Carrier 14If you’ve ever driven across the country – or even on an all-day drive – you know that estimating your time of delivery can be pretty difficult. There are a lot of different factors that you need to take into account, including when you leave, the traffic conditions along the route, inclement weather, fuel prices and locations and also your vehicle’s fuel economy. Will you be stopping for meals, or eating in the car? What about multi-day trips, are you going to be staying in your car or are you going to be staying at a motel? For a regular motorists like you or me, these questions are part of the trip-planning process, and just like in the car shipping industry they will all have an impact on how long it’s going to take you to get to your destination. Now imagine you have to stop and visit a dozen different relatives along the way, each time knowing you’re going to have to stay for at least an hour but you don’t really know how long per visit, and they’re scattered all across the country. So now you have to fill them in.

Okay, the metaphor was getting a little out of hand, but what we’re trying to explain is how difficult it is for a carrier to schedule a delivery time and actually stick to it. Not because they don’t want to or because they’re lazy or anything, but rather because it’s hard to schedule delivery for a vehicle a week out with nine or cars left to delivery – and still more to pickup – along the way. It can be tricky to get everyone’s pickup and delivery schedules lined up in a way that makes sense and makes it easier for carriers to run their routes, at least without tripping over someone else in the process. It’s long and time-consuming, but the industry runs on it, so carriers do their best to get to their customers on time, every time.

However, the many variables that auto transport drivers encounter while they’re on the road necessitates them giving customers pickup and delivery windows, as opposed to guaranteed pickup and delivery dates. Guaranteeing a date that they will arrive with a vehicle is understandably difficult given what they go through during their day-to-day, so you need to give your shipper a little bit of leeway. Usually they’re dead on – if they say they’ll be there in a week, you can expect it to take about a week. It’s kind of like UPS, if everything took longer. When scheduling pickup of a vehicle, make sure to discuss your delivery window with a shipping representative, to learn more about the process and also to get important information on the nature of delivery windows and how they can affect your shipment.

Your delivery window will generally be anywhere from one to four days, usually, with more information coming to you the closer the carrier gets to his final destination. You and the carrier will communicate with one another just before pickup and also before delivery. This is to ensure that everyone knows what is going on, where the carrier will be dropping the vehicle off at and when he’ll be arriving, and also to let you know what you’ll need to bring (like the money, to pay for the shipment). If you need more time to pay or if you’re not quite ready to have the vehicle delivered, you need to speak to your shipping agent, as they will let you know what your options are moving forward if things moved a bit too quick for you.

If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle, or you need some more information or some help from a real live auto transport company, make sure to fill out our free online quote request form. It’s completely free and nets you multiple free quotes in your email inbox from top-rated auto transport companies. We clear all those shippers for reliability and dependability, and when you get your quotes you can also look up their reliability right online. You can talk to one of their live agents about the cost to move your vehicle or how long it’ll take, as well as get more information on pickup and delivery windows and policies. If you have further questions, you can give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents. The number is toll-free and we ensure that you get in contact with one of our agents immediately; no wandering around phone menus, pressing buttons trying to get to a live person. So whether you want to just fill the form out yourself or let us do it for you, let American Auto Shipping help you with all your auto transport needs today.

Fort Smith 1Fort Smith is a city located in the U.S. state of Arkansas, along the Oklahoma-Arkansas border. It is home to a population of over 86,000 residents, making it the second-largest city in the state and the anchor of the greater Fort Smith Metropolitan Area, home to almost 300,000 residents. Fort Smith began as a frontier outpost and was constructed in 1817, and immediately saw a small town start building up around it. The army actually abandoned the outpost for Fort Gibson in 1824, though the town remained; shortly after the army and the government left Fort Smith, a land speculator came to the area, bought up a lot of the land the government owned, and re-purposed Fort Smith as strictly a civilian town, keeping the name but focusing instead on economic growth, as opposed to military. Today, Fort Smith is the cultural and economic center of the metropolitan area that surrounds it, spanning over five counties and two different states.

