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With terminal shipping, your car is loaded at a terminal on one end, and unloaded at another at the destination. These terminals are storage facilities that shipping companies use to store their cargo before and after transportation.
One shipping is arranged, you would drive your vehicle to the storage facility / terminal. If it's not in operable condition, then you may need open carrier transport. This is unless you need it to be in storage there for a while. Ask that the shipping company arrange a tow truck to pick it up. The same will be the case for when you are ready to receive it. .
Once the car is dropped off at the destination, an agent from the shipping company will call you. They'll inform you of the delivery so you can pick up your vehicle at your convenience. Keep in mind, storage fees may apply. Storage can make this more expensive that shipping it on a truck directly to your door.
This method is also used by shipping companies that are involved in the hauling of large shipments of cars. It allows them to combine all the cars to be shipped to a similar destination and collected later. This will be cheaper for the owner of the vehicles. They will be able to cut the costs and have their own staff or drivers come get them. Sometimes several trucks will be involved in this kind of terminal shipping.
At times, terminal-to-terminal shipping may be the only option available to you, even though it is less convenient. It trades off that inconvenience with a more economical choice.
If, for instance, your car is being shipped to a remote location it is better. There may not be any routes available. It will be logical for your car to be dropped off at a terminal in a more open and easy to navigate area. Rather than for it to be dropped right at your doorstep.
If you happen to choose terminal-to-terminal shipping, chances are your car will spend time at a storage location. Naturally, you might be concerned about the conditions at these terminals.
These storage facilities are often located in more open metropolitan areas that are easily accessible by large trucks. This is instead of the more residential areas where narrow roads may make navigating large trailers a little too difficult. They also happen to be near airports, harbors, and highways.
A terminal will have large amount of valuable vehicles that could be vulnerable to thieves, as you would expect. Luckily, most reputable terminals will have security measures put in place .
These facilities are usually gated and there is often limited access to them. You'll find that only a handful of employees have the access required to enter these facilities. Auto manufactures use these terminals and may also have their own on-site security guards and surveillance cameras there. Better for you!
In addition, it may comfort you to know that you're covered by insurance. The facility will have insurance that covers damage. Most companies will have a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of insurance for their cargo. This is because it's required by law for them to do take out such insurance.
The most apparent advantage of terminal-to-terminal shipping is that it's cheaper than door-to-door shipping. Shipping companies will be able to charge you less for it because the large cargo shipping will allow them to save on gas and driver salaries. Combining their shipments will also mean that they take less time to transport each load of vehicles. They will be able to ship more vehicles with terminal-to-terminal shipping than they would in the same time with door-to-door shipping. Both of these will make them better able to offer you a discounted price. It's a good option if you're looking to save money on your already high expenses of moving to a new place.
This shipping option can also allow you a little more flexibility on pick-up times once your car is delivered. Because you don't have to be physically present at the delivery, you may be able to choose a later date for picking up your car, and your car will be secure until you can free up your schedule.
This may be quite helpful if, for example, you need some time to figure out new parking space at your destination, or you're caught up with work demands that make it impossible for you go pick up your car more promptly. And if your car is not operable, you may also need time to make towing arrangements, so your carrier allowing you to keep your car with them for a while will be quite helpful.
You should probably check with your shipping company about their pick-up rules though. While most companies will allow you to leave your car at their storage facilities for a couple of days, some will consider it an auto storage service and will charge you for the storage.
While the cheaper price makes it quite a tempting option, terminal-to-terminal shipping comes with a set of disadvantages. There are inconveniences of having to drive your car to and from the terminals. This method of shipping also takes much longer than door-to-door transport. That's because your car will probably spend some extra time at the terminal waiting to be loaded. Your carrier might have to wait for the rest of the vehicles to arrive to complete the cargo.
Your vehicle will be staying in a terminal with vehicles and trucks coming in and out. This could mean that your car is at greater risk of damage. The more loading and moving around that your car has to go through, the more likely that it is that it may be damaged in the process.
While you still can change your mind about which method of shipping to go with, you might find it useful to ask your shipping company if they will be hauling your car in multiple trucks or otherwise.
Despite the fact that the majority of terminal companies you'll come across will have secure storage locations, your car might still be at risk at these facilities. Unfortunately, some companies will leave your car in open parking lots where it can be damaged by rain, snow, or hail. Also, if vandals see an opportunity prey on your car, you might end up staring at a violated version of your car later on. That's why it's usually not a good idea to base shipping decisions on pricing alone. While terminal-to-terminal transport is cheaper, the money you save by choosing this method might not be worth it if you end up with a damaged car at the end.
Your decision to go with terminal-to-terminal shipping over door-to-door shipping should be an informed one. While there are several attractive advantages with this shipping method, the drawbacks are not small enough to be ignored. Spend a bit of time considering all the factors before you make your final decision on the kind of shipping service you want.