Auto Shipping Glossary: The Delivery Window
Understanding how pickup and delivery schedules work in the car shipping industry is vital to ensuring that your shipment is successful. Unfortunately, a lot of customers out there don’t bother taking the time to read about how the industry works, and how it’s different from most service industries today. This is a major problem, because if you go into shipping a car with the same mentality you do when you walk into a Walmart, you’re going to have a bad time. Since you’re dealing with interstate commerce, oftentimes in excess of a thousand miles from pickup to delivery, you need to be approach it much the same way you do Amazon, which is you expect it by a certain day, but don’t get too upset if it’s not there when you want it.
This is one of the downfalls of the way the auto transport industry is setup, because everything is so fluid. Like many industries that rely on interstate transportation of cargo, auto transporters have to adhere to strict timetables and follow strict regulations while transporting vehicles for individuals. They have the added difficulty of having to dispatch on-the-fly; whereas a driver for a nationwide chain of stores has his route all setup by the company before he heads out, in the car shipping industry shippers only have schedules lined up for a week or two out, and they can change drastically depending on the routes they have to run and where they have to pickup and deliver their vehicles. This is why it can be difficult to find a carrier in certain areas at certain times, and also why pickup and delivery timetables are given as “windows” as opposed to specific dates.
When your vehicle is picked up, your auto transport representative will give you a rough outline of your transit time, which is generally given as a range. Average transit time on most routes is 4-7 days, with shorter routes taking less time and longer routes taking more. These ranges are estimates only, though over 95% of all shipments arrive within their scheduled delivery window. However, there are factors that could delay the delivery of your vehicle including traffic congestion and inclement weather. The winter months tend to see more delays than the spring and summer, namely because the weather turns nasty in many parts of the country. This cuts off routes to some areas, particularly the northern states, and generally bad weather will reroute some trucks along other routes.
These are the main reasons why you have a delivery window as opposed to a delivery date. Once your driver is in your area, he will contact you to discuss where and when an appropriate meeting can take place for you to accept your vehicle. It is important that you make some time to meet with your shipper, as you will need to conduct an inspection upon delivery and also make the final transaction to finish paying for the shipment of your vehicle. If you cannot be there at delivery due to a scheduling conflict, you will need to find someone who can be there for you; someone has to be at pickup and delivery as there is paperwork that needs to be signed and an inspection to be done.
If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle from or to anywhere in the United States, don’t hesitate to fill out our free online quote request form. If you do – and it takes only a minute to do so – you’ll get multiple free quotes from top-rate auto transport companies from across the country, who can ship your vehicle anywhere you need it to go within the U.S. We clear all our advertisers for reliability ahead of time, and this means we make sure they are all fully licensed, bonded and insured so you get only the best quotes from the best companies in the business. If you have further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call us at 800-930-7417. Our representatives are standing by to assist you with all your car shipping needs, and they can answer your questions, give friendly advice and help you get your free quotes today.
Since 2007 Dave has written all the content and blogs for American Auto Shipping and during this time added the duties of customer support and transport logistics.
He currently resides in Washington with his three kids and their mom and cat. A fan of Marvel movies and good stories, when not shipping cars Dave can be found working on his novel, enjoying a good book or playing some tournament HALO.
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