Flatbed 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.