Columbia SC 1Columbia is a city in and the county seat of Richland County, South Carolina. Home to a population of over 129,200 residents, Columbia is the largest city in South Carolina and also serves as the capital of the state. Columbia also anchors the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area, home to almost 800,500 residents and spanning six counties in central South Carolina. Columbia was founded in 1786 due to South Carolina’s need for a capital; Columbia was chosen because of its location in the center of the state. During the 19th century Columbia emerged as an industrial center of the Carolinas, though the Civil War did much to set the city back. It has recovered and today is the most popular car shipping location in South Carolina.

As mentioned, Columbia anchors the Columbia, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area, home to almost 800,500 residents. As the largest city anchoring the largest metro area in the state, Columbia is perhaps the most popular car shipping location in the state, which tends to make it one of the cheapest and most cost-effective to ship to or from as well. This is because of the fact that auto transport carriers prefer to run routes into and out of major cities that are surrounded by large and expansive metropolitan areas, as that’s where their customers tend to be. Rural areas and small towns see little vehicle shipping traffic on the customer side of the equation, which can mean lower profit margins and a harder time breaking even on the route. This is why they like major cities – plenty of customers to choose from more often than not.

Columbia is accessible via several major interstate highways, which is what car shipping companies like to see. The interstate highway system is the main artery that auto shippers use to pickup, transport and deliver vehicles, and cities that sit in close proximity to major routes along the IHS tend to be cheaper and faster to get into and out of for shippers than rural areas, as mentioned above. In this, Columbia is pretty lucky; it sits along I-20, I-26 and I-77. Of the three, I-20 is perhaps the most heavily traveled, but all of those interstates see plenty of transportation traffic along them, which tends to result in lower prices.

During the summer months is when Columbia tends to see the most auto transport traffic among carriers, due to the increase in demand along most routes and the fact that the weather makes it much easier to run routes through areas of higher elevation. Columbia sees hot, humid summers and mild winters, so even during the winter months shipping into or out of Columbia should not be that difficult. Usually carriers like to avoid areas that see a lot of wintry weather, as snow and ice can cause delays and increases the risk of damage for both the trucks they drive and the vehicles they ship. Columbia sees little wintry weather other than colder temperatures, so auto transportation services tend to be cheaper during the winter than other areas too.

If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle to or from Columbia, South Carolina, take a minute to fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. When you do, you’ll receive multiple free car shipping quotes in your email inbox from top-rated car transportation companies. Once you have your quotes, which will come in over the course of the hour, you’ll be able to compare those companies’ prices and services against one another to find the right shipper for your specific needs. If you have questions about our services, the quotes you’ll get, or simply need some help getting your quotes in the first place, give us a call any time at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our own live agents.

Dollar Sign 3The most common method of paying for your car shipping services is known as cash on delivery, or COD. COD is preferred by most carriers nowadays because it pays them upon completion of the job and puts certified funds in their hands the moment they drop your vehicle off. Cash on delivery has pretty much signaled the death-knell for prepaid auto transport services, which is where you pay your entire balance up-front to your broker and then they pay the driver later. There’s a lot of problems with prepaid shipping that carriers can avoid with cash on delivery, but in this blog post we’re going to discuss the reasons why cash on pickup is not as popular as its alternative.

Cash on pickup seems like a good idea – why not just give your payment to your carrier up-front, get it out of the way, so when the vehicle is delivered you don’t have to do anything else. But you may be surprised to hear that car shipping carriers actually prefer their money to come when their job is done. While cash on pickup is preferable to prepaid shipping, where you pay your broker the full price and then they pay the carrier, carriers like to have their money once the vehicle is delivered as it gives them a lot more options in terms of how to spend it. Think of it this way: would you rather get your paycheck up front for a week’s worth of work or get paid afterward?

Cash on delivery is just easier for everyone. Not only does it give the carrier more options with their money, but it also gives them a bit more power – if you decide to pay cash on pickup, carriers have to take time out of their shipment in order to deal with getting that cash, which makes your shipment take longer (sometimes – it depends on where they bank). Since payments to carriers must be made via cash, cashier’s check or money order, it also makes it easier for their customers to pay cash on delivery as opposed to cash on pickup; if you have to wait until you get paid to in turn pay your carrier for delivery, you have time after the vehicle is picked up.

