Highlights From The Mid-America Trucking Show

MATSMid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Kentucky, concluded several weeks ago, with reports showing another impressive turnout.

The final numbers came in as follows:
1,077 Exhibitors
79,061 Visitors
245 Media Coorespondents
1.2 million square feet of showroom

Each year this popular trucking show highlights new technologies, unveils new products, offers seminars, and provides unlimited networking opportunities for transport industry professionals.

This year many new technologies related to efficiency were on display.  From fuel saving tires, cooling systems that function without running the engine, and natural gas / duel fuel solutions.

Natural gas has been gaining popularity in the U.S. with more and more consumers interested in the low cost and abundance.  Clean Air Power company showcased their new dual-fuel technology for heavy diesel engines.  These engines operate primarily on natural gas, but with 100% diesel power on backup.   The result is significant fuel cost savings, lower emissions, without sacrificing power, performance, or reliability.  Agility Fuel systems was another exhibitor focusing on natural gas as a solution for heavy duty transport vehicles.  Their natural gas solutions are providing as much as a 50% savings on fuel costs.  In addition, these natural gas engines cost less to maintain.  With huge global demand for oil, and instability from major producers, natural gas seems like a common sense alternative in the U.S.

Another major event at this show was the Fleet Forum Discussions, where heavy duty/commercial vehicle industry VIPs discuss the future of equipment and trucking.  This year Anne S. Ferro, the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration spoke about recent trucking industry legislation, safety issues, and also spoke regarding potential new licensing requirements and exams.

See the full re-cap by visiting their website here:

Anyone interested in attending the show next year, mark your calendars for March 26-28 2015.

Can I Just Book the Car Carrier Directly?

Carriers vs Brokers or, Why can’t I just book the trucker directly?
Car Carriers
If you are like many first-time shippers, you may be surprised to learn the person who quotes your auto transport is not going to be driving the truck. He or she is in an office with a phone headset, and nowhere near a truck. In fact, everyone responding to your quote request is a broker who uses that quote to contract a carrier. Not everyone will tell you that. Some brokers are perfectly content to let you make assumptions about the industry. And some are aggressively telling you whatever you want to hear.

It may seem more convenient and cost effective for you to just deal with the guy with the truck. The truth is, the truckers are busy driving the trucks. They don’t have time to take phone calls, to haggle, to explain the process – they have to drive and keep driving. As soon as they finish one run, the have to turn around and hit the road again. There aren’t office hours for truckers.

All truckers find their loads through broker listings on the industry hub: Central Dispatch. That is where all of the waiting jobs are listed, and where truckers can pick and choose the routes – and the pay – they want. Frankly, they respond to the easiest, best paying jobs. They will lock down a good contract immediately. Jobs that have lots of time restrictions, are located in rural areas, or are for super-sized vehicles or offer low pay don’t get contracted. Or, if they do get contracted, it’s to a desperate carrier.

That’s why you want a reputable broker handling the contract. A good broker will recommend a realistic, market price to confirm a good carrier. A good broker will check the carriers documentation to make sure their license and insurance are up to date. And a good broker has a history with carriers, knowing which ones have responsible track records and which are loosey-goosey with safety. A good broker is available during office hours to answer your questions, to provide you with industry information and realistic expectations.

Of course you will have access directly to your driver later in the process, but carriers do not offer estimates directly or prepare customers for pre-transport. That is a reality that has evolved logistically for both the good of the driver and the good of the customer. Your broker is there for a reason, and that relationship is industry standard.

Open carrier versus enclosed car carrier

Car insurance policyOne big choice to make when choosing auto transport options is whether to go with an open car carrier or an enclosed car carrier. The most obvious difference is that the open carrier is open on all sides while the enclosed carrier is a walled container truck. There are benefits to each option.

If you choose the open carrier, your vehicle will be loaded onto and securely attached to an open trailer that can accommodate several vehicles per load. On standard open trailers there are typically two levels, so your vehicle may be top loaded or may be secured on the bottom level under other vehicles. The open car carrier does leave your car exposed to the weather. It does not leave your vehicle more exposed to damage by road debris, however. This is a common concern but the truth is that road debris flies into the cab in front of the trailer, not sideways into the side of your loaded vehicle. It’s also important to note that there is no safe way to secure a cover over your vehicle during transit.  If you choose this option, your vehicle will arrive dusty or rain-spotted.

If you choose the enclosed carrier option, your vehicle will be secured within the walls of the truck. Your vehicle is not exposed to the elements during transport, and is typically shipped with only one or two other vehicles, front to back. There is nothing above your vehicle in the enclosed trailer except for the truck ceiling. And since the enclosed option accommodates only two or three vehicles per load, there are fewer stops so the turnaround time is typically faster.

