Your Ultimate Guide to Car Shipping Companies
Types of Car Shipping Companies
Today, there is a great variety of shipping providers and methods and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Now that owning a car is no longer a luxury, there is a big demand around the logistics industry. Regardless of whether you are buying your first car, or you are looking for a vehicle to suit your new lifestyle, inevitably you will be looking for a way to have it delivered right to you. What are your options?
Lead generating companies
Lead generating providers are not typically a shipping company. They are rather an internet and marketing company. Those providers are just supplying freight leads to actual car carriers. A lead generating company can infuse you with a big number of shipping companies.
However, lead generators will not guarantee any quality service. Those companies benefit from selling a lead to as many auto carriers as they can, without engaging in the shipping process in any way. There is no guarantee that a lead generator will connect you with licensed shippers exclusively.
Some brokers have their own fleet of trucks, whereas others are only management companies. Car shipping companies that are brokers will manage your haul job top to bottom. Professional auto brokers work with their own network of carriers and so they can serve almost the whole country. Brokers are great ally in the shipping process as they are very flexible and
Most US car carriers are small family-owned businesses. In fact, van operators are the backbone of our industry. The majority of the truckers will usually own a small fleet consisting of a few truck trailers. There are two basic car shippers: they can either operate a single-level trailer or a big double deck trailer.
Single-level trailers can accommodate up to four vehicles at once. These types of trailers are used mostly for shipping high end and luxury cars. They are also used for jobs that require fast deliveries.
Double-deck car carriers can accommodate up to 10 vehicles simultaneously, depending on vehicles’ size and weight. They are the most used one, as they provide maximum cost-efficiency. Of course, sometimes when deliveries involve narrow streets and lanes, a smaller truck will be used to complete the job.
If you want to ship your vehicle short notice, or you are moving to another country, then you might as well consider air transport. Whereas this is not a traditional choice, for some cases it may be your most viable option.
Air lines will surely charge more money than traditional car shipping companies, but if you need your sports car on the other side of the country in a day time, this type of transport will be your best option. Also, if you need to ship your car overseas or to another country, then you will have to research air freight services as well.
Trains as car shippers may be a good option for some routes. This type of transport is not the most common one, but it is growing in popularity as some train lines offer car shipping as part of their services. It is said to be cheaper than using a truck or air line and you can move personal belongings inside your car. Though it can be cheap to ship a car via a train, there are two main limitations. First, you can only choose that shipping method if there is a convenient train stop nearby. And next, this shipping method is much slower.
This car shipping method is your preferable choice if you are moving overseas. Usually, there will be traditional car shipping companies involved, as your car will first need to reach the nearest port. There are two basic options here - RoRo and cargo containers. With the roll on/roll off option, your car is loaded onto a cargo ship and secured with the help of straps and clamps. Shipping a car via a shared container will be cheaper as you will be sharing the cost of the ocean freight and port charges as well.
What are the Best Car Shipping Companies?
Not all car shipping companies are the same. Once you choose your preferred shipping method, you will have to research car shipping companies to find the best.
The first and foremost check that you need to run is to confirm that the company in question is licensed by the US Department of Transportation. The FMCSA supervises all road car shippers and the FMC is responsible for overseeing all ocean cargo. You can check both agencies websites to confirm companies’ authority and also learn more helpful information on how to protect yourself from scams.
It also makes sense to check and confirm whether the company is insured and also where they are based. Federal law requires auto shipping companies to maintain a particular level of insurance. Auto transporters must present their tariff upon request. You should find out the company's car shipping price rates.
Whereas, generally car shipping companies transport all kinds of vehicles, they offer some accessorial services as well. For example, many auto brokers will arrange an expedited service if you need your vehicle to be quickly delivered. Some car shippers will help you with the purchasing process if you buy a car out of state. Moreover, many car carriers will offer online tools, so you can track and trace your vehicle in real time.
Based on their company policy, car shippers offer different price rates. When you compare car shipping quotes, make sure that you do not compare apples with oranges. Ask for a detailed estimate, so you can see what exactly is included in the price and how the latter has been formed. Steer away from car shipping quotes that are too low or too high.
Car Shipping Companies Reviews and Reputation
When you are looking for the best car shipping companies, you need to dig deeper in check companies’ online reputation. How a company treats its customers when there has been a problem speaks a lot for that company. Professional and trustworthy auto transporters will go the extra mile when there is some issue. They keep the lines open.
If a company has a rather negative approach, you would rather move on to the next company. Whereas most of the car shipping jobs run smoothly, sometimes there are glitches. You need to work with a company that you can trust. You should work with a company that is accountable and always available to support its customers.
TCI Logistics is one of the best car shipping companies. We have a personalized approach and we are 24/7 available to answer any car shipping question that you may have. Call us now!
Tips for Working with Car Shipping Companies
- Do not choose a car shipper based on the price they offer. Your top concern should be safety and quality. You may be looking for cheap car shipping, but you shouldn’t go with the lowest bid. There are auto transport providers that will try to intentionally allure you with a lower price. Once they get your car into their custody the price usually skyrockets.
- It should be a red flag, if car shipping companies require big deposits from you. Whereas, some companies may charge a small reservation fee, reputable car shippers will never require a huge deposit. Also, if a company accepts only cash, that is another red flag that you should not ignore.
- Ask your company to provide you with their Certificate of Insurance. The latter is an official document that will get you the idea of how much liability your car shipper will assume. If you are shipping a more expensive, one-of-a-kind vehicle, then you will have to discuss what insurance level will be required for your personal case.
- Inform your sales representative if there are mechanical problems with your vehicle. If it is in an inoperable condition, then you will probably incur some extra fee. The car shipping company will have to use additional equipment in order to arrange a safe transport. Generally, the car shipping company will assume that your auto is operable can be maneuvered.
- Let your auto broker know in advance if timing is an issue with you. Generally, car shipping takes from three to five days. If you need your car on short notice, you should make your representative aware. Also, if you will not be able to be present at the agreed time, make sure you let your auto transporter know as soon as possible.
- Ask companies for previous referrals and recommendations. You may also check companies’ websites, as most of them will have a dedicated page where you can learn more about how the company does business.
- The best car shipping companies will inform you about the inspection process in advance. They will also advise you on the paperwork you will have to deal with upon pick-up and delivery.