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A1 Auto Transport Blog

Understanding Auto Transport Reviews On Yelp!

Sites like Yelp! and other consumer review sites have gained tremendous popularity with the growth and increased usage of the internet. And for good reason: there’s a wealth of information available that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. However, there are some lesser-known aspects to these type of sites that could affect how much value you place on their reviews.

 

It’s fairly well-known, at least by most businesses and business owners, that these review sites are a two-way street. They certainly offer some value, particularly for popular services like dining and entertainment, which can garner hundreds or thousands of reviews. For smaller industries, however, the impact of one bad review can badly skew the results for a business.

 

This is, unfortunately, where a lot of these type of sites, including Yelp, make their money. While they may not state explicitly that payment for “membership” will improve your rankings, that’s exactly the result that a lot of businesses see. It’s the epitome of a “pay to play” system, by which companies must fork out some cash in order to preserve their online reputation.

 

Can Yelp! Reviews Be Useful Or Trusted? | Auto Transport

The answer to this question is that it depends. In some cases, you may see an honest, fairly objective account of a customer experience. These include the good, the bad, and are fairly even keeled. On the other side of the coin, there are customers who have had what seem to be horrific experiences and detail every aspect of it. As the saying goes, if someone likes your business they’ll tell a friend, if they don’t they’ll tell five.

 

The best approach to assessing an auto transport company is to get input from multiple sources, preferably including one with first-hand experience. Ask friends, use the phone book, and check out company websites online. Once you’ve found a company or two that seem to offer what you’re looking for, call them up directly and get a feel for how them.

 

While it’s easier than ever to hop online and quickly get the opinion of several strangers, collecting input from multiple sources, including your own feel for a company, is the best way to go. Some other businesses that perform services related to auto transport can be helpful as well. For example, a home moving agent likely would have an opinion or recommendation as to which local car shipper has a good reputation.

 

Need a FREE, no-hassle cost estimate from an experienced auto shipper with a great track record? Call us today at the number at the top of the page or complete our short online request form to get started right away!

Auto Transport Trucking Companies: The Good & Bad

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!

Auto Transport Logistics: Dynamics of Car Shipping

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.

 

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.

 

If you have questions about domestic or international car shipping, give us a call today at the number at the top of the page! Our experts are happy to answer your questions & we always offer 100% FREE cost estimates!

Comparison Shopping: Auto Transport Quotes

The face of the auto transport industry has changed since the development of the internet. Prior to living our connected lives of immediate access, finding and comparing auto transport quotes was a bit of a challenge, and a time-consuming one at that. It involved cracking open the phone book and calling up shippers, giving them all your information, and getting a cost estimate. Repeat that several times and you have a host of options to choose from.

 

Now, the same process can be done online in a matter of minutes. That’s not to say that you should discount the tried and true method of using the phone book--that can be a great way to find a local option if you get caught in the whirlwind of options available on line. That said, there is no more efficient way of getting and comparing price quotes from car shippers than using the internet.

 

If you’ve done any amount of web searching in hopes of finding the right auto shipper, you may noticed that there are a staggering number of websites out there offering auto transport services. A quick glance over a company website can give you a good insight into the quality of their service and the experience they bring to the table. If you find a simple five page website that only offers basic information, that’s a pretty good indication that they only provide the most basic services.

 

The Nitty-gritty: Contacting Shippers & Comparing Prices

As we’ve discussed above, getting competing price quotes and comparing them is now easier than ever, but you should come armed with some information to make the process easier. In this section, we’ll go over what you’ll need to have in order to get an accurate cost estimate from an auto shipper.

 

Basic information - The vehicle make, model, and year, as well as its current location and the destination you’re having it shipped to.

 

Type of transport - Determine whether you need an open or enclosed auto carrier. An enclosed carrier handles one or two cars and completely covers all sides during shipping, whereas an open carrier hauls multiple vehicles and is open to the wind, weather, and elements. The other major option involves having the vehicle shipped directly to a specific address or picking it up at a nearby delivery terminal. As you might expect, enclosed transport and door-to-door shipping are premium services.

 

Timeframe - When you need your car picked up and delivered is an important part of the equation and you should have an idea, if not specific dates, that you need delivery by. If you’re able to maintain some flexibility regarding delivery timeframe, it can save you some money.

 

Contact companies - Now you’re ready to contact companies and start comparing prices. You should not deal with any company that charges you upfront, or requires a commitment of any kind, before giving you an estimate. The industrywide standard is to give cost estimates for free. It’s generally suggested that you compare 3-5 companies to find the right fit.

 

Want to start comparing prices and get an instant quote right away? Contact us today, either by calling us at the number at the top of the page, or by using our online contact form! We’re happy to answer all your questions and all cost estimates are FREE all the time!

New York To Florida Auto Transport | Steps To Success

Florida is a popular destination for auto shippers, particularly during the winter months when snowbirds from other regions flock to the area to soak up some extra sunshine. As a result, transport between New York and Florida is a very common delivery route, not just for us, but anyone that ships cars on the eastern seaboard.

 

Click here to learn about tips for snowbirds and seasonal travelers, including important things like mail, utilities, security, and medical issues.

 

Plan Ahead - As with any other type of vehicle shipment, planning ahead can go a long way toward helping you reduce the stress and financial burden of shipping a car. If you know in the fall that you’ll need auto shipping services to Florida in the winter, it’s a good idea to start planning. Giving yourself plenty of lead time will allow to contact several companies, consider the options, and make an informed decision. 

 

Compare Prices - Prices are not uniform in the car shipping business. For example, one company may offer the same basic route and service between New York and Florida, but the price can vary by as much as a couple hundred dollars in some cases. What this means for you as the consumer is that putting in some time to compare companies based on pricing and service will help you have a better overall experience.

 

Know Your Options - In addition to choosing which company you want to haul your vehicle from New York to Florida, you’ll also have to decide on the method of delivery. The two major choices you’ll have will be open or enclosed transport, and terminal or door-to-door shipping. An open carrier often hauls several vehicles at once and is open and unprotected, whereas an enclosed carrier only moves one or two cars at a time in an enclosed cargo area.

 

Snowbird Season & Other Discounts | NY To FL

As mentioned above, New York to Florida is a popular shipping route during the winter due to the number of “snowbirds” who head south. This means that there is a higher availability of carriers making the trip between the two states, which in turn gives you more options to get a better price.

 

Car shippers are aware of this annual uptick in business and tend to adjust their rates accordingly, so make sure you shop around to find out what’s available.

 

Other discounts are sometimes available as well, depending on the particular company. AAA discounts are always a good thing to inquire about any time you’re taking a trip, with or without your car. Senior discounts often apply as well, as do military and student discounts. Be sure to look around on the company website to see if they have a discount program! In some instances, we have seen customers save more than $100 just with discounts alone.

 

Want to save money on shipping a car from New York to Florida? Contact us today, either by calling the number at the top of the page or by using our online contact form, to find out about our bargain rates! All cost estimates are FREE of charge--no obligation required & no strings attached!