In today’s post, we will be talking about the process of how auto shipping brokers work and how they contract their drivers. A person who seeks to ship a car must always remember that in this industry, cheaper is not always better. In a moment you’ll understand why.
Although technology has greatly influenced the efficiency of the auto transport industry, there are many aspects that have caused truck drivers to flourish and others to struggle. The common truck driver is not too good at using computers, Andriod/iPhone Apps, tabs or other devices. Most transport truck drivers own their own truck and get whatever business they can since they work independently. They are normally contacted by a broker and depending on the price and destination, an agreement to ship a car is created. Many auto transport drivers will have a route they typically follow, for example from Los Angeles, CA to Houston, TX. This makes it easy for them to stop at many towns on the way to/from Los Angeles and Houston and reduces their cost because they don’t have to drive far off the route.
Since transport truck drivers don’t have the time to sit in front of a computer because they are busy driving, many (almost all of them) use a broker to get new business. These brokers are normally licensed and bonded. Make sure that whatever broker you work with is licensed and bonded!
While in many cases it is good to get rid of the middle man (broker in this case), in the auto industry is a essential to use one. Here is a general breakdown of how the pricing goes.
End User pays $x.xx to a broker. Broker finds an auto transport driver. The auto transport driver ships the car.
Here are some factors that go into what determines the costs of shipping a car:
Shipping distance – The biggest factor in determining the cost of shipping a vehicle is the total distance. Carriers typically get only 5-10 miles per gallon. So, the further they transport your vehicle, the higher the cost.
Type of car carrier – Most cars ship on open carriers. However, if you want your car shipped in an enclosed carrier, it typically costs 25-40% more.
Condition of vehicle – If you vehicle is not running, then a carrier needs special equipment to load it onto the car carrier.
Weight of vehicle – Weight affects how many vehicles a car carrier can transport. So, a larger, heavier vehicle typically cost more to ship.
Pick-up and drop-off locations – There may be a surcharge if either your pick-up or drop-off location is in a remote area.
Use of a terminal – If you use a terminal for pick-up or delivery, there may be a charge for each day it is stored at the terminal facility.
Information provided by Move Cars Blog
Here are some final things to REALLY consider before you decide on who to use as your auto transport company.
Low pricing = bad service. Why? Because the transport truck driver has to cover the actual cost of shipping a car + make a living. They are not in business to take the lowest prices. They want to make money. Let’s go back to our example of a route between Los Angeles and Houston. An open transport truck can hold about 9 cars. If there are 11 cars waiting for him at the terminal in Los Angeles, he will pick the 9 highest paying cars and not take the remaining two. Normally the 2 that are left there are low-balling offers provided by lead generation companies.
Lead generation companies are normally websites who offer something like “Get 8 quotes and let the drivers fight over your business”. The poor person who wants to get the lowest pricing gets his car left behind and shipping is delayed by a week or so. The lead generation company doesn’t care because all they did was sell the lead to a struggling auto shipping company. No auto transport driver is going to take a car from Los Angeles to Houston when he can be making money on other deals.
Also, as dumb as it may sound, make sure the company you are using has a decent looking website that is up to date. It just goes to show if the company is still around.