes to ship your vehicle, fill out our free online quote request form or give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents. You’ll get eight to ten free quotes e-mailed to you within the hour and, if you call, you can get a free quote right over the phone and talk to a live representative who can answer your questions, give you sound auto transport advice, and more.

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