How Car Shipping Companies Handle Poor Access Areas at Pickup and Dropoff 

Most times, shipping companies face a lot of challenges during the shipping process, with one being limited access locations. Limited access locations refer to areas that are difficult for large transport vehicles to navigate, such as narrow streets, gated communities, rural areas, or areas with restricted access. Successfully navigating these areas requires careful planning and expertise from car shipping companies.

This article will explore how car shipping companies handle limited-access locations. It discusses the strategies, considerations, and specialized equipment they employ to ensure the safe and efficient transport of vehicles to these challenging destinations. Learning some of the methods used by specialized car shipping companies helps customers and industry enthusiasts gain insights into the complexities of navigating limited-access locations.

How Car Shipping Companies Handle Poor Access Areas at Pickup and Dropoff 

Definition of a Limited Access Location

A limited access location refers to when a driver has to go out of their usual shipping area to deliver the vehicles. Such an area, also called non-commercial, leads to additional client fees due to its inaccessibility. It means that the driver will have to get into the gated areas or commercial establishments and not the regular public places. Below is a list of some of the areas auto shipping companies consider limited access and where additional charges might apply:

  • Prisons
  • Worship places such as churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues
  • Mine sites
  • Carnivals
  • Mini storage units
  • Military bases

Strategies Shipping Companies Use in Accessing Limited Locations

Strategies Shipping Companies Use in Accessing Limited Locations

Shipping companies employ various strategies to access restricted zones. Below are three main strategies that shipping companies use:

1. Intermodal Transportation

It refers to a combination of multiple modes of transportation, such as using trucks, trains, barges, or even air transport, to reach the final destination. This strategy enables them to bypass geographical constraints and access remote or landlocked areas. In challenging locations where direct shipping is not feasible, shipping companies opt for intermodal transportation to get the vehicles to such areas.

2. Port Diversification

If a terminal is inaccessible due to limitations, shipping companies might go for nearby alternative ports offering better accessibility. Diversifying their port choices allows them to overcome limitations and ensure the vehicles reach the intended destination.

3. Route Optimization and Planning

Shipping companies carefully plan and optimize their routes to maximize efficiency and accessibility. They analyze sea currents, weather conditions, port capabilities, and inland transportation networks to determine the most viable route for reaching limited locations. Most of them use advanced routing technologies and software to optimize these routes.

Considerations Auto Shipping Companies Put In Place

Considerations Auto Shipping Companies Put In Place

When auto shipping companies encounter limited locations, there are several considerations they typically take into account to ensure a smooth and successful transport process. Here are three common considerations:

1. Accessibility Assessment

The shipping company will assess the accessibility of the limited location. They will check if the roads leading to the destination are suitable for transporting vehicles, considering factors such as road conditions, width, weight restrictions, and any potential obstacles.

2. Equipment and Vehicle Size

The company will evaluate the size of the shipping equipment and the vehicles they typically use. If the limited location has tight spaces, low bridges, or narrow roads, they may need to employ smaller transport vehicles or specialized equipment that can navigate such constraints.

3. Local Regulations and Permits

Auto shipping companies will research and comply with any local regulations and permits required to access the limited location. This may involve obtaining permits for oversized vehicles, restricted hours for transport, or adherence to specific routes designated by local authorities.

The Type of Specialized Equipment Auto Shipping Companies Use

The Type of Specialized Equipment Auto Shipping Companies Use

Each auto shipping company might utilize specialized equipment and techniques when accessing limited locations. Some of the three commonly employed equipment are:

  • Enclosed Carriers: These have a flat design, allowing them to load and transport vehicles with low ground clearance or specialized modifications. They help access limited locations with steep driveways, uneven terrain, or restricted height clearances.
  • Winches and Ramps: Auto transporters may employ winches and ramps to load and unload vehicles that cannot be driven independently onto or off the trailer. Such equipment facilitates vehicles’ safe and controlled movement in confined spaces or challenging environments.
  • Extended Ramps: In cases with obstacles or limited access points, auto shipping companies may utilize trailers equipped with extended ramps or lift gates. These features provide additional reach and height clearance, making loading and unloading vehicles in restricted spaces easier.

Contact SAC


The ability of car shipping companies to navigate and handle limited-access locations is a testament to their adaptability and commitment to customer satisfaction. Our company has developed innovative strategies, techniques and services to overcome the challenges posed by restricted entry points, narrow roads, and other obstacles that may impede smooth transportation for both Individuals and Businesses. Our expertise and proper planning ensures that limited access locations do not hinder the seamless flow of vehicle transportation. Talk to us if this is the first time you are undertaking such a project.