Fort Smith is the second-largest city by population in the state of Arkansas, but that doesn’t make it a major U.S. city – the population does, and its population of just over 86,000 residents doesn’t put Fort Smith at the top of any popular auto transport location lists. At the same time, though, it’s the second-largest city in Arkansas, which helps a bit because it’s going to be one of the most popular areas within the state among customers, and that’s an important factor when it comes to overall price and also carrier availability. Auto transporters prefer to run along major routes that connect large metropolitan areas together, since that’s usually where the customers tend to be. More customers in more areas means more money for the drivers and also less chance of deadhead – empty spots on their truck, basically. Full loads are good for shippers, so they stick to populated areas to ensure they always have a full truck.

Fort Smith’s metro area has close to 300,000 people, making it large enough to at least be on many a car shipping company’s radar. It also helps that Interstate 40 runs through Fort Smith. I-40 is a major freight corridor for many industries that move product across state lines, and the auto transport industry is included in this. I-40 is the third-longest interstate after I-90 and I-80 and runs from Barstow, California east through eight states before ending in Wilmington, North Carolina. Along the way are cities such as Flagstaff, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Fort Smith, Little Rock, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh and Wilmington. That’s a lot of major cities, and generally the route is ran often by car shippers, so there’s usually going to be one in the area to pickup your vehicle out of Fort Smith, and many more that will deliver in Fort Smith since it is so easy to access.

The climate of Fort Smith is often beneficial to auto shippers as well. While the northern states tend to be popular during the summer, they are less accessible during the winter months when the snows hit, since transport companies have a harder time running routes along snowy roads. Fort Smith in the winter is more accessible than those northern areas, since snow usually only falls a few days a year and it’s rarely more than an inch in depth. During the summer months the weather is obviously better-suited, since the sun is out more and the weather is warmer. Winter can bring cold temperatures, but the cold usually doesn’t affect auto transportation services nearly as much as the snow that can come with it. This generally leads to lower year-round prices as well as quicker pickup and delivery times, on the whole.

If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle into or out of Fort Smith, you can fill out our free online quote request form to get multiple quotes emailed to you from some of the best shippers in the industry. As part of what we do, we ensure that all those companies are fully licensed and bonded and the carriers they hire to transport their customers’ vehicles fully licensed and insured, so your shipment will be covered at every level. You can learn more about the auto shipping industry in general by perusing the many articles and blog posts on our website, and you can also call our toll-free telephone number at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer your questions, help you get your free quotes and offer free advice and direction if you need it.

Rail 1In the United States the railroads were the nation’s prime method of transportation during the 19th century. First developed in the late 18th century, the locomotive was at first slow in seeing its adoption as the standard transportation service for the fledgling country, but by the 1850’s the railroads criss-crossing the country had become a vital part of our infrastructure. The railroads also became important tactically during the American Civil War, as access to the railroad lines meant access to fresh reinforcements, weapons and ammunition and food coming from the people back home. Though today the popularity of the railroads is at perhaps its lowest point ever, thanks to new methods of transportation that are faster, easier and more adequate to our needs, the industry is still around, hauling freight for different customers and businesses along age-old tracks.

Though the car shipping industry has, by and large, grown past the point of needing transportation services via rail, that doesn’t mean that it is completely forgotten. Most auto shippers today use big, open ten-car transport trucks to haul their customers’ freight, on account of auto transport trucks being readily available along more nationwide routes than the railroads. Being able to find a freight hauler quickly is a hallmark sign of a good transportation company, and the best ones know all the biggest auto transport companies on the roads today. They can’t make connections with railroad companies like that; it’s a much different industry, with different rules and regulations, and as a result of that the experience of shipping freight via a railroad company as opposed to with an overland auto transport truck tends to be less grand and more frustrating.

It doesn’t help that auto transporters who do ship along the railroad lines can only provide access along a limited route. Unlike transportation trucks, trains are still mired to the tracks, and they go where the tracks go. There are over 233,000 miles of railroad tracks in the United States. That may seem like a lot, but the road system in the U.S. is much more expansive. Let me put it another way: since 1980, the United States has added over 183,000 miles of roadways nationwide, including local roads, connectors and both state and interstate highways. The Interstate Highway System – the main logistical artery of the U.S. – spans over 47,000 miles of roadway nationwide. The Office of Highway Policy Information, which oversees the nation’s roadways, estimates that the Interstate Highway System comprises just one percent of the nation’s total available roadways.

