Archive for November 16, 2013

Why auto shippers need a great transport broker

auto transportWhen first time auto shippers learn they are working with a transport broker, often the first instinct is to drop the middle man and find a driver directly. Many auto shippers don’t understand why they would need a broker to contract an auto hauler. But actually, it is in the shipper’s benefit to go through a broker. In fact, working with a good broker is the best protection for a safe, smooth transport.

For one thing, a good broker will recommend a reasonable price to contract a hauler. Many first time shippers don’t know that the auto transport market varies from week to week, from route to route. In fact, there are even seasonal changes. Auto shippers – especially bargain hunters – can undermine their own efforts to ship a vehicle by offering a price that is too low. Sometimes a low price is one that only dodgy haulers will accept. But a reputable broker can help you set the right price to contract a great hauler for your transport job.

And when it comes to getting your valuable car across the country, you want to contract a safe transporter. There are carriers our there who don’t carry good insurance, or they let their licenses lapse. Some have a careless track record. A transport broker has access to industry tools providing information on specific carriers – more information that average consumers can find on-line.

In addition to industry tools, a great broker has direct experience with hundreds of different haulers. In fact, here at Ship a Car Direct, we have a “Do Not Use” list. We keep a list of independent haulers we have worked with who have not delivered to our standards – or worse, haulers who have not resolved issues that have arisen. If a hauler is on this list, we will not contract them for any of customers. Even if there aren’t many options for a particular route, we will not use a hauler that does not take responsibility for quick and safe service.

A good broker is your best bet for a smooth and safe transport. If you have any questions about how we choose the best independent hauler for you, give us a call: 866-221-1664. We are always happy to explain our vetting process to potential auto shippers.

How to prepare your vehicle for car transport

car transportMany car transport customers worry about preparing their vehicle for shipment. But there’s no need for concern. Not much is required on the part of the customer. Really, your driver does all the work. You just need to be on-call for pick-up day with your empty vehicle and a key.

You don’t need to prepare any documents or present any paperwork to have your car shipped. In fact, we recommend you remove any insurance documentation and important personal documents from the vehicle before shipment. Your driver does not need proof that your vehicle is insured, so you don’t need to risk letting those personal documents out of your sight. The only document needed to ship a car is the Bill of Lading and your driver will bring that for your signature – both on pick-up and delivery.

Relatedly, we recommend you remove items of value from your vehicle. As handy as it would be to pack your vehicle with belongings, your car transport quote is priced for the shipment of the vehicle only. Additional belongings often accrue additional fees – if they can be accepted at all. Sometimes, your carrier has no room in his weight limit to allow additional items, and/or he doesn’t want to risk the fines he would face to include your personal belongings. It’s best to assume the transport is for your empty vehicle only.

You don’t need to fill your gas tank or empty your gas tank. Your car does need a little gas (a quarter tank is enough), as it will be driven on and off the carrier. But if you have more than a quarter of a tank, don’t worry about emptying it before the carrier arrives. Some of the extra gas may evaporate over the transport, but it won’t cause any damage.

It’s easy to prepare your vehicle for cross-country car transport! There’s literally nothing to it! Of course, if you have any questions about preparing your vehicle or need more information about car transports, please give us a call: 866-221-1664.

This Car Shipping Broker Has Your Back

car carrierA car shipping customer recently described the transport process as “mysterious”. And it’s true, auto transporting does not reflect most shipper’s initial expectation of service. First time auto shippers usually expect transport service to be more like travel and are often surprised to learn that there aren’t grand schedules and regular, dependable routes with large, brand named fleets. Or sometimes folks assume service is on demand, that they can just summon a cross-country carrier the same way you call a taxi. Instead, there are brokers who contract small business carriers on a case-by-case basis, and schedules and prices may vary. It may seem like a hassle to have brokers involved in the auto transport process, but let’s cover the big reasons why they are good for you.

A good broker vets out your carrier. There are literally thousands of auto haulers across the country. There aren’t large fleets like Greyhound or JetBlue in the car shipping industry, there are dozens of independent carriers who could potentially ship your vehicle. But not all carriers are made alike. Some are stellar, but some have issues with insurance lapsing or poor scheduling, etc. A broker has access to more industry information and can be a better judge of a carrier’s worth.

A good broker will explain the process. From timing to pricing to preparing your vehicle for shipment, a good broker can educate you on the reality of the process. Drivers don’t always have time to take your call with questions when they are on the road. But brokers work in offices, so they are available to take calls and emails about your concerns.

A good broker helps smooth communication. Sometimes customers have a scheduling change or want to make a special request. Sometimes there are misunderstandings between customers and drivers, or missed calls, or other issues. Your broker can help you reach your driver with updates, changes, and address miscommunications should they arise.

We are here for you, so give a Ship a Car Direct broker a call: 866-221-1664. We are happy to answer your car shipping questions and find the perfect carrier match for you!

Get An Instant Car Shipping Quote!