Types of Auto Transporters

In the industry today, there are two major types of auto transporters: brokers and carriers. One of the types of auto transporters is a broker. They are a type of cargo broker that specializes in the shipping and transportation of all types of vehicles. Most vehicles shipped in the U.S. are cars and trucks, but many brokers handle boats, RVs, motorcycles, Heavy Equipment and other types of vehicles as well. The other type is the carriers. They are the drivers of the actual transport trucks. A typical carrier is usually a double deck truck that can load up to ten automobiles at a single time. Such trucks are driven by professional CDL drivers trained in loading, unloading and transporting vehicles. The drivers are usually owners of one or few trucks and they decides on their routes. Without carriers, there would be no auto transport industry at all, as it’s on their backs that the industry moves.

An Overview of Auto Transporters

Auto transporters rely on brokers to find them customers – without brokerages, carriers would have to do a lot more work. This work is long, tedious, time-consuming and expensive. Out on the road, carriers don’t have the time to be calling customers with quotes and talking to them about the services they offer or answering questions. They’d need an entire office to handle the amount of work that brokers do. So this division of labor helps the entire industry run more smoothly.

The best way that auto transporters have of keeping up with a constantly-changing industry is the industry-wide load board known as Central Dispatch. Central Dispatch is a service open to carriers, brokerages, and even dealerships. Brokers and dealers post loads, and carriers pick which ones they want to move.

This system makes everything easier for everyone. Carriers can quickly find freight and stay on the road. Brokers have an easier time moving freight on more routes as well. Carriers are able to quickly find new pieces of freight depending on where they may or may not be at any given time. This also explains why finding auto transporters in larger cities is easier. In big metro areas, there are more potential customers than there are in smaller towns and rural areas.

Auto Transporters: Enclosed

Many people express interest in enclosed shipping services. But enclosed transportation is only offer at a premium price. While it may seem like a good idea to ship enclosed, most customers simply don’t need to. Let’s make one thing clear: you should only find enclosed American auto transporters if your vehicle is not one that you would drive all the time, everywhere you go. Even if it’s a nice BMW, if you drive it to and from work, to the store, to your kids’ soccer games, you won’t need to ship it enclosed.

Why? Well, enclosed transportation is much more expensive than standard open shipping, and is often unnecessary. While it does protect a vehicle from the elements and road debris, open shipping exposes a vehicle to the same hazards you do when you drive it.

Auto transporters that drive open trucks are much more common on the road today and are nearly as safe as enclosed transporters in terms of the condition of their vehicles on a day-to-day basis. Open transportation does leave its vehicles exposed, yes, and when shipping it’s recommended that your vehicle is dirty upon pickup, as new dirt and grime won’t be as prevalent – and it’s easy to wash a car.

If your vehicle is something like a really nice Ferrari or a vintage Corvette that you show off to your friends and take on drives during only the nicest of weather, ship it enclosed. If that Corvette, however, is driven every day, you don’t need enclosed transportation.

Auto Transporters and How They Charge

Here are some prices and scenarios that can help you figure out what it may cost to ship your vehicle. shipping a four-door, standard size sedan from East Coast to California could cost between $800 and $1000, with the lower amount representing winter shipping months – when business is less active – and the more expensive price reflecting summer months when the business is booming. Transporting a small van, truck or SUV from California to New York may cost $1050 to $1,150. Shipping a Sedan from New York to Florida costs about $650 to $850, on average, and $800 to $1,100 for larger vehicles.

According to other sources, transporting a 2016 Nissan Altima from Indianapolis to Los Angeles ranges in price from $858 to $1024 according to the five most affordable quotes. Shipping the same car from New York to Los Angeles would cost in the range of $1,063 to $1,166.

Classic, luxury or brand new cars, because they may need to be placed into enclosed containers or trucks, can cost an additional $300-600 to ship.

If you’ve got your heart set on enclosed auto transporters, we probably won’t be able to change your mind; however, we can at least inform you of what to expect when you move a vehicle with an enclosed shipper. Note that enclosed transport is much more expensive as mentioned above, as enclosed auto transporters aren’t as common as open transporters because they provide a premium service.

Therefore, it’ll be more expensive than open transport. This can can be the difference between on budget and grossly over budget. When budgeting your shipment, compare prices and services and work your budget around the prices you get. Going with the lowest price will likely only get you a longer pickup window because the price is too low. Carriers won’t take freight at low prices, after all. So be sure to take your quotes and pay your money if you need enclosed auto transporters.

A Route-Based Industry

Auto transporters usually book freight based on the routes that they are going to be traveling. Some routes are more popular than others. For instance, cross country routes (think Los Angeles to New York City) are pretty easy to find auto transporters on. Those are the two largest cities in the U.S., so naturally the route has lots of customers. Shorter routes are also fairly easy to find auto transporters on, as carriers can see their families more than a few days out of the year.

A bit about snowbirds

During winter, auto transporters tend to shift routes south to avoid the cold weather in the northern states. This is also accompanied by a shift in customer demand; during the winter, fewer people move east-west compared to north-south. Like auto transporters, they want to escape the cold and the snow.

New York to Florida is perhaps the most common route during the winter months. Areas such as Arizona and Texas are seeing a rise in popularity among snowbirds as well. Snowbirds are people who live up north during spring and summer and down south during the fall and winter. They alternate between the two to enjoy decent weather year-round. Auto transporters often give discounts for snowbirds on account of the popularity of the routes they travel along, so keep that in mind too.

How American Auto Shipping can Help

If you’re looking for auto transporters to haul your vehicle from or to anywhere in the United States, make sure to fill out our free online quote request form. If you do, you’ll get a free quote to ship your vehicle directly from us. We are fully licensed and bonded and we make sure all our carriers are top-rated on Central Dispatch. If you have further questions, or need a quote over the phone, give us a call toll-free at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our agents. They can answer your questions and help you get your quotes as well as offer sage advice if this is your first time shipping a vehicle.