When you begin your search for an auto shipping company, you might be surprised to learn that transport brokers differ from transport carriers. While both have the ability to transport your vehicle from one location to another, there are quite a few benefits for working with a broker rather than a carrier and we will take a closer look at those advantages.
What is the difference between an auto shipping broker and a carrier?
The main difference between brokers and carriers is that carriers operate the trucks that will ship your vehicle while brokers act as the middleman, coordinating the shipment using a network of carriers.
How do auto shipping brokers work?
When a customer has a vehicle that needs to be shipped, a broker will then reach out to their network of carriers to find a driver that can fill that order. Experienced auto transport brokers, such as Ship a Car Direct, have been in the business for a while and have a large network of reliable carriers in their network. Since they have access to so many different carriers across the country, they are able to find a carrier that can meet the needs of their customer no matter what kind of vehicle they have and no matter where they are located.
Benefits of working with an auto shipping broker?
They have access to reliable carriers.
Unfortunately, there are car shipping carriers out there that are not reputable and reliable, and for someone new to the industry, it can be difficult to spot them. Since your vehicle is a valuable asset, you certainly don’t want to hand it over to just anyone. That’s why it’s important to work with an auto shipping broker that can help you navigate these tricky waters. Since they have access to pertinent information and carrier reviews, you can be sure that a broker is only working with carriers that are trustworthy and reliable. They only work with drivers that are properly licensed, insured, and accredited so you can be sure your vehicle is being shipped by a legitimate carrier.
They can offer better rates.
One of the main benefits of working with an auto transport broker is that you get better rates compared to individual carriers. Since brokers are working with multiple customers across the country, they can provide bulk orders to carriers which gives them better pricing. In addition, since they work with so many different carriers, they have access to the most common routes near your specific location which helps to keep pricing lower.
They can provide quicker delivery.
Brokers have far more flexibility than individual carriers. Since they aren’t tied to the movement of a single fleet, they have the ability to work with multiple carriers using various routes so they can ship your vehicle more efficiently. They can also track down carriers with open spots on their truck that will be in your area, meaning you will get faster delivery.
They can protect you from the unexpected.
Carriers can easily get delayed by things like unsafe road conditions, severe weather, and even breaking down. If this were to happen with an individual carrier, you would have to wait until the problem is resolved or pay extra to have a different carrier pick up your vehicle. If this were to happen with a broker, however, they could easily get your car onto another truck with little or no delays.
They save you time and hassle.
Shopping around for an auto carrier is both time consuming and risky. It requires lengthy research, confirmation of credentials, checking reviews, comparing rates, and figuring out delivery times. When you work with a broker, however, they take care of everything for you. They handle all of the logistics so you get a stress-free shipping experience.
Michael starting working in car shipping over 20 years ago, in 2002; back in the days when fax machines ruled the roost, being the first name listed in the yellow pages was King and google wasn’t yet a verb. Sometimes he foolishly thinks he’s seen every situation imaginable when it comes to shipping a car, but about once a year he’s proven wrong.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.