Making One Auto Shipper Better Than Another
It’s a question we here a lot here at A-1 Auto Transport and one that’s not easy to find a simple answer to: what makes one auto transport company better than another? Most companies are more than happy to tell you how great their service is, what they offer, and how they can help; but it’s not always apparent what you, as a customer, should be looking for when assessing shippers. In this article, we hope to help you that.
Some things are more obvious to get a feel for than others, for example the level of customer service provided. You can often tell a lot about the professionalism of a company from the quality of their website and the information they present there. Making a phone call and asking some questions about the process is another good way to see how a company deals with their customers and how well they know their business.
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Three Things To Look For When Hiring An Auto Shipper
There are three main things you can look for that will give you a good idea of the quality of a shipper: equipment, safety & performance, and insurance coverage.
If you’ve shipped a vehicle a few times, you’re probably aware that some shippers tend to have newer and better equipment than others. This is often a part of what accounts for a higher price, along with the type of service being offered and the distance.
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A “no frills” transport vehicle would be something along the lines of a towing or hauling service that loads your car onto a flatbed, secures it and delivers it. This can work fine in many cases.
A more high-end vehicle shipping experience might involve an enclosed truck with air-ride suspension and a climate controlled cargo area. The truck itself would also be specifically tailored to moving vehicles, making it easier, safer, and more efficient.
Safety & Performance Record
Safety and performance are good indicators to look at to assess the track records of a vehicle shipper. Using the FMCSA resource at the bottom of this page, you can quickly and easily look up information about shipping companies, as well as their safety history, current operating status, and insurance coverage. Naturally, some shippers will rank better in this regard than others and it’s good information to be armed with as you’re looking for the right fit.
Tied in with safety is the issue of insurance coverage, which all shipping companies are required to have by law. However, some companies may only carry the minimum, legally required amount of insurance, while others may have more comprehensive coverage.
For most vehicles used as daily drivers, the minimum insurance is more than adequate, but for any type of luxury, high-end, or exotic cars, you may want the extra level of coverage offered by shippers that specialize in moving these types of cars.
Auto Transport Resources
FMCSA Safety Data - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the organization that oversees the transport industry and its has several helpful links to relevant information that applies to motor vehicles carriers.
U.S. Department of Transport Number - The U.S. Department of Transport issues a number to any company that operates as a broker or carrier and this resource offers more information about the USDOT# and how to use it to research companies.