Auto Shipping FAQ: What Types of Carriers Are Available?
Right now, at any given time, there are a few thousand different auto transport carriers in the car shipping industry, and more are coming in every day. In such a tight, niche industry, this generally means that companies are coming in at about the same rate as companies going out – out of business, that is. Finding quality auto transport customers can be a real challenge for auto shippers, especially when different carriers of the same basic type are looking for freight in the same places. There are three main types of carriers in the industry today: open carriers, enclosed carriers, and flatbed carriers. Each plays its own role in the shipment of your vehicle, but which one is right for you?
Open transporters expose the vehicles that they ship to the elements, but it’s considered the standard form of transportation in the industry today because the largest open trucks can haul up to ten cars at a time, which helps keep shipping costs lower for both the shipper and you, the customer. Open shipping is generally recommended for vehicles that are planning on being used regularly, or vehicles that need some fixing up. Enclosed transport is available for those vehicles that are rare, valuable or expensive, though it is itself more expensive than standard transportation services. Flatbed shipping is the last method and is generally reserved for vehicles that are too big to fit on a standard carrier. Flatbed shipping is not standard, and usually is only used as a last resort considering it is the most expensive shipping method of the bunch.
But which method is right for you? This is a judgment call on your end; though open transport is used for over 90% of all vehicles shipped today, not all vehicles can handle the rigors of the open road for too long. Some vehicles that should be shipped enclosed could be shipped open if the route is under, say, 500 miles, while some vehicles that might be okay with being shipped on an open carrier may end up being shipped enclosed. How much do you value your car? Would you drive it the same distance under ideal conditions? If so, open transport is likely fine. And as mentioned, flatbed transportation will be discussed only if it is necessary. If you’re interested in getting multiple free car transport quotes, you can fill out our free online quote request form and get up to ten different quotes e-mailed to you within the hour. If you have any questions regarding the auto transport industry, you can call us at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents who can help answer your questions as well as get you your free quotes.