It’s also safer for you. While the auto transport industry is leaps and bounds more trustworthy than it was before the advent of the internet, cash on pickup puts you at a disadvantage. What if the carrier is late? What if their truck breaks down and they have to find another carrier to finish the load? With the cash already in the hands of the carrier company, they can take their sweet-ass time getting your vehicle to you, and should problems arise you could be stuck without your car or your money for weeks. Is it rare? Yes. Has it happened? You bet it has. To protect yourself, brokers almost always setup their shipments via cash on delivery unless circumstances force them to change the payment method.

If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle with a top-rated car shipping company and need some quotes to get you started, take a minute to fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. When you do, you’ll receive multiple free quotes in your email inbox from top-rated auto transportation companies, and once you have your quotes you can then compare those companies against one another to find the right shipper for your needs. If you have questions about our services or about paying for your shipment, or simply need some help getting your free car shipping quotes, give us a call any time at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents any time.

Flatbed 2Flatbed auto transport is a specialized method of shipping a vehicle that is too large or cumbersome to fit on a standard auto transport carrier. It’s something that you don’t really need to even think about until you actually need it, but luckily for you your car shipping company will usually let you know whether or not your vehicle will require a flatbed transportation truck. See, there are three types of carriers on the road that can haul automobiles – open carriers are the standard method of shipping a vehicle as they can handle up to ten cars at a time. Because of this, they’re the most cost-effective method.

Enclosed car shipping carriers tend to handle a maximum of 4-5 different vehicles and haul them in an enclosed trailer. Open carriers keep the vehicles they ship open to the elements; enclosed carriers protect their cargo from the wind and rain. Enclosed is not for everyone, and because they can haul less vehicles the service tends to be more expensive, as the costs of actually operating and maintaining their transport truck can’t be spread across ten different customers. And this is why flatbed shipping is the most expensive – most flatbed carriers can only handle 1-2 vehicles, rarely more than that, and what they ship is a lot different than the loads open and enclosed transporters deal with.

See, flatbed carriers haul vehicles that can’t fit on a standard transport truck. Usually they’re going to be vehicles that are much larger than standard cars and trucks, often commercial vehicles like semi-truck trailers or huge Duly trucks that have been lifted or modified. The list of vehicles that will require flatbed transportation isn’t that long, but it’s a decent size, and some companies may require flatbed shipping services for smaller vehicles, depending on the trucks that they use. Utilizing a flatbed transportation company also tends to take longer to get a vehicle picked up or delivered, due to the fact that there are so few on the road today. Flatbed shippers operate in a rather niche part of a niche industry, meaning freight tends to be scarce and the market is not well-designed to have a lot of competition unlike with open and, to an extent, even enclosed carriers.

If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle, regardless of its size, weight or condition, take a minute to fill out our free online car shipping quote request form. When you do, you’ll receive multiple free quotes in your email inbox from top-rated auto transport companies, and once you have your quotes you can then discuss your shipment with one of their live agents while comparing those companies against one another, including their prices, services, availability and more. If you have questions about our own services, or need some help in getting your free quotes, take a minute and give us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417 any time to speak to one of our live agents.

Providence 1Providence is a city in as well as the county seat of Providence County, in the U.S. state of Rhode Island. It is also the capital of Rhode Island. Providence is one of the oldest cities in the United States, having been founded in 1636, and with a population of almost 178,000 residents, Providence is the third-largest city in New England, after Boston and Worcester. Providence also anchors the Providence Metropolitan Statistical Area, home to over 1.6 million residents and the 38th-largest metropolitan area in the country. Providence is sometimes grouped into the Greater Boston CSA, home to over 7.6 million residents, though officially it is not a part of it.

Providence anchors the Providence Metropolitan Statistical Area and, as the third-largest city in the New England region, it is a popular car shipping location in the area, though likely not as popular as Boston. Auto transport companies want to run routes into and out of major metropolitan areas where there are a lot of people, because more people means more customers, and more customers means more money and more profit. In this regard most car shipping carriers are going to run routes into and out of Providence, particularly during the spring and summer when the weather is nicer, the roads are clear and the industry is booming.

