Written by Sunny

Published: 27 Mar 2024

Facts about Automotive Transport
Table of Contents

You’ve likely seen a big rig hauling 12 cars up and down the freeway, but how much do you know about automotive transportation?

Today we’ll look at 5 interesting facts about automotive companies and how they work. Are you ready to learn more about the world of transport? Read on down below!

1. Freight theft is a real worry.

According to Cargonet, cargo theft incidents are up more than 57% in 2023 when compared to the year prior. While not all cargo thefts are going to be vehicles, it does mean that there are still vehicles at risk every day.

Consider the value of 12 vehicles being hauled at once. Not only that, it is possible that the drivers themselves could know that they’re hauling an expensive vehicle and tip someone off, who later comes and “robs” them and gives them a kickback.

Experts at A1 Auto Transport state: “While thefts do happen, the best action to take when shipping a vehicle is to get the proper insurance. Not all transport companies are completely insured, and at times the consumer is left in the dark. Always make sure you know what you’re paying for ahead of time.

If you’re shipping a valuable vehicle, going with an enclosed trailer is recommended. This way, no one knows what’s inside, and no one will be tempted to steal your ride. If it’s left on an open trailer, anyone can decide to steal or even damage your vehicle.”

2. Delivery times are never set.

When you order a pizza, you expect it to come at a specific time and date. However, when you ship a vehicle, there are way too many variables that come into play for automotive companies to offer specific dates in advance.

You will be given a range of days of when the vehicle should supposedly arrive. However, even this range is not guaranteed as often some delays are outside the carrier’s control. Considering severe weather events, geo-political events like the Red Sea, and theft, delays do and will happen.

If you need your vehicle ASAP, it’s recommended to ship ahead of time by a month if overseas and keep it in storage. If you need it on a specific date in the coming week, air transport is available but the cost will be high depending on how much your vehicle weighs and the distance traveled.

3. Estimates will vary wildly.

With so many different automotive companies out there, operating under different structures, you will get plenty of estimates that are going to make you question what to believe. If you ever get an offer that’s too good to be true, it’s likely a bait-and-switch, and you should avoid it.

The best way to deal with shipping companies is by asking for a flat rate quote. You don’t want to put money down, only for the driver to ask for a higher rate, and putting you in a bad position. You can always rely on well-reviewed transport companies for great quotes, but protect yourself by being diligent in the process.

4. Almost all cars require transportation.

With almost all vehicles being foreign-made, these vehicles require transportation. And how do they do that? With huge ships, they can often handle incredible loads up to 138,000 m3, like the MV Tonsberg which Mitsibushi owns. This huge ship can carry up to 8000 vehicles.

Once these vehicles land at their destination, they will need to be transported again to the dealership. After that, if needed, transported to the owner of the vehicle if they aren’t local. Vehicle transport is happening day and night, and it’s something that most never question.

The ships that carry these vehicles are most often “roll on, roll off” ships, which just like the name sounds, can drive the vehicles directly onto the boat. Then, a team of drivers will drive the cars off the boat and into parking until they’re ready to be transported in sets of 10-12 to their destination.

5. Most auto transport companies are brokers.

What does “being a broker” mean, exactly? It means that most auto transport companies do not ship the vehicles themselves. They simply put you in touch with a carrier, or sometimes, several. Think of brokers as marketers, and carriers are the ones who are doing the heavy lifting (or driving, in this case).

This can bring some unwanted negative attention as when left unchecked, many carriers can leave unsuspecting consumers in a problem if the carriers are not working legally and with insurance. In the United States is mandatory that each company has their insurance, but this could mean insurance that’s only active when the vehicle is loaded or not for the entire amount of the vehicle.

The best way to find a reputable transport company is by checking their online footprint to see if they’re active on the web. If you have a hard time finding any information, you can also check the Department of Transport’s website as well as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration(FMCSA) to see if they’re operating according to the law.

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