Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 at
If you type in “auto transport broker vs carrier” in Google you’ll get a few different websites that all say different things regarding which is better, a broker or a carrier. It really depends on who’s running the website, because most brokers and quote providers will tell you a broker is the way to go, while carriers will likely tell you booking directly with them will save you more time and money in the long run. But which is right? Well, really, they all are; some carriers can get you good deals when you book directly with them, but many times brokers will be the best bet, particularly if you’re going to try to find one using our advertising services (i.e. filling out our free online quote form). There are several reasons why booking with a carrier is a bad idea, but here are a few:
For starters, while carriers control how much they make on each route, the brokers ultimately decide the prices. It’s a fine balance between brokers and carriers, but on the whole they work together to make sure a vehicle gets moved at a reasonable rate within a reasonable amount of time. A broker’s job is to get your car moved, first and foremost, which means they’re going to try to get you the lowest possible rate that will move it for you. Sometimes haggling between brokers and carriers can happen – but you won’t be able to do that. Brokers provide so much freight for so many carriers out there that they rely on one another heavily. Carriers don’t rely on you directly, so booking with them directly usually results in much higher prices because they know they can get away with it.
Not only that but auto transport carriers can be quite difficult to find online. Aside from a few of the major nationwide fleets, most carrier companies are small owner-operator-type businesses, usually a tag-team operation between a driver in the truck and a dispatcher in their home or office. It’s a small-time operation because that’s all it takes most of the time, thanks to the brokers. So finding them is more challenging, and booking with them directly can result in longer pickup wait times because more often than not their truck won’t be anywhere close to where you are. Brokers can find carriers in your area, which speeds up pickup times, and since they regulate pricing among the carriers you’ll likely find a cheaper rate. You can also learn more about this topic in our brokers vs. carriers article, and you can call our toll-free telephone number at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our helpful and friendly auto transport experts.
Monday, January 27th, 2014 at
Alliteration in the title aside, utilizing auto transportation services when buying vehicles from an auction can be a great way to snag good deals on out-of-state cars and get them hauled back to you easily and cost-effectively. In today’s world it’s easier than ever to find the right car at a great price, but sometimes it takes some serious looking. Auto auctions help take some of that stress off by providing a way to connect customers with the vehicles they’re looking for. Auto transportation companies routinely pass through major cities with auction houses in them, which means now it’s easier than ever to not only find the right vehicle for you but also to have it shipped back to you at a reasonable rate in a reasonable amount of time.
When shopping at an online auto auction, you need to make sure you know what the physical location of your vehicle is when you buy it. Some auction companies have auction warehouses in cities across the country – major companies like Mannheim and CoPart have dozens of them scattered among various major metro areas across the U.S. While this increases availability (and stock) for customers to bid on and buy, it also increases stress on the logistics front, particularly when trying to coordinate between an auction house that has deadlines for automobile retrieval and an auto transport driver that’s trying to get there in time to pick it up. Auto auctions are a lucrative part of the industry for carriers, as they can often find multiple vehicles going to destinations relatively close to one another, which decreases the strain they have when planning routes and ultimately makes your shipment cheaper.
Of course, there are drawbacks to buying from an auction and subsequently shipping your vehicle, particularly the fact that – despite what any pictures or video you may have of your vehicle – you’re buying the car on faith. You don’t know the condition of the vehicle you’re buying, and without physically being there for the pickup (and the pickup inspection) of your vehicle, how are you to know that the condition your vehicle arrived in is the condition it was picked up in? That’s not just an auto auction problem, but a buying a car online problem. Please be aware of that fact, and exercise caution when buying from auto auctions or through independent owners. If you’ve decided already to buy a vehicle, or have bought one and need it shipped, you can get up to ten free auto transport quotes by filling out our free online quote form. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our services, or need some help filling out our free online form, give us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417 and let our auto transport expert help you out.
Sunday, January 26th, 2014 at
Auto transportation services take time. From booking to delivery will likely take at least five days, but it’s usually closer to 10-14 days, and sometimes can be even longer. Unlike UPS or FedEx, the auto transportation industry is run by thousands of independent shippers that each have their own preferred routes and their own rates and their own timetables. Once you throw in brokers to handle it as well, it gets to be a whole lot more difficult because not all brokers work with all the same carriers, and vice-versa. Therefore, it can be difficult to maintain a set schedule that you can work your own schedule around, which is frustrating for many people and often begs the question, what can you do if you can’t be present at the pickup or the delivery of your vehicle?
There are a couple of different options. The nature of the automobile transport industry is relatively relaxed, all things considered, and while someone has to be present at pickup and delivery regardless of shipping method (i.e. door-to-door or terminal-to-terminal), who it is isn’t as important as the fact that someone’s there. If you can’t physically be there for pickup or delivery, make sure you know someone who can be. This can be a coworker, neighbor, friend, family member – it doesn’t matter, so long as they can sign some paperwork and make sure that the pickup and delivery inspections are done. Shippers prefer if the person they’re working with (i.e. you) is there, but as long as they know who is going to be there at pickup or delivery and you verbally verify it’s the person you want there, it doesn’t matter.
