Auto Shipping Glossary: Coloading
When shipping a vehicle, something that some carriers like to do is what is known as “coloading.” This is a process wherein the carrier schedules more than one pickup at one location for more than one customer. For instance, say you’re shipping a vehicle out of Los Angeles. Your carrier may schedule to pick your vehicle up and you and he will arrange the time and date ahead of time. When you arrive at the predetermined location (if your vehicle shipper can’t get to your home), there’s also someone else waiting on the same guy – that’s called coloading, and while it doesn’t happen all the time it’s also not all that uncommon, either.
Coloading is a great way for car shippers to save money on a route they are running – instead of going to two or three different pickup locations within an area, if a driver can get all his customers in one place, then loading all of those vehicles just got a lot faster, a lot easier, and a lot cheaper for the carrier. This usually means lower prices for you, since a carrier doesn’t have to drive all around town picking up loads. Auto shippers spend a lot of money to keep their trucks fueled and on the road, which is a big reason why auto transport services are expensive as they are to begin with; if a shipper can save himself and his customers some time and money, he’s going to jump on that like white on rice.
Coloading and codelivery services are usually only available in major metropolitan areas due to the fact that, on average, auto shippers only pickup one or two vehicles (or deliver one or two vehicles) in each place they stop, since they can usually only find that many loads in an area. The industry is incredibly competitive, and by the time most carriers have one load dispatched out of a city there are likely half a dozen others that also have loads dispatched. When there’s too many customers going into or out of one area, carriers can have a hard time finding loads; if there are only one or two, it’s almost impossible. This negatively affects their shipping prices and costs, so coloading is a great way to even things out every once in a while.
If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle you really should fill out our free online auto transport quote request form. It’s completely free and nets you multiple free quotes from top-rated auto shippers over the hour. Once you have your free quotes you can then compare prices and services to find the right shipper for your specific needs. You can discuss possible coloading scenarios at your pickup location with them as well, though be prepared for them to say it’s either unavailable or won’t be during the time you’re shipping (this is fairly common – remember, shipping cars is a competitive business). If you have further questions or concerns, give us a call at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents today.