Archive for September 20, 2013

Car Shipping During Snowbird Season

Car shipping in winterIf you have to ask, you probably aren’t a Snowbird. Snowbirds are folks who head South and/or Southwest for the winter, and Snowbird Season refers to the time when all of them seem to “flock”. Because there are many more shippers heading one way than there are spots on trucks, it dramatically affects car transport pricing and availability on those routes.

The most common misconception about planning auto transport is that if you plan far enough in advance, you should be guaranteed a date at a guaranteed price. But the reality is that no matter how much notice you give, carrier schedules are not rigid. Scheduling a car shipment is not like reserving a seat on a daily flight from one hub to another hub. Transport routes vary as the pick-ups and destinations are unique with every new set of customers. Drive times can vary with weather conditions and traffic – things that can’t be managed by your driver. There is no way to guarantee a specific truck will be available weeks in advance.

Another expectation folks have is that the price quoted them in June should work in October, and that is just not the case. Car shipping price quotes are accurate only for about a week or two at the time they are quoted, as those quotes represent the car shipping market at that time. That June price may or may not still work months later – but it is definitely not going to work during Snowbird Season if you are shipping to a Snowbird destination (like from Connecticut to Florida, or from Michigan to Arizona). Pretend you’re a truck driver and you’ve suddenly got triple the amount of customers going a certain direction – how do you pick which jobs do you take? The best paying ones, of course. During Snowbird Season, it’s not the early bird that gets the worm (or the transport) but the bird offering the best pay.

Instead of expecting a rigid plan for car shipping during Snowbird season, it’s more realistic to plan for contingencies. Keep wiggle room in your dates, enlist friends and family on either end, and allow for a possible bump in pay to meet the market. As much as we want to keep it easy for you, we prefer to be honest about how the process works. Please call us if you have any questions about that: 866-221-1664.