We’ve all had a bad experience with customer service. Either something isn’t delivered as promised, some unexpected costs arise, or there’s some other surprise you weren’t expecting. A quick look around the internet will show you that it happens with auto transport trucking companies too. In fact, you’ll probably find some real doozies out there for most companies. However, there are some ways that are more effective when searching for a good car shipper.
Like any other type of service, there are consumer review sites that offer information on companies that work within the trucking and transport industry. The catch is that most of them are actually advertising companies purporting to offer a consumer service. That’s not to say that they’re not helpful--they certainly can be. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most of the “consumer sites” offer a paid service that can drastically and suddenly improve the rating of your business. Even the Better Business Bureau, often looked to as a leader in consumer protection, offers paid services that claim to offer a healthy return on investment for joining.
One way to assess a transport or trucking company is by looking them up with either their USDOT# or their operating authority. Operating authority can be expressed as an MC#, FF#, or MX#, depending on the type. Using this information, you can look up the safety and performance records of trucking companies using the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.
Car Haulers, Trucking Companies, & Tow Trucks
Auto transport is a large industry that touches on and overlaps with other industries in the cargo and logistics world. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which type of company does what service. For example, a local tow truck operator may offer auto transport services within a certain area, but not to another state or over a long distance. A trucking company may mainly move other types of cargo, but be willing to transport vehicles occasionally. And a car hauler may operate as both an auto transport company and a local tow service.
Simple enough, right? The main thing to keep in mind is that you want to deal with an auto transport company if you’re having a vehicle shipped over any significant distance. If you’ve ever paid to have a car towed 20-30 miles, you realize how prohibitive the cost can be. Compare that to the roughly 50 cents per mile you’ll pay with an auto shipper and the choice becomes obvious.
Another distinction among auto transport companies is that between carriers and brokers. Again, the lines get blurred with some companies operating as both, but it’s an important difference to understand. A broker is typically a company that simply arranges transport between the customer and the carrier. The carrier is the one that does the actual transport of the vehicle. One isn’t necessarily better than the other; it often comes down to personal preference. Some customers prefer working directly with the carrier, while others appreciate the options that are offered by a broker.
Call us today at the number at the top of the screen for a FREE, no-obligation auto transport estimate! We can also be reached through our online contact form & we’re happy to answer your questions!
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.
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