With terminal to terminal shipping you take the hassle out of finding someone to be there for the pickup or final delivery of your vehicle, which is great, but at the same time it’s frustrating because terminal to terminal shipping isn’t as widely available anymore. Terminal to terminal auto transport services are most easily found from one major metropolitan area to another, and you can and should discuss your pickup and delivery options with your auto transport representative before you settle on anything final. If you have questions or concerns regarding your shipment, feel free to call us toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to our live auto transport experts who can answer questions and point you in the right direction. Ready to find a shipping company to haul your vehicle? Fill out our free form and choose between ten different reputable auto shippers and get multiple quotes e-mailed to you within the hour.
Saturday, January 25th, 2014 at
The state of Mississippi is the 32nd largest state in the U.S. by total area and ranks 31st in population. Founded officially in 1798, Mississippi was and still is today a major agricultural mecca, thanks primarily to its black, fertile topsoil that was prime for farming cash crops such as cotton. Mississippi was one of the richest states in the Union before the Civil War thanks to cotton, of which much of the state’s economy (and culture, as cotton was a prime crop for slaves to cultivate) was at the time centered around. After the end of the war the state grew slowly, and this has hampered Mississippi’s growth during the 20th century. Much of the land outside the Mississippi Delta has yet to be cultivated and is still heavily forested despite attempts at expanding population centers even in the 21st century. This has led to Mississippi’s infrastructure and economy being severely underdeveloped during the 21st century. To learn more about the state of Mississippi, check out the state’s official website here.
Mississippi doesn’t have a lot of major metropolitan areas within it, at least not compared to some of the northern states like Illinois and New York, mainly because of its history. Much of the state’s development, at a time when the north was industrializing, was still based heavily on agriculture, which meant a lot of farming and little industry. Though this began to change after the end of the Civil War, Mississippi industrialized at a much slower rate than other southern states (particularly Georgia and Alabama), even after the Southern Revival that began in the 1980′s. This means that there are fewer popular auto transportation routes through Mississippi, and this is oddly enough reflected in the fact that there are only a few major interstates within Mississippi, notably I-55 (which runs north-south) and I-20 (which runs east-west). It is not surprising that the largest city in the state, Jackson, home to just 175,000 residents, is where the two interstates intersect.
Auto shippers prefer running routes into and out of major metropolitan areas on heavily-traveled interstates. They go where their customers go, and as the auto transportation industry is relatively cyclical, with its booms and busts and different popular areas, shippers tend to migrate from area to area at different times of the year. Mississippi is more accessible during the early months of the year, particularly March through June, as the weather is nice and the trucks have a much easier time getting around. Demand may increase for transportation services to Mississippi in the summer months, which can actually lower prices on some routes (though it can also raise them on others thanks to too many people going out of one area, such as Los Angeles). We recommend reading more about transporting a vehicle to or from Mississippi via this helpful article.
Friday, January 24th, 2014 at
We’ve talked about snowbirds before on this website but there are a few things that you should be aware of if you’re routinely shipping your vehicle down to Florida or Arizona in the fall or winter and then shipping back in the spring or summer. Auto transportation companies that run snowbird routes typically will start running routes for snowbirds starting in late October and early November, which is when the weather starts to turn nasty in the northern parts of the country. Snowbirds are a great source of traffic for auto transport brokers and carriers alike, as they provide a steady stream of customers during what is arguably the slowest time of the year in the car shipping industry. Without the numbers that snowbirds bring into the industry every year, many companies would have a harder time staying afloat through the winter shipping season.
By focusing attention on snowbird shippers during the winter months, auto shipping companies achieve a higher amount of traffic, which means more revenue. More snowbirds are shipping every year, too, which is fantastic. The hardest part for auto transporters regarding snowbirds is that during the winter months fewer people are shipping vehicles up north during the winter, which can make it more difficult for shippers to find profitable ways to get back up north. This actually helps out customers shipping along shorter routes – for instance, routes like Miami to Raleigh can be cheaper because shippers are trying to find loads to get them back up north.
This is another way that snowbird auto transportation services benefit not just the people shipping from north to south or the carriers that transport said vehicles, but also other customers shipping along nearby routes. The importance of snowbirds has been understated for too long in the industry when in fact the vehicle transportation industry would be radically different if the practice did not exist. If you are interested in snowbird auto transport services, your next step should be to get multiple free quotes to transport your vehicle from reputable and reliable shipping companies. Not only does it help them out, but you can choose the best quote and the best company from a variety of options. If you have questions regarding shipping from the north to the south (or vice-versa, as during the spring and summer is when most snowbirds head back north), you can also call us at 800-930-7417 to speak to our live auto transport expert, who can explain just about anything regarding the industry in a friendly and professional manner.