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Understanding Rural Auto Shipping Services

Rural Auto Shipping Services

Rural auto shipping services aren’t all that common. But they’re still a part of the auto transport industry. As such, it’s important that you understand how rural shipping works. This is especially true if you’re shipping to or from a rural area yourself.

But understanding the differences between rural, urban, and suburban shipping requires understanding more about how auto transport works in general. From how carriers choose loads to how they make their money, there are many factors that will impact your rural shipping services and the prices that you pay for them.

That’s why we’re going to break down rural auto transportation and what you can expect when shipping to or from a rural area. 

A brief overview of rural auto shipping services

Rural transportation services work the same way as urban or suburban shipping, all things considered. Vehicles are picked up and moved on the same types of carriers that move out of bigger cities. The method of transport won’t change regardless of what kind of pickup location you’re at.

Some big cities don’t allow big ten-car haulers, so local movers are used to get your vehicle to the actual transport truck. Rural areas don’t have that issue usually, but that’s really the only difference in that regard.

The biggest difference between rural and urban or suburban shipping tends to be price and availability. Rural areas aren’t as profitable for carriers as urban areas are for several reasons. For one, they take them off their established routes. Those routes have proven to be profitable for carriers, so deviating from them cuts into their overall take-home pay.

Basically, it costs carriers more to ship to or from rural areas because they increase their overhead. Fuel costs go up since they have to travel further for just one vehicle. Maintenance costs as well, as those big trucks have to be serviced regularly based on how many miles they have on them.

Rural areas, as a result, cost more to ship into and out of than major cities.

What to expect with rural auto shipping

As mentioned, an increase in the price per mile goes up when shipping in or out of a rural area. However, something else tends to happen that many people don’t factor in: higher wait times for dispatch.

When your vehicle is dispatched, it means that it’s assigned to a carrier that will pick it up. But until that happens, it’s considered “available,” which means that carriers can see it on the nationwide load boards.

With rural auto shipping, the time that the vehicle is available tends to be longer than with urban and suburban shipping. A lot of it has to do with what we spoke about in the last paragraph, namely price.

But even if the prices are high enough to attract interest from carriers, that doesn’t mean that they’ll actually take the load. Many carriers simply avoid those potential problems that come with rural shipping by just not shipping to rural areas at all.

This decreases the number of potential carriers that could pick your vehicle up, which results in longer wait times.

So, higher prices and longer wait times are common with rural shipping. Not every rural shipment has these issues, but they are definitely more common with rural areas than with urban or suburban. 

Potential problems with rural transportation

Aside from the typical money and time issues, there are a few other issues that carriers may not want to have to deal with when it comes to rural shipping.

For one, there’s potential damage to other vehicles on their truck. This isn’t as big a deal unless they have to deal with roads that are not paved, which are much more common in rural areas. Gravel roads can kick rocks up into the trailer which can actually damage the vehicles that they are shipping.

Something else is that their trucks may not be able to even handle the uneven, unpaved roads that are in many rural areas. While modern trucks shouldn’t have an issue with it, many transport trucks still on the road are of an older design, and they can have issues that prevent them from getting to certain pickup locations.

Another potential issue can be lack of easy access to where the vehicle is at. While this a problem that crops up no matter where you’re shipping from or to, it’s one that can be a problem with rural shipping as well.

Rural areas do tend to be easier for carriers to navigate, simply because there’s so much open space. But still, it can be difficult especially if you’re in a hard-to-find area. Actually finding the right location can be difficult in rural areas due to less accurate mapping software. Online maps, like Google Maps, are always more accurate for urban and suburban areas.

The way to mitigate most problems is to just be aware that they can creep up. Make yourself available – that means keep your phone on you and keep in good contact with your driver. They’ll contact you ahead of time to schedule a pickup time and make sure the locations are good for both you and them. So just keep them appraised and keep in contact and most all of your issues won’t be issues.

Ways to mitigate issues with rural auto transport services

One of the best ways to mitigate potential issues with your shipment is to simply move your vehicle to a more popular location. For instance, if you’re 50 miles away from a major city, chances are you’ll save money on the fuel and Uber costs to get to the delivery location of your vehicle when compared to the additional transport costs.

That’s…really about it when it comes to solving the issues with rural shipping. You can try to throw a lot of money at the problem and see if the sheer force of green will help you get it moved. But I’ve been in this industry long enough to know that while it works most of the time, it doesn’t work all the time.

We highly recommend that you take a look at a map. You can quickly see if there’s a major city within an hour’s drive or so from you. 

This will usually solve both issues at once: the money problem, and the time problem. For most people time is money, so waiting for a carrier can be just as bad as spending too much to move it in the first place.

It can also help mitigate the physical limitations that trucks have. Many trucks, for instance, can’t handle gravel roads very well. You should always speak to a transportation specialist to get the best advice on how to handle your rural shipment.

How we handle your rural shipping services

Here at American Auto Shipping, we try to take a proactive approach when it comes to rural transportation services. For starters, we try to price our rural shipments to move out of the actual area the vehicle is in. We try not to have to as you to move your pickup location.

This requires us to take an active approach when it comes to pricing. We take into account how far any rural area is away from a major interstate and major metro area. We use that to calculate the additional costs incurred to the carrier and then match that price. At least, that’s the idea.

It’s not an exact science, of course, so if your vehicle isn’t getting moved when you need it moved, we’ll work to help make sure it does. We will try to find alternative pickup and delivery locations that are more popular, for instance. We will also take less money for ourselves to try to get carriers to take it at a higher price. Your overall price won’t change, we’ll just end up making less.

Rural shipments aren’t always easy, so we do what we can to make them easier for you. For the most part, it works and works well. But sometimes it just takes time.

Ship your next vehicle with American Auto Shipping!

If you’re interested in shipping a vehicle to or from anywhere in the U.S., give us a call! We have transportation specialists that can answer your questions, give you a quote, and give advice on handling your shipment. 

Whether you’re looking for rural shipping, urban shipping, or something else, let us help you get it done. Fill out our online quote request form or call us any time at 800-930-7417. We can help you get started on your shipment today.

Dave Armstrong
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