Shipping a car from one transport terminal to another is one of the more affordable ways to ship a vehicle, but it is not as widely used as it has been in the past. The cases in which terminal shipping is most commonly used are when short-term storage is also required. As with any other type of transport service, there are some things you should be aware of when requesting terminal-to-terminal shipping. Read the information below and you’ll be sure to get the best service possible and avoid the companies that have obvious red flags.
What To Be Aware Of When Using Terminal-To-Terminal Auto Shipping
Terminal car shipping is not much different from standard auto transport, with the exception that the customer has to drop off and pick up the car from the transport terminal. Terminals are most often found in larger metropolitan areas and bigger cities, which makes the transport process quicker and more efficient for the company doing the hauling (not to mention, cheaper). While there is some cost savings to be had with this method of shipment, it does require that you deliver the vehicle being shipped to the terminal and then retrieve it at the delivery terminal. If you live in or near a highly populated area, this isn’t too much of a chore, but if you live in a rural area that’s a long way from the nearest terminal, it can add to the time you have to spend at the beginning and end of the process. The alternative, door to door vehicle transport, eliminates these steps by picking up and delivering to a specific address or location.
One issue that sometimes comes up with terminal-to-terminal car shipping is that you don’t get to inspect the vehicle for damages upon delivery, unless of course you’re at the terminal when it arrives. There is a degree of convenience with terminal auto transport since you don’t have to be there when it arrives, but an inspection is best done when the vehicle is unloaded from the carrier. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to inspect your car or truck, just that there is typically some time between when it is delivered and when you get to sign off on the completion of the shipment.
This leads into another point to keep in mind with terminal-to-terminal shipping: the vehicle may be stored for a while. Again, this could preferred if you aren’t available to pick up your car until a later date—a service that many customers ask for and that many shippers are happy to provide. However, that also means that it may be sitting in a parking lot or storage facility for several days or even weeks, depending on your schedule. This in itself is not problem since storage facilities are typically safe, secured, and relatively clean. But weather can become a factor for outdoor storage lots, as can the potential for dents and dings from other vehicles being ushered in and out of the same lot. It’s not a huge risk by any means, but it is something to keep in mind, especially if you’re shipping a luxury or classic car.
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.