Shipping your vehicles from one location to another is often infinitely easier than attempting to drive them. With the right shipping service, you can look forward to far less automotive wear, affordable pricing, and timely delivery that allows you to keep your operations running. However, to simplify this process and cut your spending, there are five things that you need to know before shipping even a single company car.
There’s a big difference between using a shipping broker and using a car shipping company. Auto shipping companies have their own carrier vehicles and drivers, and they often have static routes that they maintain. If you search for a service provider on your own, you’ll have to screen multiple shipping companies individually. This includes checking for and verifying licensing, making sure that there are applicable shipping options for your business, and comparing both prices and quality of service.
Shipping brokers do this for you. Most don’t have their own in-house shipping operations. Instead, they have networks of top-rated shipping companies that they routinely work with. They use advanced technologies to pair commercial clients with shipping services that are equipped to do exactly what they need at a price they can afford.
When shipping a car for personal reasons, you can’t fill its trunk with all of your clothing and household goods. Although this certainly seems like an efficient way to move long-distance, auto shipping companies account for the total weight of vehicles on the day of shipping. The extra fees that come from having a fully loaded trunk will far exceed the costs of shipping your personal items separately.
This is also true with commercial auto shipping. Vehicle size and weight are two major factors considered when determining prices. Unintentional additions in weight can result in hundreds of dollars in extra charges. Unfortunately, many commercial vehicles are weighted down with industry-specific accessories, work equipment, and collected gear.
Before shipping your company’s autos, be sure to clean them out. Although uninstalling and reinstalling certain accessories will hardly prove cost-effective in this case, it’s usually worthwhile to find alternative means for transporting most standalone equipment and gear.
If secondary shipping services are necessary, an automotive shipping broker may be able to help you find these too. If pre-installed accessories and equipment make your vehicles more cumbersome or if they create odd overall shapes and sizes, having access to multiple auto-shipping options through a broker will make it easier to find the best possible solution for your circumstances.
Schedule tune-up services for your commercial fleet ahead of shipping. If you already have a fleet maintenance plan, let your fleet services provider know of your intentions well in advance. Although prudent shipping services will take every precaution to keep your autos protected, making sure that there are no loose connections or severely worn parts will help limit the risk of excessive wear and damage. It will also give you clear documentation showing the exact condition of your auto before shipping so that you can compare this with its condition after shipping to verify, prove, or disprove damages.
Another important benefit of pre-shipping tune-up service is being able to prepare your auto for a different climate and for different driving conditions. The viscosity or thickness of automotive engine oil can change significantly when vehicles are moved from locations with excessively high or low temperatures to areas where temperatures are dramatically different.
Changes in the environment can also impact battery performance and your tire needs. Mechanics can mitigate these and other problems before your autos are moved so that you aren’t dealing with costly improvements or repairs later on.
Scheduling tune-up services before a big trip is also a good way to lighten your load. When tune-ups are paired with cleaning and detailing, you can make sure that there are no unnecessary items stowed in compartments, under seats, or in trunks that might drive up your costs.
Not all auto shipping services are created equally. However, this doesn’t mean that the most expensive solution is guaranteed to be the right choice for your business. There are open and enclosed trailers available through truck-based shipping services and shipping containers that are carried by freight companies. Open, truck-based shipping tends to be the cheapest option. Moreover, given that an open trailer can carry as many as 10 vehicles at a time, it can also be the fastest shipping solution when rapid delivery is required.
Freight shipping is preferable for vehicles that need constant and comprehensive coverage. However, it isn’t available in all areas, and it tends to be the most costly. For high-end, fully-equipped autos, truck-based shipping on enclosed trailers offers a seamless blend of protection, efficiency, and security. Taking the time to explore your options before making a hiring decision is far better than choosing the company with the lowest price or the fastest shipping times.
This is another way in which aligning yourself with a reputable shipping broker can come in handy. If you’ve never shipped a vehicle before and happen to know very little about this industry, a broker can detail the available options in shipping at your targeted price point. This professional can also detail the benefits and drawbacks of each shipping type to help you make an informed selection.
Auto-shipping is a seasonal industry. This is just as true for commercial vehicles as it is for private vehicles. More importantly, many auto shipping companies accommodate both private and commercial clients. Thus, increases in demand from either side can result in less availability, higher prices, and longer delivery times. In regions with excessively cold winters, a lot of companies and consumers ship their vehicles to warmer climates.
As such, autumn is recognized as a peak season. Early spring and late summer are among the best times to find discounted prices, lower levels of demand, and rapid scheduling. If you have multiple vehicles to ship, these are also good times to look for and leverage bulk shipping discounts.
Auto shipping for commercial vehicles makes it easy to get your fleet from one location to another. With the five tips above, you can cut your costs on auto shipping while still getting reliable delivery and optimum protection for these all-important company assets.