Auto Transport Logistics: Dynamics of Car Shipping
Domestic USA & International Auto Shipping
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The term “logistics” refers to managing how inventory or cargo is moved and stored and includes everything from planning to strategy to execution. It’s a very broad term that touches on virtually every aspect of commerce and is essential to keeping an organized flow of goods throughout the world. This flow of goods, in turn, is what the machinery that keeps the economy going, both locally, countrywide, and across the world. In its simplest terms, logistics is the management of this essential process.
In many industries, logistics refers to a supply chain, which is simply an organized network that facilitates delivery of goods. An example would be a chain retailer that needs a steady flow of merchandise to keep their shelves full and customers happy. Naturally, product needs to be replaced as it’s bought and this is the primary role of logistics in the retail space.
In terms of auto transport, logistics operates in a similar way, but with more variance on the delivery end since they are not consistently shipping to the same locations as a wholesaler or supplier might in a retail context. However, the same elements are in play: an auto transporter handles everything from planning to pick up to storage (if necessary) to delivery.
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How Cars Get Shipped Around The World
Now that we’ve gone over what logistics means and how it applies to the car shipping industry, let’s take a look at some of the details that make it all possible.
Before the driver picks up a vehicle, there is a lot of planning and coordination that must go into organizing a shipment. In some cases, this may be easier than others. For example if a truckload of cars is being delivered to a dealership, that’s easier to arrange than having to deliver to multiple different stops or cities that may not be on the same route, which is often the case.
When it comes to delivering vehicles for multiple customers in different areas, planning and timing have to be arranged and kept on schedule in order to meet the timeframe for delivery. This is a very important and difficult part of the job since it affects everything from efficiency to fuel usage and driver time. In many ways, auto transport logistics boils down to managing time and making efficient use of resources.
One way that carriers and shippers are able to maximize efficiency is through the use of shipping and delivery terminals. Many cars are not delivered to a specific address (though it is an available service), but are instead delivered to a centrally located terminal where customers can pick up their vehicle. There are a series of terminals located across the U.S., some owned by companies, others that are independent.
The terminal system in auto transport operates in much the same way that shipping ports coordinate trade, commerce, and cargo shipment. In fact, many shipping ports in the U.S. are used for international car shipping, just as they play a prominent role in the movement of other goods.
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