Will a Car Shipping Company Ship my Household Goods?

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Will a Car Shipping Company Ship my Household Goods?
🇺🇸 California (CA)

Will a Car Shipping Company Ship my Household Goods?

Every day, thousands of Americans buy homes and prepare to move. This is a fact of life. If you just purchased a new home, or sold yours, don’t stress. Finding a reputable car shipping company and moving company isn’t hard. The hardest part is finding the right one for you.

Do you find yourself asking this question

Will a car shipping company ship my household goods? If so, don’t worry. We are going to explain the entire moving process to you and provide you with a little insight into how this industry works. Here’s what you are going to learn about:

  1. How household and car shipping companies interact with each other
  2. What you need to do to ship your vehicle
  3. The different types of moving services
  4. What you should expect

Here’s the truth. A car shipping company may ship your household goods, but they will probably outsource the task to a dedicated moving company. If a car shipping company offers other services, like a moving service, then that company can ship your household goods. In most cases, car shipping companies don’t have the right equipment to ship household goods, unless they advertise that as one of their main services. It may seem odd that they won’t ship your goods directly, but there is a good reason for this.

The average car shipping company has specialized equipment that is designed to help you ship your vehicle. In contrast, a moving company specializes in moving household goods and probably doesn’t have trailers designed specifically for moving cars. Because of this, car shipping companies and moving companies often partner on projects in order to provide a full-service option.

Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal and you shouldn’t worry about it. If you are preparing to ship your vehicle, here are a few things you should know.

Your Vehicle Needs to be Cleaned Out Before Shipping

Non-permanent objects need to be removed from your car prior to it being shipped. Many car shipping companies require you to clean your car, both inside and out. The shipping company cannot be responsible for non-permanent items that can get lost or stolen, like bike racks, dash cams, and more. Plus, in extreme cases, these items can even damage other cars if they dislodge from your vehicle.

A-1 Auto Transport can help you move your household goods nationwide. Call 888-509-3213 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote on interstate moving services.

Most car shipping companies will generate a quote for you based on the make and model of your vehicle. The dimensions and original weight of a vehicle are strict and never change. Knowing the dimensions of a vehicle that needs to be shipped makes it easier for the shipping company to project how they will ship your vehicle. Adding non-permanent objects like spoilers and bike racks adds to the dimensions and weight of your vehicle, which can actually increase the price of shipping your car.

Remember this basic rule.

If it isn’t an original part of the car, remove it! You don’t want to increase your shipping costs, and you certainly don’t want to be liable for damage you caused to other peoples vehicles.

Types of Moving Services

There are a few things you’ll want to know if you find a car shipping company that offers household moving services as well.

Here are some of the typical moving services that are offered by car shipping companies:

Intrastate Moving Service

Intrastate moving is moving inside of a state. An example would be hiring a moving service to move from Fresno to San Diego, California. You can even hire intrastate moving to move from one area in a city to another area in that same city. Some cities are expansive, like Montreal, where neighborhoods are disconnected and one needs to drive by highway to reach different areas.

Interstate Moving Service

Interstate moving is moving between states. An example would be hiring a moving service to move from Texas to Arizona. This is pretty self-explanatory and the costs are fairly predictable because there are many companies offering this service. This also tends to be one of the most common styles of moving.

International Moving Service

International moving is the process of shipping household items between two countries. This option is more difficult to provide using car shipping, since some locations are too distant or remote to ship to via vehicle. An example would be hiring a moving service to help you move from somewhere connected like New York to a more remote location like Nunavut, Canada. Driving to Nunavut, for example, is impossible since there are no roads connecting Nunavut to Southern Canada, or even between communities in Nunavut. It is too far north and the weather is too cold.

A Few Factors That Influence Cost

When it comes to moving, there are several factors that influence the overall cost.

  • Seasonality – the season that you choose to ship in affects cost because it is heavily influenced by supply and demand for moving services.
  • Distance – the distance you are traveling will affect the price. Longer distances obviously cost more, but shorter distances can be equally as expensive when you are driving to a remote location that doesn’t have reasonable access to major highways and other time-saving methods of travel.
  • Fuel Prices – fuel prices directly affect the prices of all shipping methods. When fuels cheap, traveling costs less, and moving companies can provide you better prices because they aren’t spending as much on fuel.

There are some similarities between the shipping process for intrastate, interstate, and international shipping. In each scenario, you will need to pack up the household goods that you want to take with you, discard the rest, and pack up the moving truck.