With Ship a Car Direct, both carrier options are fully insured.  The open carrier is the more common method of auto transport as it is the more affordable option. The benefit to choosing the enclosed carrier is that your vehicle is less exposed and the transit time can be faster.  Please give us a call for more information about carrier options, or if you have any auto transport questions: 866-221-1664.

How to Get Ready for the Car Haulers

Auto ShippersAfter you have done your research on car haulers, after you have contacted Safe Direct Car Shipping and placed your order, you may be wondering what to do to get ready for the car hauler. Here are the quick answers to the common concerns so you can be ready for the truck and driver on pick-up day.

 Your carrier driver will need your keys on pick-up and throughout the transport.

For standard, operational vehicles your car will be driven onto the car hauler. Since your car will be on a truck with a few other vehicles, it may need to be offloaded briefly during the transport depending on the route and the unique addresses of other pick-ups and drop-offs.  For that reason, your driver will need to hang on to those keys.

Your vehicle does need some gas in it.

As mentioned above, because your car will be driven on to the truck under its own power, it will have to have a little gas in it. A quarter of a tank should be sufficient, but if you have more gas left over when it’s loading day, that’s fine too.

 You do not need to provide documentation.

The driver will bring paperwork for you to sign, but you do not need to provide any proof of insurance or power of attorney or anything like that – even if you are leaving your car to a friend to load/unload.

You don’t need to wash it.

It is going to get dusty during transport. Really dusty.

Taking pictures on pick-up and delivery is a terrific idea!

It’s not required, but in the unlikely event you should need to follow-up on damage, photographic documentation is handy.

We don’t recommend leaving stuff in the car.

Though it would be convenient to use your transport to ship belongings too, we can’t include that in your car shipping quote. While there are some situations for which a bag or two in the trunk might be overlooked, you will have to defer to your driver. Depending on the weight of the entire load you might incur additional fees or you may have to remove your things before the car is loaded.

Still have questions about how to get ready for your car hauler? Give us a call at 866-221-1664, a representative will be happy to help get you the information you need!

Key Things To Look For In Car Shipping Companies

car shipping companyMoving from one state to another or even coast to coast is usually a challenge for most people especially when one has to pack and ship all his or her personal stuff. For most people, shipping a car is probably the most challenging task mainly because most people are clueless when it comes to the intricacies involved in shipping a car. A few of the factors that you must consider when choosing the best car-shipping companies include:


The cost of shipping a car typically varies depending on the distance involved and the number of cars. Therefore, you should start by getting quotes from several car-shipping companies. However, avoid the temptation of choosing a company just because they’ve quoted the lowest price.  One of the most important things to note when it comes to cost is that some companies only quote the terminal-to-terminal shipping cost while others quote the door-to-door shipping cost. As such, ask companies to provide you with a clear breakdown of the shipping cots. If your new destination is far from the delivery terminal, find out if you can pay an additional fee to have the car delivered.


Shipping a car does have its risks. Therefore, make sure your covered by insurance. If you are shipping an expensive antique or brand new sports car, find out from the company if you have to purchase a higher premium insurance package.  Ask to see a copy of the insurance coverage. Some companies work with insurance policies that have varied types of coverages.   At Safe-Direct Car Shipping, we offer the industries only damage free guarantee.  Our carriers cover your vehicle 100% or we pay.

It is advisable to choose a car shipping company with a good reputation. One way of finding information about the reputation of a particular company is by visiting the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. If the company has a low rating, you need to look for another shipping company. In addition, find out how the company handles complaints posted by clients.

Shipping Report

The majority of car shipping companies that work under professional guidelines normally provide a car shipping report. The car owner receives the report before and after the car arrives at the final destination. This shows the condition of the car before and after shipping. You need this report to convince an insurer that damage happened while the car was in transit.

To ship your car safely, you need to choose a reliable car shipping company. Make your choice after evaluating factors such as cost, insurance coverage, reputation, as well as quality of service offered by car shipping companies.

Long Distance Car Shipping Companies

car shipping companiesCar shipping companies hire qualified team members to assist them in providing the best pickup and delivery service to their customers. Vehicle delivery is not a typical, everyday business where people call and order take out or carry out food. It is a business that involves trust, commitment and satisfactory results. No one will entrust a million dollar ring to an inexperienced jeweler, without asking to see some type of credential. This is exactly how most customers feel about entrusting their vehicle to companies that have no knowledge of. Fortunately, there are companies like Safe-Direct Car Shipping, which can help customers make the right decisions.

