Chicago IL 7 Cold Front Makes for Slow Auto Transport Services in the NorthRight now a cold front is making its way across much of the northern U.S., making auto transport services in the north much more treacherous.

Snow is expected in many regions in the north, including the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes. In fact, snow was seen yesterday during several NFL games, notably SF-CHI and HOU-GB.

But the cold front that is making its way east is already causing trouble for auto transport services in the north, particularly in the Great Lakes and New England.

Snow can cause routes to become unpredictable for auto shipping carriers. Hazards increase, and the chance of damage to their cargo increases. As such, many carriers don’t like traveling through snow and ice.

How to prepare for auto transport services in the north

Right now, if your vehicle is already on the road, there’s not much you can do to prepare. Rather, your car transport driver is going to have to do their best. However, some routes may see diversions to more stable areas. Weather reports are saying anywhere from one to three inches of snow throughout the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest and will likely stay through the week.

So, if you’re looking for car transport services to the Northwest or the Midwest, be careful. You can anticipate fewer carriers willing to go there until they know that the weather will improve. And it should; the system that is coming is bringing cold air but it shouldn’t last more than a week.

But that’s just the next week. Right now, winter hasn’t even arrived for real (though Chicago in particular is seeing a lot, as is New England). Mostly, so long as the roads aren’t seeing too many problems, auto shippers don’t have issues going through snowy areas. However, if the weather reports are predicting more snow, they’ll often change their routes to avoid them.

Why is snow so bad for car transporters?

Snow is slick, and slick is bad when you’re hauling other peoples’ stuff, especially their cars. It can cause entire loads to be lost to damage if a carrier isn’t careful. Right now, though, routes in the southern U.S. seem to be unaffected, which is good. Typically carriers that stay in the north know how to handle northern weather, but nationwide shippers may not be as good at traveling through snow. Remember when the Atlanta area saw an inch or two of snow and the whole area was gridlocked? That can happen in the north, too.

But carriers just don’t want to risk damage to their cargo if they can help it. Right now it seems like the system might not be as severe as the weather reports are making them out to be, but that’s to be expected. We’ll see how things pan out in the coming days and keep you all informed about the weather as well as auto transport services in the north and across the U.S.

Need quotes to ship a car? Don’t let the weather stop you!

We can get you free quotes to ship your vehicle to anywhere, from anywhere in the U.S. If you fill out our free quote form and submit it, your quotes will come from top-rated companies often starting within minutes of submitting your information. This way you can compare prices and services from companies that understand the industry intimately. More importantly, they can give you valuable information about your route and conditions along it. If you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us any time, toll-free, at 800-930-7417.

Ransomware 1 Car Shippers Vulnerable to Ransomware as Tech ImprovesAccording to the FBI, transportation networks are particularly vulnerable to ransomware and phishing scams.

A ransomware attack against San Francisco’s light rail system over Thanksgiving weekend is just the latest, but not the last.

Car shippers vulnerable to ransomware have had issues, too. Many times, the scams come through email systems, often with innocuous subject headings such as “file from scanner.”

Auto shipping brokers often take information via email from customers. They are also known for taking information from unknown customers in an attempt to give quotes and book orders.

Why are car shippers vulnerable to ransomware?

As mentioned, many auto transport companies, particularly American auto shipping companies, open many emails a day. And it is through email that many ransomware and phishing scams are successful.

Ransomware locks you out of your computer until you pay a “ransom” to unlock it. Phishing scams look for personal information in an attempt to steal identities.

Car transport companies are particularly vulnerable because many systems keep all their customers’ information in one easy-to-access file.

And many ransomware and phishing scams are able to circumvent traditional antivirus scams due to improved technology and lack of commitment to cyber security.

Ransomware is already a billion-dollar industry, and experts expect it to grow in 2017.

It doesn’t help that people working in transportation, particularly car transport, are much more susceptible to it than others. This is because they are far more likely to open emails that are contaminated with ransomware.

How can car shippers vulnerable to ransomware fight it?

First is good cyber security systems. However, many auto shipping companies don’t have the resources to employ a full-time IT department.

The FBI says a good start, aside from that, is to not pay the ransom. Back ups are vitally important – it was how the San Francisco light rail system was able to defeat their ransomware issue.

But paying the ransom is often a simple solution to get your systems back. But that doesn’t make them safer.

Rohyt Belani, the head of PhishMe, an organization that specializes in protecting people from phishing and other malware scams, says there are several main components to protecting any company from attack.

The most important is awareness. Training employees to recognize malware and phishing scams is vital to prevention. Running frequent backups is also important. This is harder for larger car shipping companies, but smaller vehicle shippers shouldn’t have an issue with this. Many companies offer backup solutions for cheap and provide long-term storage for backups.

What can customers do to make sure their car shippers aren’t vulnerable to ransomware?

