There is a lot to consider when transporting your vehicle across a long distance. After all, your vehicle is one of your most valuable assets so you want to be sure it is in good hands. Furthermore, you have to consider things like delivery time, cost, and shipping preferences that can help you determine which mode of transport is best for your needs. It’s possible to have your car transported by rail or truck and each have their advantages and disadvantages. However, while it might seem more cost-effective to have your car shipped by train, there are several reasons why this is a much less favorable option than using a reliable carrier.
1. You Have Fewer Delivery Location Options
One of the biggest drawbacks to shipping your car via train is the fact that trains follow an unchangeable route. This means you have far fewer options on where you can have your car delivered. For example, if you want to have your car shipped from Pennsylvania to Florida but the train does not have a direct route to Florida, this could be very problematic. This could mean several weeks of delays and additional costs to get your car to its destination. Carriers, on the other hand, can conveniently transport your vehicle to a number of terminals located across the country and they can even provide door-to-door shipping.
2. There Are Limited Options for Privately Owned Vehicles
Another reason many people don’t choose to ship a car by train is the fact that there are far fewer rail options available than carriers. Since most trains do not routinely ship privately owned vehicles, you are limited in the number of train options available that can ship your vehicle to its destination. Unlike the railroad, there are dozens and dozens of auto shipment companies available so you are more likely to find a solution that fits your needs.
3. It Takes Much Longer
There is no question that auto shipment by truck is much faster and more efficient than shipping via train. An auto transport company can often arrange a pickup in a matter of days whereas a train could take several weeks. Also, once the car is loaded onto a train, trains are required to make multiple stops along the route which could prolong the transit time. You also have to factor that the train can only get as close to the final destination as its train route will allow so you might have to spend another day driving to pick it up.
4. Train Transport Might Still Require a Carrier
Since trains can only travel to and from a set destination, your vehicle might still require a carrier to deliver it to you. For instance if the train stop is located far away from your destination, your car will have to be loaded onto a carrier so it can be delivered to a nearby terminal or delivered directly to you. In addition to taking a longer time, you could end up paying more than you would have if you had used an auto transport company.
5. Uncertainty About Departure and Arrival Dates
While there is no way to guarantee auto shipment with either truck or train, it is much easier to estimate these times with an auto shipping company. Auto shipping companies have the ability to find a carrier located close to your location so it’s easier to gauge a pickup and delivery time. Trains, on the other hand, have unpredictable schedule changes that could delay transit. There is the possibility for weather delays or problems and incidents on the railroad network. Trains are also required to make multiple stops along the route, which can make it difficult to plan for an exact delivery time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to Your Car Moving Questions
The hardest thing for people researching car moving companies to understand is that the prices they are getting are not hard and fast gaurantees, but rather ESTIMATES of what one company thinks it will take to get a vehicle moved promptly versus another company's opinion of what it will take. Don't be fooled, there are not carriers committed to take your vehicle at these quoted prices, the company you choose will still have to get to work getting a carrier to commit to move it at the price they quote you.
Your total price breaks down into two parts, the broker's fee (or 'deposit' as everyone calls it) and the carriers fee (your COD amount) Make no mistake about this, EVERYONE YOU ARE GETTING SALES CALLS FROM IS GOING TO BROKER YOUR MOVE. In this industry, there are brokers who try to fool you into thinking that they are the actual carriers and there are an equal amount of carriers who sell themselves on the fact that they have a truck or two but are not being honest about the fact that they broker out 90% of the orders they book. Here is a quick easy way to tell, if a company takes an up front fee, whether they call it a deposit or any other name, they are a broker. Carriers do not take any payment until the vehicle is delivered.
In our opinion, you are crazy to do so. Have you ever been paid up front for the work that you perform for your employer? Why would you pay a fee up front when there are reliable and trustworthy companies like ours that won't ask for it until we provide you with your carriers details?
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will be between one and two weeks. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.