Auto transportation can be a very time consuming process. Even if you work with a reliable company, you’ll still have to wait a week or more for your car to arrive.
However, there are quite a few ways to receive your vehicle sooner when in a hurry. In this article, we will discuss the most important.
Pick the right company for the job
It’s very important to check a shipper’s background before you hire them. Among the various checks you should mage, going through online reviews and/or speaking to past clients will help you gain a solid understanding of how they conduct their business.
Did past clients receive their cars on time, or are there multiple reports of delays and various problems? Compared to other shippers you’ve spoken to already, is their estimated delivery time the same, shorter, or longer?
Though moving a car between 2 points should take about the same regardless of who’s in charge, complications such as the truck’s location, other cars it may have to transport, etc. can shorten or lengthen the delivery. If you’re short on time, taking a few minutes to check these issues can make a significant difference.
Book in advance
Each carrier can transport a limited number of cars. If the one going through your area is fully booked, then you may have to rely on one that will have to make a larger detour. This means you’ll pay more and the transport will take longer.
Therefore, the sooner you call your broker, the better. Furthermore, doing so will help prevent scheduling problems or issues related to rushed orders.
Before contacting an auto transport representative, it’s vital you have a clear picture of what service you want, where your car is going, from where, and when. If you change your mind in the middle of preparations, delays may be inevitable. If there is miscommunication, paperwork may end up missing in which case the transport will have to either be delayed or cancelled.
In general, you should understand the shipping process, your responsibilities, and what to expect as early as possible. Whenever you have a question, call your broker and clear things up. This way, the transport will proceed as planned.
Pick the right pick up and drop off locations
Many people opt for door to door transportation, since it’s very convenient and saves the client time. However, while you may not need to take a day off to take your car to the pick-up location when using this method, you may have to wait longer for the carrier to reach you instead.
The more detours an auto carrier must take, the longer the process will be. In many cases, you’ll have to wait more for your car to arrive if you opt for door to door.
Furthermore, if the streets where you live are narrow and don’t allow the entrance of a large truck, then the door to door option may not even be possible. To increase the arrival speed, you should consult with your broker about pick up and drop off locations that maximize the carrier’s speed.
Give a detailed description of your vehicle
Giving wrong information when describing your car will almost guarantee the transport gets delayed. Large or heavily modified cars, as well as those that cannot be driven will require specialized equipment to pick them up.
If the carrier doesn’t know your car’s true condition, he’ll likely come to pick it up without these tools. If the car cannot be loaded on the truck, then the transport will either be delayed or cancelled altogether.
If you’re using an open truck for your car’s transportation, then up to a dozen other clients will be affected by the delay. Fortunately, these problems can be avoided easily by double checking your car’s condition and reporting everything accurately.
Opt for enclosed transportation
Auto transportation over land is done with open and enclosed specialized trucks called auto carriers. The open version is usually cheaper because up to double the amount of cars can be shipped in one trip.
However, because more cars are being moved at a time, there will be a need for more pit-stops to drop these vehicles on the way. Just like taking a taxi will get you to your destination much faster than when taking a bus, using an enclosed auto carrier will speed up your transport significantly.
Opt for expedited delivery
Some shipping companies will offer to expedite your vehicle. This way, the carrier won’t make unnecessary stops to drop off other automobiles.
Instead, they will carry only your car, so they’ll arrive much quicker. Furthermore, the pick-up date will likely be more flexible too when using this option.
Opt for single container shipping
If you’re sending your car abroad, you can speed up its delivery by using a separate container during the trip. RoRo vessels usually take longer to load/unload, and sharing a container with other clients may lead to delays at the arrival port.
To avoid unnecessary time spent on figuring out what belongs to whom, a separate container is ideal. You may also use air freight for the fastest possible delivery, but this option is highly expensive and comes with quite a few complications.
Prepare the paperwork in advance
For the transport company to move your car, they’ll need documents allowing them to do so. If one is missing, according to the law, your shipper will not be able to take on your project.
Furthermore, even if they do agree to pick up your car, when passing state borders or trying to enter another country, your vehicle will likely be detained or sent back by customs officials. Such a situation can delay your delivery for more than a week, and the storage fee will be billed to you.
Additional factors that will affect your car’s speed
While you can influence certain auto transport factors, others are fixed. For the following, you can only take them into consideration and adapt accordingly.
- Traffic. Though your carrier will take the most efficient route to minimize the transport’s duration, bad traffic can slow it down significantly. Some traffic conditions can be predicted thanks to technology while others need to be dealt with as they come.
- Distance. As with any transport project, the longer the distance, the more you’ll have to wait for your car. You can choose faster shipping methods, but the distance will still have a large effect on when the vehicle will arrive.
- Season. The auto transport industry fluctuates between different months. During some parts of the year, such as during summer, there are more carriers on the road, so your car will likely be picked up faster. In winter or during the holidays, you may get a cheaper deal. However, the transport will likely take longer.
- Location. The pick-up date won’t always be the one you’ve decided on. For example, if you’ve opted for open transportation, the company must synchronize your request with those of multiple other clients. However, if the area you’re living in has a lot of truck traffic, then it will be much easier to find an available carrier closer to your preferred date.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.