There are many car shipping companies to choose from but not all of them come highly recommended. Satisfied customers provide excellent ratings and exceptional feedback. The BBB or the Better Business Bureau and Auto Shippers referral service devise an informational database of these responses, and rate these companies according to the customers input. Car shipping companies offer several type of transport services to local, commercial and long distance customers. Auto transporting services include industrial shipping of cars, boats, motorcycles, trucks, SUVs and vans. When vehicles need to be at a designated location at a specific date and time, dependability and reliability are the only two qualities most customers will look at.

Assurance gives customers a peace of mind, knowing that their vehicle is transported by professional car shipping companies with a reputation of being the best in the business.  Safety and security are not words that many companies use lightly. When customers put their vehicle in the hands of strangers, they want to know that they have made the best decision, based on experience and past performance. International, local and long distance car shipping service providers are trained in automotive shipping and transporting services.

Experience in the car shipping industry, proves to customers that they have indeed choose the right industry. Shopping around for cheaper services is also a wise choice. However, cheap services, are no substitute for quality. Car carriers should not be elected, solely on the basis of who has the lowest price. Instead, car transport companies are chosen on their merits of good customer service, professional ethics, public ratings, and recommendations from referral services or their associates. Safe-Direct Car Shipping offers such services to customers all over the U.S.. Satisfaction is not a word that is thrown around loosely, it is a word that is earned, by proven customer satisfaction.

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Car Delivery

car deliveryWhat happens at the end of your auto transport, and how do you need to prepare for your car delivery?

The most important thing to know is that you (or a friend) should be prepared to meet the carrier directly.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be you or the owner of the car, but someone you trust should meet the carrier to upon car delivery.

We don’t recommend that you ask the carrier to leave the car unattended; for everyone’s protection, it’s best if you or a friend is there on delivery to document the condition of the car. Someone will have to sign off on the Bill of Lading, and pictures with the driver are a great idea too.

This documentation can be critical in a successful insurance claim in the unlikely event that you experience damage.  (Most folks don’t ever need to use that documentation, but it’s much better to be safe than sorry.)

I created a short video that explains this paperwork in more detail, too, it’s less than a minute and you can watch right here:

Aside from checking the car’s condition, you will be making your final payment to the carrier on car delivery.

Industry standard is payment in cash or certified funds (money order, cashier’s check), directly to the driver after he or she unloads your vehicle. That’s another reason why you or a trusted friend will have to meet the carrier.

So, since you have to meet the carrier, it’s best to leave some wiggle room in your schedule on the estimated delivery day. Or, you may want to have a back up contact person to cover hours you may be unavailable yourself.

While your driver will give you an estimate for his/her arrival, sometimes they can be delayed because of traffic or weather or issues with another customer. Of course, you won’t have to wait around all day for the carrier arrival, but it’s best if you don’t plan a major appointment for delivery day – just in case.

If you have any other questions about car delivery or any other phase of the car transport process, please give us a call. One of our friendly representatives is happy to explain it all: 866-221-1664. Or you can get a free estimate by filling out our simple online quote form.

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Car Carriers, Open vs. Enclosed & How to Choose

Here’s another consideration for first-time car shippers: which kind of car carrier to select.

There are two different types of car carriers: open trailers and enclosed trucks.

Those new to the car shipping industry may assume an enclosed truck is the better option, but there are many good reasons to choose the open carrier over the enclosed. In fact, the open carrier is the most common method for cross country transports and it’s the most affordable as well.

On the open carrier, your vehicle is driven into place and shares a ride with 6-7 other vehicles on a two-level trailer. The carrier is stable, secure, and insured – but open to the elements.

The enclosed carrier however, is a truck with solid walls and your vehicle is loaded and secured inside it. Typically the enclosed carrier carries fewer vehicles. Because there are fewer cars on each enclosed run and because of the refined nature of the service, the cost is typically at least a few hundred dollars higher.

The main reason to choose an enclosed carrier over an open carrier is the monetary value of your vehicle. For vehicles worth over $50,000, an enclosed carrier should be considered (but is not a necessity). Enclosed carriers hold more insurance to cover higher value vehicles.

The open carrier, by contrast, while fully insured, easily carriers enough coverage for each vehicle worth less than $50,000.

Sometimes the prospect of an enclosed carrier just seems safer to a potential customer, but the truth is both methods are perfectly safe.

One common fear about open carriers is that random road debris will dent the vehicle, but that is not what really happens on the road.

Road debris does not “fly up” or “fly sideways” – any road debris kicked up flies straight into the front of the rig.

