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.
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
- 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.
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.