Services Provided By Car Hauling Companies
While it may seem on the surface that there is only one main service provide by auto transport and car shipping companies (moving your vehicle), the truth of the matter is that there a variety of options available to anyone needing a vehicle shipped. To further explain your options, here is a rundown of the numerous services that are offered by a full service car shipping company.
Pickup & Delivery
Car hauling involves two major points of service to customers: pickup and delivery. Within those services, you have two main options to choose from, that differ in both price and method of delivery. In some cases, you may also find that the timeframe for delivery is faster with one versus the other.
Terminal To Terminal Shipping: The most basic and inexpensive method for hauling a vehicle is called terminal to terminal shipping. The way it works is that you drop off your vehicle at a shipping terminal or depot in your area and the company delivers it to a terminal in the area you’re shipping to. It’s ideal for customers shipping to and from major cities or metro areas that tend to have terminals, but it does require you to both drop off and retrieve your car from the terminal yourself.
Door To Door Shipping: Door to door auto transport is slightly more expensive than shipping through a terminal, but it also provides the ultimate service as far as convenience and ease of transport. As the name implies, your vehicle is picked up from its current location and delivered to another location you specify, typically your home address. Door to door hauling eliminates the need for you to deliver or pick up your vehicle since the carrier covers every mile of the shipping process for you. Door to door delivery can also be quicker in some instances since you don’t have any extra work to do on the front or back end of the shipment.
Types of Transport Carriers
The two main types of transport carriers you’ll need to choose from are an open air carrier and an enclosed carrier. While both essentially provide the same transport service in terms of delivery route, there are some key differences that are important to understand.
Open Air Carriers: Open air transport refers to carrier being open, or exposed, during the transport process. These are the most common types of carriers and are the type you may commonly see on the road hauling anywhere from eight to 12 cars at once behind a semi truck. You can easily see the vehicles being hauled and it’s the most cost efficient method of transport since the per car cost is less with several being transported at once.
Enclosed Car Carriers: Enclosed car shipping costs slightly more than an open air carrier because fewer cars are moved at once, usually no more than two at a time. Enclosed carriers also offer more protection for the vehicle during shipping since it is enclosed on all sides, protecting it weather, road hazards, and other debris that could potentially damage the vehicle. Enclosed carriers are typically the preferred option for higher end vehicles and they’re also more convenient if you need door to door or faster delivery service.
Insurance should always be included the price of car shipping. By law, any company that is legally authorized to haul vehicles must have a minimum amount of insurance that covers you in the rare event that your vehicle is damaged along the way. Having said that, it’s also important to note that some companies provide more coverage than others, which can be especially important if you’re transporting a high value or luxury vehicle. If you’re unsure of the coverage amount, be sure to ask and the shipper should be more than happy to explain their coverage limits, as well as their policy for handling damages.
Every company may not offer short term storage directly through their own operation, but at the very least, they should be able to arrange for storage if you need it. If you know ahead of time that you may need your vehicle stored before or after delivery, be sure to address this with the company when you’re getting an estimate. Naturally, it’s better to have storage and shipping arranged with the same company, so you should seek out a company that provides both if you know or anticipate that you might need storage. Major car carriers that are well established in the industry should be able to accommodate short term storage requests in any area that they ship to or from.
International Car Shipping
International and overseas car transport are services offered by many companies, some of which specialize in international shipping, and others that offer it among their other services. While it’s always important to make sure a company has ample experience with the type of transport service you need, this is doubly true for international shipping since there are extra steps involved as far as required documentation and registration that you’ll have to contend with.
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.
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