Auto Shipping Glossary: Intermodal Auto Transport
Intermodal auto transportation is where a vehicle is shipped using more than one carrier. On the whole this is fairly rare, at least when you’re shipping within the contiguous United States. Intermodal transportation is usually only reserved for when you’re shipping a vehicle overseas, since in that situation your vehicle will usually have to be trucked to the port, where it will be then loaded onto an international overseas cargo ship, generally of the “dry bulk” variety, though it depends on where your vehicle sis being shipped to. This is usually the only time that your vehicle will be loaded onto a different carrier than the one that picked it up.
But all that’s for overseas auto transport – in this blog post we wanted to talk about reasons why your shipment would require two or more different carrier companies. The vast majority of shipments don’t; the truck that picks up your vehicle will also be the one that delivers it, and in-between it stays right where it’s at on the truck. This is how both customers and carriers prefer their transportation services. But what if the truck has a mechanical issue, or it breaks down? This is usually the most common reason for using intermodal auto transportation services – it’s kind of required if your transport truck breaks down.
Other than that, though, unless you specifically ask for intermodal shipping or it somehow saves you money on your shipment (it likely won’t) no auto transport company is going to require that you ship your vehicle with more than one carrier unless you’re shipping to a port. There’s very little need for it unless something catastrophic happens to the truck that’s hauling your vehicle. It’s hard enough to load a vehicle onto a truck the first time, so taking it off just to put it on another one seems to be a waste of time. Plus, carriers don’t like sharing or giving up their loads; it’s a competitive industry and sharing the burden with a competitor isn’t going to help anyone.
If you’re interested in shipping your vehicle, get the idea of intermodal shipping out of your head, because when you ship your car with most carriers the truck that loads it is going to be the one to deliver it. You can fill out our free online auto transport quote request form to receive multiple free quotes from top-rated auto transporters in your email within the next hour. Once you get your quotes you can see their different prices and services and find the right company for your specific shipping needs. If you’re looking to get some questions answered, make sure to call us at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents, who can answer your questions, help you get your free quotes and give friendly advice and information about the auto transport industry in general.