In the United States alone, some 17.5 million cars, trucks, SUVs, and other motor vehicles are sold on an annual basis. Even though you might drive vehicles off of dealerships' lots, they almost all got there via long-haul truck rides.
There are two primary ways to ship vehicles: on industry-standard automobile hailing trucks that sometimes hold upwards of 10 automobiles at once and inside enclosed, fully-sealed-off shipping containers.
Whether you're gearing up to ship a vehicle of your own or simply reading for fun, let's pick out the pros and cons of shipping automobiles using enclosed containers and open trailers.
Transporting Your Vehicle On An Open-Air, 18-Wheel Car Hauler
Open vehicle transport options are significantly cheaper than their enclosed counterparts. If you've ever seen a shipping container, you'll know that an 18-wheeler can either haul two shipping containers or between eight and 10 consumer-class vehicles. As you might imagine, using shipping containers is significantly more expensive because they take up more space and weigh more than their open-air counterparts.
Shipping speeds with this method of car or truck transportation are generally faster because there are so many car haulers on the road at any point in time. New rides can simply be picked up by drivers without taking any detours and ultimately delivered to their destination.
Open car transports work for any make and model of modern vehicles. You won't find any problems in using an open car transport to haul your vehicle unless the ride has been modified significantly from its stock position. Low-riders; very, very tall, jacked-up trucks; and other similarly modified rides are virtually the only things on wheels that won't fit on a car hauler.
Sandstorms, hail, snow, ice, and other harmful weather conditions can wreak havoc on your vehicle during transit. Further, debris from car crashes, litter, and anywhere else could potentially damage your vehicle if it is shipped via open-aired big rig on a long-haul drive.
Most car haulers use less gas than the vehicles used to tow closed shipping containers. In other words, open-air shipping is better for the environment. They all burn through less than most 18-wheelers.
It's also been said that some nine out of every 10 automobile shipments across the United States come in the form of open trailers as carriers.
Using Closed Shipping Containers for Transport
Most people reserve these enclosed shipping containers for transporting very expensive or otherwise valuable motor vehicles. Some people place high levels on sentimental value on their vehicles, even if they aren't worth that much, which is another reason why closed shipping containers are used to push motor vehicles here, there, and everywhere in the United States.
Drivers won't be able to inspect enclosed vehicles as frequently or easy as they could with open-air car haulers. This could result in vehicles being mishandled for hundreds of miles at a time instead of only a few miles.
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.