Carriers vs Brokers or, Why can’t I just book the trucker directly?
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.
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.