Auto Shipping FAQ: Why Does Auto Transport Take So Long?
Transporting a vehicle is a time-consuming process. It can take literally weeks from the moment you book your order until the day your vehicle is delivered, and the process is hardly fun for anyone.
But it’s a necessary part of the world’s economy, and you’d be surprised at just how many people are looking to ship their vehicles every day. Unfortunately, many customers do not understand the term “transit time” and what it implies – and, more importantly, how it will affect your auto transport services.
Transit time, as mentioned before on this blog, is how long it takes for your carrier to get from your pickup location to your delivery location. Say you’re shipping out of Sacramento bound for Denver. After your shipper picks it up, it takes three days to get to Denver. Three days is your transit time. It’s that simple.
Transit time will be different for different customers, and it all depends on where you’re shipping from and to and who you ship with.
Perhaps the single most important determining factor in your transit time is simply how far away the delivery location is from your pickup location in terms of overall miles (or kilometers, or even bananas – pick your unit of measurement). A shipment that travels 300 miles is going to take less time than one that goes a thousand.
But there’s a lot more than just that; while you or I may be able to drive 300 miles in the course of five or six hours, auto transport companies may take a day or more, depending on a number of different factors.
The most important factor in that is almost always going to be other places they need to stop to pickup or deliver vehicles along the way, and this is especially true for longer routes of a thousand miles or more.
Auto shippers need to go to different pickup and delivery locations to make money – it’s their job, after all. Auto transporters schedule their routes to coincide with customer demand more often than not, so if a carrier is running a route from Los Angeles to New York they’re going to pass through a lot of different areas first.
This actually helps keep your pickup windows shorter even though your transit time may be a bit longer depending on where you’re shipping from and to. If you’re scheduled along a route a shipper is already running on, your vehicle will be picked up and likely delivered more quickly.
Transit time is really fluid, and changes depending on routes and other factors such as inclement weather. Northern routes, particularly during the winter time, often see longer transit times due to severe weather, particularly in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions, as well as New England.
Snow and ice can cause delays and winter driving is generally more hazardous, resulting in carriers having to travel more slowly through those dangerous areas. Many times carriers will avoid those areas altogether, opting instead for warmer, easier routes further south. While this does not impact your transit time, it will most certainly have an effect on your pickup window.
If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle and need some quotes to get you started, make sure to fill out our free online quote request form. It’s completely free and will get you a free quote to ship your vehicle right away. We work with only top-rated carriers who are fully licensed and insured. You can also contact us over the phone at 800-930-7417. There, you can speak to an agent, get your questions answered, get a quote, place a reservation, and more.