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Brokers VS. Carriers

Published by Joe Webster.

Brokers VS. Carriers

Auto Transport Carriers and Auto Transport Brokers - What’s the Difference?

One of the most important distinctions to understand is the difference (and occasionally, the overlap) between an auto transport broker and a carrier. The customer or person having a vehicle transported is also known as a shipper.

What Is An Auto Transport Broker?

Auto transport brokers don’t have their own transport carriers and typically are not the companies that will transport vehicles. Brokers facilitate auto transportation by connecting customers (shippers) with the carriers that offer the specific services requested. Brokers are also known as non-asset-based carriers, intermediaries , or third-party logistics providers.

The advantage of using a broker instead of a carrier is that you have more options because of their existing network of auto carriers. If you deal directly with an auto transport carrier, they may not have the necessary equipment when you need it, or may not have the license in all the states required to move your vehicle where it needs to go. A broker does the leg work of finding a carrier that meets these criteria and can sometimes get a more competitive rate by creating competition between carriers on behalf of the shipper.

The downside to dealing with a broker is that there are some questionable companies in the industry. Auto transport is a multi-billion dollar industry and technology–specifically, the internet–has created a low barrier to entry into the business, which has led to some unethical practices.The Consumer Advisory about Auto Transporters has indicated a drastic increase in complaints against auto transport companies in recent years as a result of these practices.

Did you know that chances are, when searching for an auto transporter, many of the companies you find will be brokers rather than carriers? Those companies that have a ton of ads posted online are often brokers as a broker often has the advertising budget to market worldwide and in the markets where people are usually searching for transport the most.

You might wonder why a broker can advertise on a larger scale than a carrier, and that is simply all about the budget each company has. A carrier usually has a larger overhead with drivers and an office team, but a broker will often have little overhead since a good deal of them have little overhead other than agents to respond to inquiries for quotes and service.

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What Is An Auto Transport Carrier?

An auto transport carrier is a company that owns the trucks and employs the movers that do the labor of transporting a vehicle.

affordable-car-shipping-companies.jpg

One benefit of using a carrier is that you are dealing directly with the company (and maybe even the person) who will be transporting your vehicle, essentially eliminating the “middleman.”

It’s important to keep in mind that some carriers may not be able to transport an auto since licensing and legal requirements differ from state to state. Dealing strictly with a carrier can sometimes limit you in terms of availability, a method of transport , and time of delivery. Dealing directly with a carrier can sometimes mean a higher cost because of the lack of competing bids for the service.

Auto Transport Companies That Are Brokers and Carriers

Some auto transport companies are both brokers and carriers. These companies can transport vehicles, as well as broker a deal between a shipper and a carrier if there’s not a carrier available to handle the job.

How To Determine If A Company Is a Broker or Carrier

The Protect Your Move website offers information about brokers and carriers directly from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. At the FMCSA site, you can research specific companies by state, motor carrier license number , and U.S. Department of Transportation number.

You can also see if a company is a broker, carrier, or both and whether they have active or inactive status, which indicates if a company complies with current insurance regulations.

Consumer Advisory About Auto Transporters

Remember

A broker can offer information and access to numerous carriers to transport your car. This means that you won’t find yourself stuck searching for carriers to pick up at the state line where another carrier may not be able to transport. Brokers can schedule the transport for the car to be picked up by one carrier and then if necessary, transferred to another carrier along the way for prompt delivery. It is not always necessary to transfer from one carrier to another, but for the time that it may be, it’s good to have a knowledgeable broker who can handle those arrangements.

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Joe Webster always knew the auto transport industry would be a great career option. And with decades of experience, Joe is now an established consultant for A1 Auto Transport.

Joe was born in Santa Cruz, California. During high school, Joe worked as a mechanic; a job continued to work part-time during his bachelor's degree.

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

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You have my full support and recommendation!
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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!

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Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.
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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... Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport.

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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.

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

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
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
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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