Why Use a Shipping Broker?
The essential option one has when they are looking to transport a car is whether to hire a shipping broker, or an auto carrier to complete the job. There are a few notable differences between the two options which may alter a consumer’s considerations as they survey their choices.
A shipping broker does not own the transport vehicles that are used to ship cars. Rather than employ a fleet of their own, brokers hire local shippers to do the work. So, if one is looking to snowbird, that is, to move from New York to Florida for the winter, a broker would find a transporter in the New York area closest to the customer.
This is done because the less ground the carrier has to cover while in the process of transporting your automobile the better. Thus, brokers offer an advantage. They present clients with the best deals because of their native connections throughout the U.S.
Plus, the auto shippers that operate in the range of particular a customer’s vicinity are compete with one another to present the best bid to the broker so that they get the job. In the end, auto transporters would rather more work at somewhat discounted prices, than little work at very high costs. Good prices build a b referral base, not to mention return customer rates grow considerably too.
On the other hand, there are the auto shipping carriers.
Now, because they possess the trucks they utilize to carry out shipping jobs, they can be more reliable at times. That is to say, if something goes wrong with a transport, a customer can call one number. There is no “falling in between the cracks,” where fault is passed back and forth from the broker to the shipper, and vice versa. Using one company for every aspect of the experience is indeed a positive.
Also, auto carrier companies are competing, in some sense, with other shippers, as well as, the brokers that promote them. In this respect, the competition level is quite keen. As a result, the bidding wars churn out remarkable deals that no doubt favor the client. Raw capitalism at work can be a beautiful thing for the consumer sometimes.
However, it is clear that in most instances, a carrier company will be able to cover fewer travel routes. For, a broker has a large variety of shippers at its disposal, and can therefore present customers with many alternatives. Conversely, the carrier has a limited number of trucks under its thumb, shrinking the selection pool noticeably.
A Comparison: Brokers vs. Carriers
A significant difference between auto shipping brokers and carriers is that if something were to happen to the transporter, and one’s car was stuck half-way to its destination, a broker could phone a shipper in the area to pick it up and continue the route.
Brokers have people everywhere – all over the nation. This type of security, in case of an emergency, is uncommon in the auto service industry, and is not to be overlooked.
With a carrier, chances are a broken-down vehicle is a long way from another one of the carrier’s stations.
So, the car may have to sit for days while another hauler is found that has the time to grab it. Otherwise, a tow truck will probably pick up the auto and take it to the closest carrier station. This will cost the carrier a nice chunk of change and so they will not go too far out of their way to make sure the client’s vehicle arrives on time.
Now, if a customer has important plans tailored to the timetable of their auto transport, and they use a carrier, problems could ripple, causing the client more trouble than its worth.
When looking for pricing from carriers one will have to do their own research, find each transporter, call them, and ask questions.
For brokers, there are a variety of websites now that offer a very simple way to get quotes in just minutes. All one does is fill out the pertinent shipping information and hit enter.
The advanced database systems of many of the online auto brokers will calculate the likely charge for a customer’s transport.
Carrier establishments ship often many items other than a client’s car. This means that when a customer calls with questions about the process or the progress of their transport, they may be hard-pressed to get good information quickly. Carriers offer a mixed bag, as it were.
Brokers typically deal only with setting up car shipments. And, since they are not in charge of managing the shipping operation, but rather just reserving them, they are in the perfect place to guide one through the hauling.
Indeed, on the whole, customer service at brokers is much better than that at many carriers. It really is just a matter of time.
One final, and fundamental distinction between brokers and carriers is that carriers offer only terminal-to-terminal shipping.
What is terminal-to-terminal shipping?
It means that a customer has to take their vehicle to a designated drop off point, which is where the truck will pick it up and bring it to its destination.
The catch is terminals can be few and far between. Who wants to pay a company to ship their automobile, but first they have to drive it 40 minutes to a terminal?
This is not to mention that terminals are rarely guarded and are known places for car theft and vandalism. Plus, if a brick somehow makes it through your window, a carrier will not take responsibility for what happens to a client’s auto while it sits in the depot. They are not liable. Not until the car is on the carrier their insurance is irrelevant.
In the case of brokers, it is most common for them to set up a transport so that the shipper comes right to the home or place of business where the car is normally located. No extra effort or worrying required.
In situations where a truck cannot fit down the street the car is parked on, pickups at nearby businesses can be effortlessly arranged with a short phone call.
In the end, it is up to each individual consumer to decide what is best for them – carrier or broker. But at least now the facts are laid out in the open for all to see.