Looking to ship your motorcycle? Then you may be looking for a professional shipping company that can handle the job and takes care of your bike throughout the entire journey.
Going with the pros is certainly the way to go, as it’s often cheaper and a lot safer than trying to figure out the logistics as well. So you looked for companies who can handle that, and, let’s say, are faced with two main options:
1. The local company, maybe family-run
2. The big company, which offers loads of services
Which one should you go for? Let’s take a look at both of them and see what are the main differences between the two, and which one should you opt for.
What Local Companies Are All About
Local transport companies usually only have a handful of trucks that allow them to run their auto shipping business. They’re like the mom-and-pop shops of the auto transport world and definitely come with a lot of great perks.
Specifically, making you feel like a member of the family. There’s no denying that the main charm of these local, smaller businesses is their customer service experience, where you can actually go to their office and even sit down with the owner to discuss terms.
Local motorcycle transport companies will usually:
- Transport within the state exclusively. If they do ship to different states, rates are often higher;
- Have a smaller truck fleet, which may affect arrival times;
- Have smaller trucks than in the case of large companies, so you may have very strict shipping times, and less flexibility.
What About Larger Companies?
Larger companies are the ones that ship nationally, and some may even handle international shipping as well. These are the companies that have an army of very large trucks and containers that can fit multiple bikes and cars, and transport them at the same time.
Shipping with a large auto transport company is often a lot faster because of this reason, and there is a lot more flexibility when your bike can begin its transport.
There are some other perks to going with a bigger company:
- Better, more inclusive insurance. Since they ship nationally, their insurance has to comply with regulations for all 50 states;
- More choice for pickup and dropoff;
- More routes;
- Lower prices (thanks to bigger trucks;)
Which One Is Better?
If you look at it as a whole, there’s really no point in saying the local bike transport company is better than the national one, or vice versa. It depends on what you need.
If you just need to transport your bike to another nearby city, you can go ahead and choose a mom-and-pops bike shipping business and call it a day because they can handle these short-distance transports. If you need national or international transport, a bigger company may have better prices, and more options available for you.
These are the factors you need to consider when deciding between the type of motorcycle auto transport company you entrust your bike in.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Company
Whether you want to support a local business, or need a company to handle a more difficult transport, there are some things you should look out for before you sign the dotted line:
1. Their Experience
A local bike transport company can have 30 years in the business, and a national one can be almost brand new, with just a few months in the business. The truth is that when it comes to this industry, you need a team with experience.
There are a lot of different things that go into the logistics of bike shipping, from securing the vehicle on the truck to navigating the US roads safely. An experienced team knows what risks lie ahead, and knows how they can prepare for them.
You should also check company reviews before you strike a deal. No company will have only positive reviews, as bad experiences can happen from time to time, but if you only see 1-star or 2-star reviews from people, this may be a really bad sign.
Read the reviews to get a better idea of the company and how it treats its customers. Look especially for those people who’ve had an issue to see how the company responded. This can tell you a lot about its procedures and how much they ultimately care about their clients.
3. The price
Yes, money is a factor when choosing a motorcycle transport company. Too expensive is obviously not the preferred option for anyone, but don’t go running to the company that offers the lowest rates either. Especially if it’s too good to be true.
Auto transport is not the cheapest of services, and companies can try to attract more customers by advertising a false shipping rate on their website. When you discuss terms and they start pilling on extra services and fees, of course, your final price will be nowhere near what their website promises.
Instead, you should shop around multiple companies, and ask for an estimate. Compare them, not just based on final prices, but what services go into the price.
4. The Company Policy
Knowing a company’s policy is essential to helping you decide if you should book a shipment or not. For example, can they ship right away, or do they only do it on specific days of the week? If you need to send out your bike fast, smaller companies may not be able to accommodate that.
Companies should have this information public on their website but if they don’t, make it a point to ask the representative everything about the logistics before you make a decision.
By law, auto transport companies need to offer insurance, but as you may very well know not all coverage is created equal. Press for more information regarding the insurance policy the company offers, and flat out ask them how they’d respond or help in the event that your bike is damaged during the transport.
These are all things you really need to know beforehand. Once you do, you can use all of them to compare multiple companies and see which of them best suits your needs. This way you can make the best decision regarding who to transport your bike.
Can We Help?
We’re all for supporting local businesses, but if your transport needs better insurance coverage and a bit more expertise beyond state and country lines, then look no further than A1 Auto Transport.
If you need to transport your motorcycle locally, nationally, or even overseas, A-1 Auto Transport is ready to help. With over 30 years in the business, you can bet our services will well exceed expectations, and we’ll take all the proper steps to ensure your bike is safe and secured during transport.
Reach out to one of our representatives for a quote and more details about our motorcycle transport services.
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.