Auto Shipping Glossary: Pickup Window
In this edition of our popular Auto Shipping Glossary section we’re going to discuss your auto transport pickup window, what it is and how it can affect your auto transportation experience. To put it simply, a pickup window is the window of time that a carrier will give you prior to picking up your vehicle. Pickup windows are a necessary part of the car shipping industry because arrival dates and times can be a major hassle to try to adhere to. Car shippers drive on the open road, not in the sky on a place or the water via boat. They travel along the same routes and roads that you yourself use, the same roads that millions of Americans travel along every day. This means traffic, and traffic – as we all know well – can be a major pain in the ass, causing delays and problems up the ying-yang. This is the main reason why carriers will give pickup windows and not pickup times – if you’ve ever had to battle traffic to get somewhere you know it can be hard to keep to a strict schedule.
Throw in the fact that each pickup and delivery is different – with many taking longer (or shorter) than others – and you have a recipe for a broken schedule. Auto shippers prefer having time to get to where they need to get to without being rushed. The fact that they can’t speed without facing huge consequences (unlike regular motorists) also plays a major factor in the pickup times and windows of your shipment. Please understand that auto transporters are moving vehicles across the country – that’s 3.7 million square miles of territory. Cross-country on auto transport truck can take anywhere from 10-14 days depending on the carrier, the route, the truck and the driving setup. On the whole carriers own and operate their own trucks, which means they set their schedules and they don’t like running behind schedule. Pickup windows help tremendously with that.
We’ve glanced over pickup and delivery windows before but this is a topic that so few people really understand that we feel it’s important to reiterate. There is really no thing as guaranteed pickup. Sometimes companies may use it, but it’s usually more of a sales gimmick than anything else. Auto transporters are bound by the rules and conditions of the roads they travel on, and to break them literally could mean the loss of their operating license. Your pickup window is the length it is based on the best information available to your broker at the time of giving you said pickup window. Things change in the car shipping industry, so don’t be shocked, angry or surprised if they take the full pickup window to get your vehicle…you know…picked up. It can also take longer than the pickup window indicates if the weather is brutal or changes rapidly or there is a drastic change in routes and route pricing within a very short amount of time. If you have questions or concerns, give us a call at 800-930-7417 today to speak to one of our live representatives, and if you need free quotes feel free to fill out our online quote request form which is completely free.