All told, if my math is right, there are over 4,700,000 – 4.7 million – miles of public roadway in the United States. That is a staggering number. Of course, this includes all roadways, including those that auto transporters are too big to travel along, but at the same time, that 233,000 miles of railroads in the country seems rather paltry in comparison. This is one of the biggest reasons why auto transport via truck is so much more popular – there are so many more places that transport trucks can get to that railroads cant. Why book with a company that makes you do a lot more work like driving to the train depot and dropping it off and then waiting and then having to go to the new train station and dealing with attendants and workers and a whole slew of other problems when you can just book with an auto carrier and they drive it to your destination in half the time?

If you’ve ever wondered why auto transportation by rail is not more common, now you know: it got blown out of the water by the automobile, or more specifically the automobile transport truck. If you have your heart set on shipping your car via rail, you should be aware that the only routes currently available are up and down the east coast – this comes back to the fact that there are over 4.7 million miles of roadways. If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle, make sure to fill out our free online quote request form; if you do, you’ll receive multiple free quotes from some of the best auto transport companies in the industry. If you’re interested in auto transport by rail, you can discuss it with one of their representatives, but don’t be surprised if it turns out that it’s unavailable along your route. If you have further questions, make sure to give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, who in addition to helping you get your free quotes can answer any questions you may have about shipping a vehicle.

Dirty Car 1There are a lot of different things that a vehicle owner who is trying to ship their vehicle needs to know before the carrier arrives to load the vehicle onto the truck needs to know – it’s not just about getting a car loaded onto a truck. Okay, maybe it is, but there’s some prepwork that you need to do that, if you do it correctly, still won’t take you more than probably twenty minutes – more if you do it wrong, most like. Preparing a vehicle to be shipped is surprisingly easy, assuming you’ve been honest and up front about your vehicle with your shipper from the get-go. What we mean is only that your shipment will be a lot easier, and likely happen faster, if you disclose all the secrets about your vehicle (though you can probably leave how that stain in the back got there out of your recounting). Here are a few pieces of information and tips that can help you prep your car to be shipped and make things easier in the long run for you.

For starters, clean it out. Not only is a dirty car tacky, but in some areas of the country there are laws on the book that require you to have some type of garbage receptacle in your vehicle. Something like a plastic bag on the floor, behind the passenger seat, works well in this capacity. But even if you don’t need or want a garbage bag in your car (which you seriously should, they’re so much more convenient), you’ll still need to clean your main method of transportation. Auto shippers are not licensed to carry household items, and while a few things in the car might not seem like a big deal, if a car shipper gets caught by the man and they see a bunch of stuff in their cargo, they’re going to be none too happy, and will likely toss your stuff out of your car in order to reduce weight and force the carrier to comply with all rules and regulations.

Once it’s clean, you want to ensure that it’s in proper running condition. Check your spark plugs and your starter, make sure your tires and wheels are inflated properly and aren’t flat. Ensure that the battery is charged and the car can be shifted into gear, be it a manual or an automatic, and make sure it can actually roll and brake and steer properly. These are important factors because that’s how your vehicle is loaded onto and unloaded from the transport truck. Your shipper literally will drive the vehicle onto the truck, maneuver it into place, then park it and secure it. If your vehicle is not running properly or cannot roll, brake or steer, it makes the carrier’s job harder and may require them to use specialty tools that aren’t a part of the standard carrier truck, namely a winch. If you can get your car running enough to drive it onto and off of a transportation truck, you could probably save a pretty penny.

