Some of our recent blog posts have focused on the major port cities around the U.S. and what makes them more (or less) suited for certain types of international auto transport. In this entry, we take a look at another player in the international vehicle shipping industry: Houston, Texas.
What makes Houston a good option for shipping a car or truck to another country? Like many of the other cities mentioned in this series, the main factor is that it’s home to one of the largest and busiest shipping ports in the world. Not only is the fourth largest port in the United States, but it’s also the major players in shipping and receiving cargo from other countries. For overseas car shippers that don’t have access to companies on the coasts, Houston is definitely one of the preferred ports from which to ship a car internationally.
The Port of Houston is one of the prime delivery and pick up points for international shipments coming from and going to the middle of the United States. With several coastal ports on either side of the country, Houston stands out as the central access point for much of the Midwest and other regions that may not be as easily accessible from a coastal shipping port.
Defining Roles: Understanding Auto Transport Terms
There are a number of terms in the car shipping industry that are only shades apart in meaning, though the distinction can be very important. One such example is the difference between a carrier and a freight forwarder. In the sections below, we’ll review a little bit about each and what sets them apart.
Freight Forwarders - Freight forwarders are also called NVOCCs, which stands for the non-vessel operating common carrier. What makes a freight forwarder different from a carrier is that they don’t do the actual moving of your vehicle. They forward it to a carrier but do handle some of the responsibility and preparation, especially when it comes to documenting preparation and understanding of the laws and taxes involved.
Carriers - When it comes to shipping internationally, even from a port as busy as Houston, carriers can be harder to find than they would be for shipping within the U.S. Not only are there fewer, but the role of forwarders and brokers play a larger role in facilitating logistics. In some cases, you may find a company that operates as both a carrier and a freight forwarder, which is not uncommon. In fact, you may find this preferable as a customer since it generally indicates a more seasoned and well-rounded understanding of overseas auto shipping.
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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.