When you are in need of auto shipment, you will likely go to your computer and begin searching auto shipping companies. What you might discover, however, is that there are different types of auto shippers to choose from: brokers and auto transport management companies. So, what exactly does this mean? While both services have the ability to transport your vehicle from one location to another, there are a few important differences that you might want to consider in order to decide which is right for you.
What’s the difference between brokers and auto transport management companies?
Some auto shipping companies may act as a management firm that operates and coordinates the entire shipping process from beginning to end. They offer a hands-on approach and handle everything from booking a carrier, updating clients, handling any issues that may arise, and making sure that vehicles are delivered on time. Other times, shipping companies might work with a broker to coordinate shipments using a network of carriers. Brokers typically work with a lot of different carriers to serve the entire country. At the end of the day, there are pros and cons to working with brokers and carriers and there are additional benefits you can only get by working with a full-service auto transport management company. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of brokers versus auto transport management companies.
Working with a Broker
Brokers might be more flexible. If you work directly with a broker you aren’t tied to the schedule of a single fleet, which means the broker might be able to track down a carrier in your area with an open spot.
Brokers can choose a qualified driver. Brokers are experts in the industry and they know all the truckers they work with are properly licensed, insured, and accredited. This gives you peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is being shipped by a legitimate carrier. This also saves you from having to shop around to find a reputable carrier on your own.
Brokers can handle unexpected situations. Things happen and there are times when trucks break down in the middle of transport. Should something like this happen, your broker would be able to get your car onto another truck with minimal or even no delays or additional charges.
Working with an Auto Transport Management Company
They handle EVERYTHING! When you work with a full-service auto transport management company such as Ship A Car Direct, the hard work is done for you. They can provide you with a free and accurate quote right from the start and they will take care of all of the logistics of getting your vehicle from point A to point B. Rather than making several phone calls and trying to book a date with multiple people, you have just one point of contact. They will also contact you along the way keeping you informed of any potential problems, travel delays, and expected delivery times. In many cases, they will even provide the convenience of door-to-door pickup and delivery.
They only work with trusted carriers. Auto transport management companies carefully screen every carrier, making sure they are properly licensed and insured, well-rated, and fully prepared to handle your vehicle. You can trust that your vehicle is in good hands throughout the process.
They offer nationwide shipping. If you are in need of coast to coast auto shipment, you are better off working with a full-service shipping company that can handle your shipment and connect you with a carrier anywhere in the country. It’s the best of both worlds. When you work with a hands-on shipping company, you get all the benefits of working with both a carrier and a broker. You will have just one point of contact and you will be updated throughout the process. You will also get the best possible price because auto transport companies have access to a wider variety of routes and drivers. You will also have peace of mind knowing that your carrier has been thoroughly screened. Finally, it will save you time and hassle because the shipping company will handle all of the details of your shipment.
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.