Hiring a professional mover, if the car shipping company does not provide such a service, is a great idea. Professional movers will help you pack faster and the experience will be less stressful as a result of their help. Unless you move frequently, you probably aren’t as experienced in moving fragile items out of your house. Plus, if a moving service does damage your items, that damage is insured and they will have to compensate you for it. They really are worth every penny, whether you are moving across town, out of state, or out of country.

Trucking Options for Your Household Goods

If the car shipping company that you have hired is unable to help you move your household items, do not panic. You still have several options.

The easiest option is to just hire a separate moving company to take care of that step of your move. However, if for some reason you don’t want to do that, you can try these two methods instead.

Use a Cargo/Box Truck

Cargo trucks can be rented for however long you need it to move. The process is extremely simple. You rent the truck, drive it to your home, fill the truck with your boxed household goods, drive the truck to your new home or to a storage locker, unload the truck, and then return it to the shipping company. Most moving companies will have trucks that you can rent, but in the case that you cannot locate one, U-Haul, Home Depot, and other similar companies have cargo and box trucks that you can rent for a reasonable price.

You do not need any special license to drive a cargo truck. You just need a license and the proper insurance. If you have these two things, you will be able to rent a cargo truck for however long you need.

Cargo trucks are great if you are single, or your family does not have a lot of household goods. They may seem spacious at first, but they fill up quickly. Making multiple trips between your old home and your new one will take hours. Not only do you have to drive between the two locations, but you also have to load and unload the truck each time. Don’t forget, most truck rental companies also charge for mileage, so if you have to make multiple trips, you will pay for that.

If you have more household goods than you think a cargo truck can handle, you should consider using container shipping instead.

Use Container Shipping

If you have a lot of household goods, you should consider using container shipping. A container will be driven to your home and unloaded (the containers are very heavy), and then picked up once you are finished filling the container. After being picked up, the container will be placed on a low loader big rig truck, and then driven to your new home.

In terms of simply packing your household goods, it is easier to do so when you have access to a shipping container. You can walk into the shipping container, stack goods logically and in piles, and ensure that your goods remain intact during the moving process. While you can do the same with a cargo truck, cargo trucks are much riskier as you are responsible for driving it to your new home. Even with proper insurance, liability is always something you want to consider any time you are driving a larger vehicle that you are unfamiliar with.

Costs Will Vary Depending on the Location of the Company

Location matters when moving. The farther the distance, and the more difficult the route, is that you need to travel, and to move your household goods, the more expensive the moving process will be.

You can regulate the costs by negotiating with the moving service/car shipping company that you are interested in hiring. To reduce your quote, simply shop their competition, bundle services where it makes sense, and cut out extra unnecessary services. Asking for professional packing service to help you pack your goods will result in a larger cost than packing your goods by yourself, but sometimes it is worth it if you feel that you will not do as good of a job.

Here are some other things that you can do to lower your moving costs:

  • Choose a destination that is simple to drive to
  • Delay your moving date to give the company more time to prepare
  • Rent and drive a cargo truck yourself
  • Choose a better time of the year to move
  • Move less household goods
  • Negotiate with several moving/shipping companies - they will provide you with unique packages/rates

The key to finding the best moving service is not to choose the cheapest one, but to choose the right company that provides you with a high quality service that suits your needs.

Here’s the deal…

A car shipping company on its own cannot ship your household goods unless they offer moving services. If they do, they can and will ship your goods because it makes sense for them to do it all as a single service. If not, you will need to find a moving service that can. In most cases, your car shipping company will likely have recommended moving company contacts they can provide you with.

Once you decide which companies you are going to work with, your car must be cleaned out and emptied of all non-permanent objects before you ship it. Most auto transport companies will not let you ship your car with items in it because it increases the risk of damaging your car and other cars. When shipping your household goods, your car will always be shipped separately, even if you are shipping both your goods and your car in one service order. This simply boils down to the fact that specialized equipment and trailers are used for the different types of moving.

The A-1 Auto Transport Way

If you are looking for a reputable car shipping company that has been working in this industry for years, give A-1 Auto Transport a call. We can help you ship your vehicle anywhere in the world at the best price. Even better, we work with some extremely reputable moving companies, allowing us to provide you the complete moving package.

If you have any questions about the auto transport process, moving, or would like to get a quote, give us a call today.

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
Connect with Joe Webster on facebookConnect with Joe Webster on linkedin

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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