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See Article— USA Today

Types of Vehicles that Can Be Shipped by Truck or Rail

Published by Tamar Hela.

What's in this article?
  1. Shipping via Truck
  2. Reduces the number of restrictions
  3. Cheaper than air and sea shipping
  4. More accessibility
  5. More options
  6. Vehicle Transportation by Road
  7. Shipping via Rail
  8. More carrying capacity
  9. Reduces delays
  10. Minimizes its environmental impact
  11. Vehicle Transportation by Rail
  12. Auto rack Car Types
  13. AutoMax
  14. Bi-Level
  15. Tri-Level
  16. Uni-Level
  17. Why Shipping Companies Use Auto Racks
  18. Efficiency
  19. Flexibility
  20. Safety
  21. Auto racks on Roads
  22. A-1 Auto Transport
Types of Vehicles that Can Be Shipped by Truck or Rail

Road, sea, rail, and air shipments are the four most common types of logistics transit.

While each form of transportation offers unique benefits, deciding which option is ideal for your organization requires careful analysis.

However, now we will focus on road and rail and the vehicles available for transport via these methods.

The vehicles will be shipped via rail or truck, depending on the distance to the final destination. Trucks often haul cars over shorter distances, and trains transport cars over longer ones.


Shipping via Truck

Since the days of horse-drawn wagon deliveries, transportation via the road has greatly improved. More than 54% of all freight crossing the northern border between Canada and the United States is transported by truck.

Industries that need frequent, small shipments delivered directly to a business, warehouse, or customer door find truck delivery the most reliable and flexible option, as trucks can accommodate delays.

Among the greatest advantages of truck freight are:

Reduces the number of restrictions

Truck freight, even heavy or dangerous commodities, is subject to fewer regulations than other transport options, particularly air transport.

Trucks have built-in navigational systems and real-time tracking capabilities, so you know exactly where your shipment is at all times, making them preferable to other forms of transportation.

Cheaper than air and sea shipping

Because of the lower expenses associated with fuel and maintenance, the costs of shipping goods via truck are significantly lower than those of shipping goods via air or sea.

More accessibility

The majority of people find that shipping by road is more convenient. Even while the bulk of commercial establishments is well-served by major roadways, not all have convenient access to secondary transportation hubs such as airports, ports, or stations.

More options

When it comes to truck freight, the possibilities are endless. Whether you need to ship perishable, dangerous, or enormous items, you may find a trucking company that can handle your needs.

Parcel, full truck, and LTL shipping options may also be available, depending on the carrier. Parcel shipping is convenient when you have a few small items to send.

Less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping is analogous to parcel delivery. Less-than-truckload (LTL) freight services are a good option when you need to ship anything that doesn't require a full truck but is too big to be sent through the mail.

Parcel and LTL shipping offer an alluring degree of flexibility unavailable with full truckload shipments.


Vehicle Transportation by Road

Most vehicle transporters use open trailers. It means that the transporters are open on the sides.

Most of these trailers are double-decker designs, and their carrying capacity ranges from six to twelve vehicles, depending on their dimensions and the driver's expertise.

There are also options available for those who need to transport a single, more expensive vehicle.

In this case, the truck will use a closed trailer to transport the vehicle to its destination.

Shipping via Rail

Trains have been crucial in global commerce and supply chain management since they came into existence.

Companies that need regular ground transit at high speeds should consider using rail.

Some advantages of rail transport are:

More carrying capacity

Heavy, bulky material, such as coal, can be transported by train across great distances. This is because they are better capable of carrying heavy loads than trucks.

Reduces delays

Trains are convenient since they always arrive and depart at regular times each day. Because railroads tend to function autonomously, they are less likely to have delays in their shipments due to factors such as traffic or bad weather that might affect truck freight.

Minimizes its environmental impact

Trains have a smaller carbon footprint than trucks, planes, and ships because they consume less fuel, but the environmental impact of each given transport depends on a wide range of circumstances.


Vehicle Transportation by Rail

Moving a vehicle as rail freight means the vehicle must be loaded onto a train and transported as cargo. It's a safe choice, although it can take longer than driving a truck.

It's a simple procedure. It involves loading the vehicle onto a railway, travelling to your final location, and then unloading it there.

You can ship multiple cars of different sizes. Cars, vans, trucks and SUVs can be shipped by train. Some shipping companies also accept motorcycles, small trailers, limos and jet skis.

The method used to ship vehicles such as cars, trucks, SUVs etc., is called an auto rack.

Auto rack Car Types

Bi-level rack cars, tri-level rack cars, and uni-level rack cars are the three main varieties of automotive rack cars. Each can accommodate a different number of vehicles of various sizes.

Theft, vandalism, and weather-related damage are all greatly diminished by the enclosed nature of auto racks.


By adjusting the level of the deck, it is possible to create both two- and three-story layouts. Allows for large loads, such as cars, trucks, vans, and minivans (carries up to 26 vehicles).


Suitable for trucks, SUVs, and minivans, among other vehicles, with two levels of space (carries up to 10 vehicles).


Holds a triad of sedan decks with ease. It's capable of transporting as many as 15 cars.


Finished vehicles, including truck tractors, farm equipment, recreational vehicles, buses, and double-decker buses, can all be loaded onto a single deck (carrying up to four vehicles).

Why Shipping Companies Use Auto Racks

Auto shipping companies rely on auto rack rail carriages for the safe and efficient delivery of finished vehicles for various reasons.


Shipping companies can transport a large number of cars with the use of auto racks. Auto racks have the capacity to transport 26 vehicles at once, while trucks can usually only hold 9.


Auto racks can accommodate a wide range of vehicles, from little cars to large SUVs, thanks to their adjustable sizes. accordingly, a variety of rail equipment is available to accommodate a wide variety of cargo types.


The valuable cargo stored inside auto racks is protected from harm. Vehicles are safer from vandalism and theft when their frames are enclosed and include security features.

As a bonus, web-enabled tracking technology gives shippers real-time access to their shipment's position anytime.


Auto racks on Roads

Auto racks are also commonly used on roads with the same advantages as ones used to transport vehicles by rail.

The only major difference is the cost of the transportation service and the ability to travel to a location without the limits of needing a rail hub close by.

A-1 Auto Transport

A-1 Auto Transport has been in the vehicle transportation business for many years. We have the expertise and experience to provide the best service.

Go to for more information on the services we provide.

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Tamar Hela is one of our featured writers at A-1 Auto Transport, researching everything from AI auto shipments out of China to what paperwork is required to move long distance. We can safely say she's become well versed in all things shipping and logistics while making the information easy to digest and understandable. 

Tamar has been a copywriter for over 16 years and was trained in the 7-Figure Copywriting Accelerator course through American Writers & Artists, Inc. (AWAI). She's also an incredibly seasoned copyeditor, having previously been the Chief Editor and Publishing Director for Cosby Media Productions, based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus Drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd,
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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