Sadly, not much. The best thing you can do is to find a top-rated company that is known for good customer service. We can help with that. Take a minute to fill out our free quote form or call us at 800-930-7417. In addition to getting you free quotes from top auto transport companies, we work hard to maintain your security. We don’t sell information to any unauthorized people and we make sure that every car shipper you get a quote from is up to snuff. This means that not only do they book freight with only top carriers, but that they are secure from all threats. Again, you can call or email us any time for more information.

 

OPEC and Auto Transport – How Rising Oil Prices May Affect Your Shipment

OPEC 1 OPEC and Auto Transport   How Rising Oil Prices May Affect Your ShipmentOPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) has reached a deal to limit crude oil production yesterday, and gas prices in some areas are already rising. Now, people are wondering how OPEC and auto transport prices are linked.

The organization will be cutting production down to 32.5 million barrels per day (mb/d). This is a cut of about 1.2 mb/d. The International Energy Agency estimates that there was a 300,000 barrels per day surplus in the third quarter of 2016. OPEC, naturally, wants to cut that down. Surpluses lead to lower oil prices, which hurts OPEC’s bottom line.

This is the first production cut in eight years, and is being hailed as a “positive step.” But what does this mean for auto transportation prices?

How OPEC and auto transport prices are linked

To start, oil prices have been dropping over the last two years, down from their highs in 2014. This has been a good thing for American motorists and, especially, American auto shipping companies. Prices to ship a car have dropped a bit over the past eighteen months, but could they be coming back up?

It’s certainly a possibility.

Auto transport companies toe a fine profit line, especially car transport carriers. They have to factor in diesel prices, fuel consumption and efficiency, route length and a host of other things when determining how much it will cost to ship a single vehicle.

With oil prices low, auto shippers have seen a drop in their overhead costs, which has led to more competition, particularly along popular routes.

However, with the global oil surplus now being halted by OPEC (in theory, anyway), there’s concern that major auto shipping markets are going to be hit hard.

Prices are already going up in Central Florida, which has long been a bastion of car shipping customers. This will likely lead to higher auto shipping prices for routes through those areas.

The future of OPEC and auto transport prices

OPEC will need to revisit this decision when they meet again in June. Right now, there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually be able to cut production the way they want.

Iff prices in Central Florida are any indication, car shipping will see price hikes in other major areas as well. Areas that are known oil producers, like Texas and California, may be able to offset some of the rising oil prices. Others, however, may not be so lucky.

What does the future hold? We don’t know. Right now, the decision is less than 24 hours old and has yet to be implemented. But the oil markets are rising, it seems, which indicates that there’s confidence in the decision, particularly among oil companies.

If you are shipping a car and waiting for the right time, it’s probably a good idea to book sooner than later. But regardless, let American Auto Shipping help. Get free quotes to ship your car via our free online quote form. You can also call us any time at 800-930-7417 to get assistance from a live agent. We get you quotes from some of the best auto transport companies in the industry. And while we can’t say for sure what the future of OPEC and auto transport is going to be, we know that auto transport services will still be in demand. Give us a call, or fill out our free form, and let us help you get your car shipped today.

 

Red Tape 1 Could Auto Shipping Regulations be on the Chopping Block?Regulations are an important part of any industry. While there is debate over how much is too much, regulations help keep businesses operating ethically and are designed to make things safer and better.

Auto shipping regulations are no different. From restricted routes to transit times to hour restrictions, auto shipping regulations are an important part of the industry.

Could President-Elect Trump’s new pick for U.S. Secretary of Transportation take those away?

Auto shipping regulations and the new regime

Right now, no one knows what Elaine Chao, Trump’s pick for Transportation secretary, is going to do. But we know what she’s done in the past.

On the whole, she’s been fairly anti-regulation, but that’s not to say she’s a “bad guy.” Regulations are tricky because, oftentimes, they become politicized, when the goal is to make things safer for everyone involved in said industry. Regulations are what cause higher emission standards and fuel economy standards. Regulations help protect our air and our water from pollutants, and a host of other things.

But Elaine Chao has a history of rolling back regulation and making things go smooth, particularly in transportation industries.

Her father, James Chao, is the founder of the Foremost Group and is a noted philanthropist. He has helped make the shipping industry worldwide greener and more accessible. And his daughter has extensive knowledge of both overland and overseas shipping. This has a lot of people in a variety of logistics-based jobs hoping that she’ll do a good job.

And she’s going to have a heck of a job on her plate. Right now, autonomous cars are becoming more prevalent. They’re going to require regulation, but Chao could make it easier for the technology to grow. Auto shipping regulations could halt the progress of autonomous auto transport trucks, for instance. Carriers on the cutting edge are hoping they can work alongside the budding self-driving car shipping carrier, and hoping Elaine Chao can make that work.

