Freight Shipping Car Processes

Domestic USA & International Auto Shipping
Quote Calculator

Freight Shipping Car Processes

What is freight shipping?

Freight refers to the goods or load transported by trucks, ship, plane or train. Freight shipping car refers to transporting a car either by truck (land), ship, plane or train. It is normal shipping of cargo, only this time, you ship cars. It mirrors normal car shipping process with minor differences. In order to understand freight shipping car process, you must first understand how freight shipping differs from normal shipping in regards to transporting cars.

Difference between freight car shipping and normal car shipping

Normal car shipping services may offer more than just the transportation. They may help you prepare your vehicle for shipping. Freight car shipping companies exclusively offer the transportation service. This means that any other responsibility, excluding the actual loading of the car into the shipping truck, lies the client. They literally just pick up and drop off.

Freight Shipping Car Processes

Also, while normal car shipping will give you the option of open air transport; where the cars are transported in unenclosed trailers and vessels, freight car shipping only offers shipment in enclosed cargo containers on trucks, cargo planes, and cargo boats. This is the reason why shipments via air or sea are generally referred to as freight. All air cargo transports are obviously inside a plane, which is enclosed. That goes without saying.

A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-452-2880 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.

Freight shipping car modes

The three common modes of freight modes will also apply for freight shipping car.

  1. LTL (Less Than Truckload): LTL refers to cargo that does not occupy the entire truck trailer, cargo plane or cargo ship space. In reference to car shipping, LTL refers to shipping the car(s) without occupying the entire trailer, plane or cargo ship space.
  2. Partial Truckload: These are cargo shipments that tend to not occupy the entire shipping space, but they tend to still remain on the designated shipping space because there isn’t any other available smaller space. Therefore, for freight shipments by air and sea, each “freight” is designated its own shipping space. The car(s) may not completely fill the freight space designated to them. For this reason, this type of freight shipment involves much less handling than LTL as less cargo will be shipped.
  3. FTL (Full Truckload): This mode of freight transport involves freight shipments that occupy a while trailer (for land transport) or shipping space for air and ocean freight. In regards to car freight, the car(s) occupy the entire trailer (for land transport) or shipping space for air and ocean freight.

Complete process of freight shipping car

Keeping in mind that any other responsibility apart from the actual loading of your car solemnly falls on you, the client, you shall need to understand freight shipping car process.

  1. Research on auto transport companies offering freight shipping

Trusted directories like The Yellow Pages and Google Local are good places to research for auto transport companies offering freight shipping services near you. The internet is a reliable source of information to look for credible freight companies offering car freight shipping.

You can also get further information on whether the firm offers more than just trailer freight. Clients seeking international freight car shipping should research on car transport companies offering either or both ocean freight and air freight. A-1 Auto Transport offers all three.

  1. Prepare your car for freight shipping

After extensively researching on the auto transport company offering the type of freight shipping you require, you shall then take it up upon yourself to get your car ready for the freight transport. Normally, this step involves packing and clearly labeling of boxes in normal goods. However, for car freight shipping, it entails preparing your vehicle for transport. This includes getting rid of any personal items inside your car and draining the fuel from your gas tank until maybe just until it is quarter full. A quarter tank of gas will be enough to drive to the nearest gas station from the drop off point.

  1. Take measurements of the car

The next freight shipping car process is taking proper measurement of your car. Of course, all car models come with specific dimensions, but customized bodies including car bumpers and trunk spoilers alter the default dimensions. The freight company needs to know of all this so as to assign you proper freight shipping space.

  1. Book your freight shipping car appointment

After the above processes, you can now call the freight company and book your appointment. The information obtained from taking measurements will allow the freight personnel to secure you freight space. Upon confirmation, you shall be provided with the date, time and location of the pickup point. Remember to be punctual as freight orders are time sensitive.

Joe Webster

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.

Ship Your Vehicle With A-1 Auto Today

Get an Instant Free Quote Now

Or Call Us Today and Speak to Directly to Our Sales Team:


Inc. 500 Company
American Moving and Storage Association Member
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Secured by Verisign Inc.