Archive for October, 2009

Late Delivery

In the car transport business, it is often believed by the customer that a late delivery automatically entitles them to a discount in the quoted rate.  This is not necessarily true.  While in some cases the broker and/or driver decide that it is warranted, they will do a discount on the rate, but this is not automatic as some customers would like to think it is.  In the car transport industry, breakdowns, weather and customers can all be delays that are not planned for by the driver.  These delays are part of the reason that when companies quote the transport time there is always a window.  If your car is late by 3 days or more, you can ask for a discount, but don’t assume the car transporter who has your vehicle will gladly give it to you.   Some feel that threatening the driver or reporting it stolen will quickly resolve the issue, but you can be getting yourself in trouble if you are filing a false claim with the police.  Going with a reliable company and doing your homework ahead of time, will typically prevent this from happening.

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Trailer capacity

Customers often wonder how many vehicles will be on the same truck with their car.  This is a very difficult question to answer because the person you will most likely be speaking with will not be the one coordinating with the driver.  Typically the cars are transported on trailers similar to what you have seen at new car dealerships.  They are the double stacked car transport trailers.  These trailers typically are able to move 7-10 cars at any given time.  The number of cars that are being transported with yours is pretty irrelevant, but we wanted to address it as for some reason it is a common question we receive when people are considering auto transport.  Usually the insurance on the truck is proportionate to the capacity of the trailer so cars are never left uninsured.

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TWIC Card

TWIC stands for Transportation Worker Identification Credential.  The TWIC card is needed by car transport drivers to get into the ports, if your car is inside the port.  It isn’t difficult for drivers to get a TWIC card, they need to pay a small fee, get a background check and jump through all the hoops in order to get this card.  If the driver doesn’t have a TWIC card or is still in the application process, he can pay a fee at the port, usually around $150 and he can be escorted into and out of the port.  There of course is a fee that is then passed onto the customer or built into the initial price quote for transport.  As port security is a large part of our national security, the TWIC card is designed to ensure that all the auto shippers going into the port don’t pose any threat to our port or our country.

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Packing your vehicle

Technically speaking, while your car is being moved by any car transport company it is required to be free of any contents not part of the car.  This can be very surprising to you if you have already called several companies as they will inform you can you can put anywhere from 50 lbs to “as much as you want” in your car.  While it is vary rare, the Department of Transportation has the rights to seize items put into your car as on the Bill of Lading of all carriers it states the vehicle is free of contents.  You would have signed the Bill of Lading when the driver loaded your car.  While this is a very rare occurrence for the DOT to actually remove something from the vehicle, it is something to consider when you are planning your auto shipping.  What is typically considered acceptable are basic things like blankets or clothes as long as it is kept light.  Household goods like TVs and computers are never acceptable items to load into the car despite what some people may tell you.

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Brokers or Carriers

A big question many people have about the auto transport industry is why should I not call around and go directly with a carrier.  In some cases this is completely fine, if the carrier is a large and reputable company.  However, sometimes this can backfire on the consumer, as happened with one of our customers.  She needed a car moved on a route that we didn’t have any of our own trucks at the time so we contracted with an owner-operator to handle the move.  A year later this customer needed her car moved on this same route and thought she could save some money by going directly to the driver.  However, over the year between her last move that driver started his own company with little success and had already built up a poor reputation.  Of course all this was unbeknownst to the consumer, and when the driver was more than a week late to load the car she called us, explained the story and asked us to assist her in the move.  And promised she would never shoot herself in the foot again.

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