How auto shipping regulations affect you

You may not notice them, but auto transport regulations and the restrictions placed on car transport companies are often good. Driving hour restrictions make the roads safer by pulling tired car transport drivers off them.

These auto shipping regulations will likely stay in place. However, regulations for new auto transport trucks – specifically, self-driving ones – may be lax.

Chao has a history of deregulation. During her stint as Labor Secretary, two mine collapses happened, one in 2006 and one in 2007. Chao cut more than a hundred mine safety inspections prior to the disasters. After finding 208 violations of mine safety, in 2007 and 2008, mine injury rates were at all time lows in 2009, though. This could mean Chao rectified her mistakes, or that other people were really the issue for those mining disasters.

Regardless, most auto shipping regulations will likely come in the form of new regulations on self-driving trucks. However, how much regulation these new car shipping trucks will see is up for debate. Chao has yet to say anything about it, but we’ll keep you posted on these issues in the coming months.

Will auto shipping regulations affect quotes and prices?

Possibly. We won’t know yet, but they aren’t affecting any car transport quotes or prices right now. If you’re interested in shipping a car, make sure to fill out our free quote request form. It’s free and won’t take more than a minute, but will net you free quotes from top car shippers within about an hour. We clear every company that sends you a quote for both dependability and reliability. This includes making sure they’re fully licensed and bonded. Questions? Concerns? Need help getting your quotes? Give us a call any time at 800-930-7417 to speak to one of our live agents.

 

Secretary of Transportation 1 How Elaine Chao Might Affect the Car Shipping Industry

President-elect Donald Trump has apparently tagged Elaine Chao for U.S. Transportation Secretary. It is one more appointment in a long list of (rather controversial) ones. While American Auto Shipping is not a political website, we personally feel that Transportation Secretary is an important job especially for the auto transport industry.

The question, though, is how Elaine Chao might affect the car shipping industry to begin with.

A brief expose on Elaine Chao

Chao has been a public servant since the days of George H.W. Bush (Bush Sr). In H.W.’s administration, she served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation. Under his son, George W. Bush, she served as Secretary of Labor. Now, under Donald Trump, she will likely serve as Secretary of Transportation.

What does this have to do with auto transport? Well, nothing, except for the fact that Chao is going to be overseeing pretty much the entire industry – or, at least, the things that make it go.

The Department of Transportation  was created “to develop and coordinate policies that will provide an efficient and economical national transportation system, with due regard for need, the environment, and the national defense.” You likely know a bit about the DoT, and every state nowadays has their own version of it.

Elaine Chao has been around Washington for a long time, so it seems she has the experience she needs to do a decent job. Not only that, but she has already worked in the Transportation Department, part of which oversees the car shipping industry.

Now, How Elaine Chao Might Affect the Car Shipping Industry

Well, with the DoT overseeing most everything to do with the Interstate Highway System, she’s probably going to have a hand in a lot of policies. And while we don’t know what Trump’s infrastructure plan is going to look like (toll roads will probably be a thing on many, many more highways), Chao will likely have a large hand in overseeing its implementation.

Considering what Trump’s tax plan is, this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. But we don’t know for sure how Elaine Chao might affect the car shipping industry.

At the same time, though, we know her track record. Her time as Secretary of Labor was marred by a few scandals, but nothing major. Organized labor didn’t like her much, but as Deputy Transportation Secretary there was nothing on her record of note. No real red flags. This bodes well for the auto transport industry.

Car transport companies have complained about the state of the roads, particularly interstate highways, for years now. You’ve likely seen poor conditions on your own daily travels. But it’s particularly worrisome for the auto transport industry, as they use those routes every day. More importantly, they’re hauling hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cargo.

If toll roads increase in prevalence, auto shipping prices on many routes may go up. While Chao may not be directly responsible for this, it would be on her if your car transport prices go up. This is called accountability.

Personally, I don’t think the auto transportation industry is going to see many price hikes. Saying you’re going to invest billions into infrastructure is one thing, but red tape is almost the definition of the U.S. government nowadays. This tends to result in plans getting delayed and implementation of vital repairs left undone.

Construction takes years. Tolls take a long time to implement, both in how you collect and how much to collect. This means that we likely won’t see long-term fruits of Trump’s transportation bill during his first term.

Can I get quotes to ship a car?

No matter how Elaine Chao might affect the car shipping industry, it will still keep chugging along. And you can get free quotes to ship a car any time by filling out our free form or contacting us at our toll-free number. If you choose the former you’ll get free quotes emailed to you from top-rated car transporters. If you choose the latter, you can speak directly to one of our live agents. Both, however, can get you free quotes from top auto transport companies to ship your car. American Auto Shipping is dedicated to getting you the best quotes from the best companies. So no matter how you get your quotes, use American Auto Shipping to get them.