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Direct auto shipping companies are auto transporters that deal directly with the customer. Your information is not handed down by a lead company. Companies that ship a car direct are either carriers or 3PL (third party logistics) providers. 3PL’s that use a carrier network can still be classified as direct, as they do not sell the quote as a lead to someone else.

For detailed look at how this works, you can visit our article on working with a carrier and not a broker.

Using Direct Auto Shipping Carriers

Carriers will handle the entire process for you. In some cases, the driver will be in direct contact with you for pickup. This is because they are an owner-operator. It’s actually very common to work with them right from their own cel phone. They will usually not have an office or staff handling calls for them.

They run their own truck and specialize on your route. This can also make them hard to find. The chances of finding a carrier that is going your way directly can be very difficult without the use of a broker. Thats why it’s nearly impossible to find anyone direct that also owns their own trucks. Even if they do have trucks, the will usually outsource (broker) what they can’t take themselves. This can be because they aren’t in your area or don’t ever plan to be.

Those that are carriers will handle the entire process for you. In some cases, the driver will be in direct contact with you because they are the owner-operator. It’s common to work with them right from their own cel or a home phone. They usually will not have an office or staff handling calls for them.

They run their own truck and specialize on your route. This makes carriers hard to find. The chances of finding a carrier that is going your way directly can be very difficult without the use of a broker. That is why you can’t find anyone direct that owns their own trucks. Even if they do, the will usually outsource (broker) what they can’t take themselves. This is usually because they are not in your area and don’t ever plan to be.

Going Direct With A Carrier Can Mean Pay Everything At Delivery

If you book your auto transport direct, you may not have to pay a penny until they deliver. That can be a huge plus for many as you pay nothing until the car shows up at your doorstep. Since you did not work with anyone in between, you don’t have to pay any deposits which is usually the broker’s fee. Again, this is very rare to find although it can be done.

It can also mean credit cards are not allowed. It sounds a little outdated, but it’s very common that a direct auto shipping company will want collect cash or certified funds on delivery. Many 3PL’s take cards to accept more customers that don’t want to go and get cash. They will in turn pay the carrier in certified funds after taking out their fee.

Many of us lately haven’t seen a paper check in a while, let alone a printed money order or cashier’s check. But this is the preferred method among carriers. If this is a problem for you, then shipping will need to be done with a 3PL (a.k.a. broker). Prepare to put your card away and have the green ready.

An interesting note about prepaid shipping and brokers is that they are usually the only ones can do it all on a credit card. However, carriers may select comparable vehicles that are paying COD first and leave invoiced orders last.

Direct Auto Shipping – The Carrier Runs the Show

The entire system usually revolves around the carrier directly. They have shaped the industry. This whole system, even the brokering is al designed around them. Hard to believe? Not really.

Many don’t know direct auto shippers that are carriers may not want to deal with the public at all. I always tell people to look at it this way:

Direct carriers that work with brokers do not have tIf you don’t have to….

  • negotiate the price
  • convince the customer to book
  • deal with customer service
  • talk to anyone unless it’s for pickup and dropoff
  • take credit cards

They can do the job and still get paid what they want or do more a lot more work and make maybe $100.00 more. It’s a pretty easy choice when you look at it. The sometimes “less preferred” 3PL is a product of the direct auto carrier and them wanting to do less but make more.

Do you Have to Go with a Direct Auto Shipper That is Also a Carrier?

The simple answer is no, you do not have to. But don’t take my word for it. You will need to make your own choice so you do what is best for you. The table below will go over the key points for each one.

Direct with a CarrierDirect with 3PL
Will Not Sell Your InformationXX
Pay a Deposit Before PickupX
Pay in Full at DeliveryX
Accepts Credit CardsX (most)
Customer Service AgentsX
Direct Contact with CarrierX
Business HoursX
Flexible Pickup / AvailabilityX
Set Pickup DateX