Your vehicle may arrive a little dirty or get rained on, but it’s nothing that a good detailing can’t fix on the delivery end. And the price of shipping by an open carrier followed by a good detailing is hundreds of dollars cheaper than the price of shipping by enclosed carrier.

If you have any other questions about types of car carriers, please give us a call at 866-221-1664! We love explaining your options.

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Tips For Choosing Car Carriers

Car CarriersMillions of cars are moved every year, with many units even crossing borders and international lines in order to arrive at their destination. Shipping and transporting cars requires meticulous attention to details in order to ensure that the vehicles reach their destination in good condition. Car carriers are responsible for taking charge of the whole process of moving cars, from pick-up to transport to delivery. To get the most out of their services, here are the most important things to consider before hiring an auto carrier:

Know your preferred mode of transport.
Car carriers offer different types of services and some may offer more than others. Know which type of car transport service you need and check if the company offers it. Consider your budget, time frame and other requirements that may be specific to the type of car you wish to transport. Some carriers, for example, may only offer terminal-to-terminal delivery which may require you to find another company to complete the transport to a specific address.

Decide on open or closed transport.
Open transport moves vehicles usually on flatbed trailers or trucks. The advantage to using an open transport system is that it allows for more cars to be moved at one time. It saves time, is quite efficient and cheaper. It does, however, expose the vehicles to the elements during transport. This includes wind, rain, dust, snow, hail and ice. Closed transport, on the other hand, offers protection since it uses enclosed trucks to move the cars. It does provide transport for a limited number of cars for every truckload and is more expensive than an open auto transport system.

Make sure car carriers are pre-screened by your broker.
Brokers are third parties that assist in getting cars transported. They do not move the cars themselves and instead work with carriers to do it on your behalf. They pre-screen carriers, and offer additional customer service and insurance benefits.  It is very difficult for a car carrier to get added to Safe-Direct Car Shippings approved car carrier list, and very easy to be removed.

Look for a registered carrier.
All auto carriers and transporters are required to have a Department of Transportation registration. Check to see if this, along with their MC number, is active.

Ask about insurance.
Car carriers are required to carry insurance and information about this should be provided on their website or brochure. Ask about insurance coverage for cargo and liability information before signing up for the service.  Safe-Direct Car Shipping has the INDUSTRY’S ONLY DAMAGE FREE GUARANTEE.  Our Carriers cover your vehicle 100% or WE PAY!

Get a free quote

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Common Car Moving FAQs

Car MovingSafe-Direct Car Shipping ensures that the process of transporting your car is smooth and trouble-free, however, knowing what the process entails will help prevent any issues and expedite the transfer. When you are armed with the right information, you will know what to expect and which steps you should do to ensure a safe and prompt delivery of your vehicle.

Here are some common car moving FAQs you might find useful:

What types of cars can be shipped through a car moving company?
Most companies will ship cars, vans, SUVs and trucks. Others may extend their services to ATVs, snow mobiles, jet skis, motorcycles, boats and heavy equipment. Most moving companies will also ship antique and classic cars and oversized vehicles. The auto moving company should provide you with information regarding the extent of their services so you will know if they can meet your needs.

Do auto moving companies accept rush transactions?
Your request for immediate pickup can be accommodated, provided your vehicle and all supporting documents are prepared ahead of time. Otherwise, it helps if you could arrange to have your car scheduled for pickup so that all the necessary procedures are completed.

How long will it take for the vehicle to reach its destination?
The time it will take for your car to be delivered to a pre-agreed address will depend on the location of the pickup and the destination. Transit time will also depend on factors such as traffic, weather and road conditions and mechanical breakdowns. In some cases, schedule of delivery may also be affected if there are vehicles on the same load as your car that have to be prioritized.

What do I need to prepare?
Your car will be physically inspected by a representative from the auto shipping company. It is a good idea to clean and wash the car so that any defects, scratches, cracks and dents may be noted and recorded. It is also recommended to remove loose parts, grill and tire covers, racks, antenna and wide mirrors. If you are shipping a convertible, keep the top on or make sure that the car is covered. If there are an open seams, tears and damages in the tops, it is recommended to have them repaired prior to shipping. Any personal items in the car should also be removed.

What types of documentations are required for shipping a vehicle?
The auto moving company will likely ask you to provide them with the original title of your vehicle, a notarized EPA or Export Power of Attorney (for international shipping) and a copy of your driver’s license. If the car has not been fully paid for, the auto shipping company will also require a release letter from the creditor. The EPA authorizes the moving company to transport your vehicle overseas on your behalf. The original title of the vehicle is a requirement of the Department of Transportation. Once the vehicle has been delivered, the car moving company will return it to the car owner.

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