What’s really nice is the fact that Providence sits along Interstate 95, one of the most popular interstate highways in the industry and a major car shipping route along the eastern seaboard. It runs south from northeastern Maine, through eastern New England, down through the Mid-Atlantic states and cities such as Providence, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Richmond, to name a few, before heading into the southern states and down to Florida, where it passes through some of the largest cities on Florida’s eastern coast before terminating in Miami. These are some of the largest auto transport markets in the country, all connected by an easy-to-access road that keeps prices lower and transit times faster.

As mentioned, car shipping services will likely be at their fastest during the summer months, and likely be cheaper than during the winter as well. Providence experiences cold, snowy winters, much like the rest of New England and the northern United States. Snow and ice are not fun for car shipping companies, and they avoid wintry weather and routes as often as they can. Luckily, during the late summer and into the fall, New England is a popular car transport location due to the fact that snowbirds are looking for transportation services down to the southern United States; this increase in demand can be beneficial for you, even if you are shipping somewhere other than the south, at least in terms of your prices and pickup times.

If you are interested in shipping a vehicle to or from Providence, Rhode Island, 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 transport companies completely free of charge. Your quotes will come into your email inbox; once you have them, you can then compare them against each other to find the right company for your needs and budget. You can see their prices and the different services they offer, as well as reasons why you should choose them over the others; each quote will also have contact information for that company, so you can discuss your shipment in more detail with one of their live agents. You can also contact one of our own live auto transport agents any time by calling 800-930-7417, should you have questions, concerns, or need some help getting your free quotes.

Broker 4If you follow our car shipping blog at all you’ll likely know that we usually say that auto transport brokers are the companies that you want to book an order with, and not with direct auto transport carriers. The auto shipping industry has literally thousands of different companies in it, split up into three distinct categories: auto transport quote providers (that’s us!), auto transport brokers, and auto transport carriers. The way the division of labor in the industry is supposed to work is you go to the quote providers when you first start trying to find a company, who get you quotes from brokers; book your order with a broker, and then they will find a carrier to physically transport your vehicle.

The reason why it works this way is because of the fact that quote providers help you find brokers and brokers help you find carriers. In this way, everything is streamlined; by using a quote provider, you get quotes from different brokers – as many as you want, really, depending on how many different quote providers you visit – and then the broker you choose will use a nationwide load board that every reputable car shipping carrier uses to find a carrier in your area. If you were to book directly with a vehicle shipping carrier company, you’ll likely find it will take a lot longer to actually get your vehicle picked up.

See, brokers operate offices staffed with auto transportation representatives whose job it is to assist customers in getting their vehicles shipped. They are knowledgeable and understand the industry in ways that customers cannot – at least those who don’t ship cars on a regular basis. Carriers drive – they don’t have the time, money or resources to spend all day dealing with customers. Brokers have the ability to field many phone calls from many different customers and can juggle dozens of orders at one time, with the larger companies sometimes handling hundreds of shipments at once. Carriers can handle up to ten at a time.

Simply put, carriers don’t have the time to spend juggling all the customers that brokers do. They don’t have the office, they don’t have the phone lines, the capital or the business acumen to handle all that while still driving their truck hundreds of miles every single day. That’s why the vast, vast majority of carriers on the road actively rely on brokers to find them loads and keep their trucks full. Some carriers may operate offices that act as brokerages, but these are few and far between, just as there are brokers that may own a truck or two. While they may dabble, there is no company that actively does both – it’s counter-intuitive. Therefore, brokers are almost always going to be the companies that you want to book your shipment with.

If you’re interested in finding a reputable, reliable shipper for your next auto transportation experience, take a moment to fill out our free online car shipping quote request form. When you do, you’ll receive multiple free quotes from top-rated car transport brokers absolutely free of charge, and once you have your quotes you can compare those companies against one another to find the right shipper for your specific needs. If you have questions about our services, how we operate or how the industry works in general, or if you simply need some help getting your free quotes, give us a call any time at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our own live agents.