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An Overview Of The Car Transportation Business

An Overview Of The Car Transportation Business
An Overview Of The Car Transportation Business

For the many that might have wondered what the business of car transportation entails, this piece is for you. We at A-1 Auto Transport Inc. have been in business for over two decades. We are experts in the business, and who better to ask than the experts? We have all the information you need to understand the industry. This information is important not only for those interested in starting such a business but also for everyday clients. Having an overview of car transportation business paints you a vague picture of what to expect.

Types of auto transport businesses

There are different types of auto transportation businesses. They don’t all work in the same manner. There are two major categories of car shipping businesses; brokerage and carriers.

Brokerage is the business of being a middleman, a facilitator between the buyer of a service and the seller. In regards to the car shipping business, a brokerage firm does not actually do the transportation. They just have websites that “look like they ship cars”. In real sense, they operate by fetching information about firms that do the actual car shipping, do research on them and “connect” you to the carrier.

Most car shipping websites on the internet are brokers. They have really classy and convincing websites with all the relevant information about the best and worst car transportation carrier firms. They make this information openly available on their websites where the clients can ask for car hauling quotes.

How they work is, clients seek the car moving service from them. The broker then provides the client with a convincing quote. It is at this point that the client reserves a shipping appointment. The broker then posts their shipment reservations to actual carriers who will do the actual hauling. The brokers will pay the deposit for the client to the carrier company, then recover the amount when the client settles the rest of the bill at the point of delivery.

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Car shipping brokerage is a great business. Brokerage business makes money by just acting as facilitators. The load of the work is passed on to the carrier. Brokers escape the heavy lifting. The downside of this, however, is the fact that brokers have to part with some amount of the whole payment as the carrier has to be paid the lion share. Brokerage incentives work in almost the same manner as commission.

Carrier companies are the car transportation business that performs the actual shipping. Carriers perform the heavy task of hauling the car from point A to point B. Carrier companies can either source their orders from brokers or on their own from clients visiting their website. A-1 Auto Transport Inc. is a carrier company. Carrier companies can either offer car transport services domestically and/or internationally.

Types of carriers

There are three types of carriers in the car hauling business: enclosed transporters, open trailer transporters and hybrid transporters.

  • Enclosed Transporters: These type of carriers ship cars in a closed cargo container. Closed containers protect your vehicle from any and all external factors including rain, sunlight, dust and possible debris. They are ideal for transporting antique cars, collectors’ items cars, and luxurious cars race cars. Enclosed transporters
  • Open Trailer Transporters: These carriers provide their services in trailer trucks that have open “loaders”. These are types of open containers in which cars are shipped in. Open trailer transportation is the most common as it is cheaper than enclosed transportation. Vehicles are however exposed to external elements like moisture, direct sunlight, dust and possible debris. The vehicles are secured onto the frames of the loaders, so stability is ensured. Open Transportation is also common as it allows for room to transport as many as 10 to 15 cars in one loader.
  • Hybrid Transporters: This type of car transportation business offers both enclosed and open trailer car transport services. Hybrid Transporters have a wider market to enjoy due to the options they offer.

Types of Shipping Services

There are two main shipping options.

  • Door-to-door: This shipping option stipulates that vehicles are picked up by the carrier company at the home or office address of the client and delivered to a specific address as agreed.
  • Terminal-to-terminal: This shipping option stipulates that a car is picked up from a designated location, transported and dropped off at a designated location.

How to determine the best option for you

Budget is the primal determinant. A small budget will leave you with no option but to opt for open trailer transport. Preference will dictate whether you shall opt to use a broker or a carrier.

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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.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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