Tracking shipments in the car shipping industry is a relatively new development, believe it or not. Technology has started having a major impact on the industry, but the problem is that this industry, more than many, is resistant to change.
There’s a formula to auto transport, but more than that, the entire industry is more art than science, and new technology appears to some in the industry as a threat. It’s not, of course, but that statement should give you the idea of what you’re looking at with various auto shippers.
Auto transport drivers are usually down-to-earth people who make their living on the road; they don’t have a lot of time to play around online, enjoying all the wonders of the internet like we do.
I’ve been lucky enough to work a job that requires me to be online all day, but how many other people can say that? Surely a lot more today than five or ten years ago, but when you drive a truck all day, the internet is rather difficult to access.
Most carriers use the internet to find new loads and schedule bookings and deliveries and keep in touch with their customers and the brokers they’re shipping for. We’ve talked about how technology is affecting the auto transport industry before, but just because a carrier can use new technology to make his job easier, not all of them do.
Their tried-and-true methods have worked for years, at least for some shipping companies, and switching it up could very well be a death warrant. Why fix what isn’t broken? That’s the mentality of more than a few auto shippers out there, and that’s why a lot of carriers don’t provide GPS tracking services for the vehicles that they ship.
Some do, particularly companies that operate newer trucks or fleets of trucks, because knowing where your loads are is important if you’re a manager of a shipping company and not an owner-operator. There’s a big difference; some shippers are part of a larger fleet controlled by a dispatch department, but most auto transport drivers are owner-operators, working their own rig on their own hours while someone back home runs dispatch. Not ideal, but it works for many.
These owner-operators pretty much go where they want, when they want. They pick their loads, they pick their routes, and they really aren’t beholden to anyone except the customers they ship for, and many of them are of the mindset that if you want to know where your vehicle is at, call them.
It makes sense; they really don’t have the time to implement an expensive GPS-tracking system on their truck and also have a receiver that the dispatcher watches. Some view it as a violation of privacy rights. Others view it as an unnecessary expense – most just tell you to call. This works as often as not, but it can be difficult to get a hold of a driver, as they are not allowed to talk on phones or text while they are driving, per recent government legislation.
Change is slow in the car shipping industry, but even as we speak more and more carriers are upgrading their systems, trucks, and tracking systems to take advantage of new technologies. note that we track every vehicle we ship, unlike some companies.
If you need a quote to ship your vehicle, take a minute to fill out our free quote request form. You can also contact one of our agents any time at 800-930-7417. They can give you a free quote, answer questions, book a reservation, and even track your shipment if you have an active order with us.