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Shipping your vehicle with auto transport carriers means the company owns the trucks. The company you are hiring is doing everything from booking the order, to loading, to then delivering the vehicle.
It is the opposite with a broker. They do not have trucks. They will have to find a carrier to move your vehicle and will charge a fee for doing so. This is why there are so many trying to deal with a carrier because the pricing and the service is all coming from the same place.
Using Auto Transport Carriers – The Benefits
When hiring a carrier that is not a broker, you will be working with a company that will specialize in certain routes or areas of the U.S.. The larger the carrier company, the more routes they will do. Most will have a niche area they have grown their fleet in, so they know it well. You don’t have to worry about having your vehicle waiting for a truck. If they take the job it means they will be picking it up.
If there is a delay, damage, the carrier is responsible and you are in touch with the parties directly involved. Although many carriers that make room in their business for brokers and discount their rate, in some cases since you are negotiating with the carrier directly and the pricing can be better because there isn’t a middle-man fee because they are an independent car transporter. Because of all the bad experiences made by these small companies, auto transport without a broker is growing in popularity very fast.
Working with Auto Transport Carriers – The Drawbacks
When using a carrier to avoid so to not use a broker (non broker auto shipping), it is possible that you will spend a lot of time online and on the phone looking for truck that is going from where your vehicle is at as well to as where it is going. This is the most common problem most run into. There are two reasons for this. The first is that many carriers specialize in a certain area or route. The second is that many are independent car carriers for hire and run their business on the road and work with brokers.
The abundance of vehicles listed by brokers make it easier for a carrier to choose to work this way as they do not have to advertise or deal with customer service. By far these have become the majority of trucks out there. That is why it has become difficult to find a full service carrier, someone that does everything directly. If you need your vehicle picked up quickly, there needs to be one of these full service carriers with a truck nearby that is heading to the vicinity of your destination.
To put it into perspective, If we were to have our carriers and they were driving everywhere in the country, you would not stop seeing our trucks and logos. So keep that in mind when trying to use carriers, not brokers.
What this means is that typically you will have to make an effort to find a carrier and then most likely have to wait. In this case, using a broker will be much faster. They will have a network of trucks available traveling just about anywhere in the country at their disposal.
Be Aware That Some Carriers Act as Brokers
This is the most common setup in the industry for an actual full service carrier (as it makes sense so the carrier can obtain as much business as possible).They will be licensed as both a carrier and a broker. While specializing in a specific route or quadrant of the U.S. with a couple of trucks, the rest of the loads will be given to other carriers. So in other words they will be acting the same way as a normal broker would in those cases. Many times when you contact a company that claim to be carriers, they may not mention this. In these cases if you insist on having it only done with a direct auto transport company, you should ask if they handle that route as well. There will be the issue you will run into if you are looking for a true national auto transport company that provides service everywhere and at any time.
To find a carrier that travels every nook and cranny of the U.S. constantly is logistically impossible. Not to mention they would need to have their trucks traveling through your area at the time you were planning to have the vehicle go as well. If your car is ready today you would need to have a truck already in the area to pick up 9 or 10 other cars as well which are heading within a reasonable distance of where your vehicle is being shipped to. The same thing for the other dozen customers dispatched today. If a company could have that many trucks on the road you would never stop seeing the logos. That’s why nearly all carriers also broker out.
Using a Carrier Directly
When choosing to search out direct auto transport companies, it’s important to note that most carrier companies aren’t the large goliaths you imagine. The reason that you won’t see them travel all over the country is because many of them are actually owner-operators that run specific routes and actually prefer to work with brokers. They travel only a few areas consistently based on how frequent they get business and where they call home. Some even travel with their families, with each handling everything from dispatch to accounting. With the abundance of vehicles available in their areas, they have no need to advertise, another reason they are less available to you directly.
When looking for a carrier to work with you will need a full service carrier. They will have a few trucks and a headquarters, some with terminals in different locations in the U.S.They will have a corporate presence online as well. So to save time, you will want t find more than a business listing.
Note: Family owned or huge corporate giant, they are strictly regulated. Even an empty truck runs about 45,000 pounds. The average sedan weighs 4000 pounds. Now add that by 10 fold. There is a lot of responsibility and safety involved, so there’s no wiggle room. Trucks are constantly inspected and weighed to assure they are safe. This is totally the opposite when it comes to the sale of the transport service. There is no regulation on how the service can be sold, therefore a lot can go wrong, especially with brokers.
Deciding to Wait for a Carrier or Use a Broker
Should you make the extra effort to ship your car without a car shipping broker? The answer to that question will depend on a few things. For example, if it’s local, there may be listings for small transporters in your area. In these cases it makes much more sense to go direct. You will be talking to the trucker him or herself. You will also have a much easier time finding a carrier to work when it is short distance. For anything going state to state, it will become hard to find.
The choice is ultimately yours. Regardless of which direction you go, reviews and reputation are the key to a successful transport, even if you definitely want to go with auto carriers and not brokers in the end. It may be that after checking on availability for your locations and schedule , may need to use an auto transport broker.Again, keep in mind that the key to your success there will to check on their reputation as many don’t have a good one. You will get faster availability and more flexibility with a them because of their huge list of truckiers, but not if you select a bad one.
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