Now that you your vehicle is clean and you know it runs, the next thing you should do to prepare your vehicle to be shipped is not to wash it. A lot of customers are concerned with how their car is going to look when it’s loaded onto the truck – something to do with pretty things making them feel more important, no doubt. But ironically this can actually damage your vehicle during transport, which would be funny if it happened to someone else, surely, but if it happened to you you’d likely be howling. A thin layer of dirt and grime on your vehicle will help protect your vehicle from a lot of the minor hazards that can affect vehicles on the back of a transport truck, namely rocks and dirt clods and other debris that gets kicked up into the back of a transport truck while it’s hurtling down highways at speeds of 60+ miles per hour. A layer of grime will deflect most of these minor annoyances, and while they’d result in little more than a minor ding or small scratch, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So clean the inside, make sure it runs and don’t clean the outside – these seem like minor things but they can make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting your vehicle shipped. If you need more advice or information about the car shipping industry, give us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer your questions, give free advice and also help you get prices to ship your vehicle. You can also fill out our free online quote request form to get multiple quotes emailed to you from some of the best auto transport companies in the industry. Our form is also completely free to use and submit and we work with only the best auto shippers in the industry, and we clear them all before we start working with them so you can rest assured they are fully licensed, bonded and insured, as well as A-rated members of the Better Business Bureau and 5-star rated on independent review sites like Transport Reviews. So call or go online and see what American Auto Shipping can do for you.

Indianapolis 1Indianapolis is the largest city in as well as the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana. Home to over 820,000 residents in the city proper, Indianapolis is one of the fastest-growing areas in the entire American Midwest and currently anchors a metropolitan area home to over two million total residents. Indiana is the 12th largest city by population in the entire United States, and recent growth, particularly in the downtown area, has led to a revitalization of the city, which was sorely needed after the dismantling of a large portion of the city’s manufacturing base. Indianapolis is located in the Rust Belt, and like many Rust Belt cities saw significant decline during the latter half of the 20th century thanks to the slow dismantling of its manufacturing base. However, today the city is attracting new residents and businesses thanks to a reformed urban planning and economic development model that has been in place since the late 1990’s. As such, Indianapolis is one of the most popular areas in the Midwest that Americans are moving to from other parts of the country.

Indianapolis’ economy today is quite diverse, which is a major reason why the city was able to weather the storm of deindustrialization as well as it did. Large economic contributions come from sectors such as education and healthcare, though historically Indianapolis was a manufacturing city, with a high amount of government jobs for a city of its size. Be that as it may, Indianapolis has diversified its economy greatly, bringing in new businesses and even entirely new sectors such as biomedical research and medical equipment development, a renewed interested in finance, and a renewed focus on high-tech industry and technological development. This diversity has brought a wealth of new residents to the area while providing enough money for the city to revitalize the downtown core; this has led to a large boom in tourism, which has also become a prominent economic sector in Indianapolis.

What this generally means for people interested in household moving to Indianapolis is that there are a lot of things to do. Since many people moving to Indianapolis for work, either for job transfers or to find work, the diverse economic landscape makes it easier for people to find work. Since the Great Recession, many a major city’s economy has suffered, both here in the U.S. and around the globe, and since the waves of deindustrialization first crashed upon the city in the late 1960’s, Indianapolis has worked hard to transform itself. What this has resulted in is a vibrant city with a unique downtown core and a sprawling metropolitan area. As a major transportation and distribution area as well, the infrastructure around the city is well-entrenched; this allows household moving companies easier access to and from many areas around Indianapolis, which helps to decrease household moving costs.

If you’re interested in moving household items into or out of Indianapolis, make sure to visit our Household Moving Articles page; that page is an information page linking to all our household moving articles, but more than that it gives you access to our household moving quote request form. Unlike the auto transport quote form which you see to the left as well as on our homepage, our household moving quote form is built strictly for the shipment of household goods, and is the best way to get independent household goods transportation quotes from some of the best moving companies in the industry. Of course, you can still fill out our auto transport quote form to the left if you need to ship a car too; on the auto transport form is an option for household moving quotes as well, so you can get both auto shipping and household goods shipping quotes through our main form on our homepage. If you have further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call us at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer questions, give sound advice for both auto transport and household goods moving services, direction if you need it and help with the quote forms if you need that too.