Shipping a car can be a confusing experience, especially if you’re just starting out and trying to find relevant information about auto carriers or brokers. In this article we’ll examine the difference between the two, as well as why it can be hard to tell the difference between a carrier and a broker (hint: some companies operate as both).
Carriers - Auto transport carriers, as opposed to brokers, make up the part of the industry that does the physical work of moving the vehicle. This includes loading, driving, status updates, delivery, unloading, and in some cases, storage. Carriers are a vital part of the car shipping process and they are the ones that log the miles for cross country shipments and put in the time to make sure your car gets where it’s going on time.
Brokers - Brokers simply arrange for the transport process, typically between a carrier and the customer or client. The majority of auto transport carriers in the business work with brokers in some form or another it simply makes it easier for them to contract fuller shipments and find business. A good broker can be very helpful for a company, as well as a customer, since they’re generally more familiar with the process, which services are offered, and which carrier will best fit the customer’s needs. Real estate agents are a type of broker that you may be more familiar with, essentially doing the same thing between home owners and prospective buyers.
For more information about what a freight broker is, this article has more a more in-depth look at the topic.
Is It Better To Use A Carrier Instead Of A Broker?
Whether you choose to work with a broker or a carrier is ultimately your choice as a customer. That said, it can sometimes be difficult to tell which is which. In fact, some companies operate as both a carrier and a broker, further blurring the line between the two. In this section, we’ll discuss why someone might prefer to work with a carrier instead of a broker and vice versa.
The reason some customers prefer to work with carriers and not brokers is pretty simple: the carriers are the ones who will be actually moving your car. It makes sense that someone would prefer to get a feel for the person or business doing the service, rather than an intermediary that simple coordinates and arranges transport of a vehicle.
Unfortunately, many carriers do not have the time or manpower to invest heavily in finding customers since much of their work is in the actual moving of vehicles. This is where a broker comes in, which is a fairly common practice within the industry. Some very popular names in the industry (uShip being one of them) are large scale brokers that simply take your request and match it up with a company that performs the service.
While some people may be reluctant to work with a “middle man” it can be really helpful if you have an eye toward getting the best value.
Have questions about car carriers or auto transport brokers? Give us a call at the number at the top or send us an email through our online contact form to learn more! We’re happy to answer your questions and all price quotes are give FREE OF CHARGE!
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.