What to Expect From Beginning to End During the Vehicle Shipping Period

Auto transport is a stressful and time-consuming experience if you’re unfamiliar with the process. However, knowing what to expect from start to finish can help ease your worries and ensure smooth and successful vehicle transport. Luckily, most auto transportation companies offer flexible timing and different shipping methods. This makes the process straightforward, especially if you are a first-timer.

This guide will provide an auto transport timeline outlining the critical steps in shipping a vehicle, from the initial planning phase to the final delivery. Such information helps in making informed decisions and ensures a successful transport experience.

What to Expect From Beginning to End During the Vehicle Shipping Period

Understand the Different Terminologies Used In the Auto Shipping Industry

If you are shipping your car using an auto shipping company for the first time, understanding the terminology makes it easy to negotiate with these shipping companies. It does not matter if you are shipping a car, truck, or motorcycle; understanding some of the most commonly used phrases ensures you make informed decisions when choosing a shipping company and a shipping method. Below are some of the widely used words and phrases:

Open and Enclosed Transport

Open shipping involves transporting your vehicle in an open car, such as a flatbed trailer, whereas enclosed transport involves moving your vehicle in a closed car. An open form of transportation is ideal if you do not need your car immediately and want to save money. However, enclosed cars are a perfect option if you transport a luxurious vehicle or want it protected from weather elements.

Terminal-To-Terminal versus Door-To-Door Service

Terminal-to-terminal service refers to the shipment of goods from one place to the next. In this service, the customer is responsible for dropping off the car at the origin terminal and picking it up from the destination terminal. The carrier is only responsible for transporting the vehicle between the two terminals.

Door-to-door service means that the carrier transports your car from the point of origin directly to the final destination. The auto shipping company is responsible for picking up the vehicle from the shipper’s door and delivering it directly to the recipient’s door.

The Types of Trailers

There are different types of trailers, such as flatbed and lowboy trailers. Each serves a different purpose. For instance, a flatbed trailer transporting oversized vehicles, such as buses and heavy equipment is beneficial. On the other hand, a lowboy trailer is a flatbed trailer with a lower deck height, allowing for transporting taller vehicles, such as construction equipment and large trucks.

Finally, a double-decker trailer perfectly transports multiple smaller vehicles, such as motorcycles, ATVs, and cars. Therefore, understanding these trailers helps you pick an ideal trailer for your shipping needs. However, most shipping companies can assist if you do not know which one to select.

Step-By-Step Procedure of What to Expect During Shipping

Step-By-Step Procedure of What to Expect During Shipping

If you are wondering how to ship your vehicle for the first time, these procedures will help:

Prepare the Vehicle

Ensure your car is ready for shipping by removing your items and getting all the paperwork from your car’s compartment. Document the car’s condition by taking pictures of the vehicle, noting there was prior damage, and that the records are updated. If your vehicle is getting shipped from the west coast to the east coast, vice versa, or any other long distance, charge the battery completely.

Load Your Vehicle onto the Carrier

Loading your vehicle onto a car carrier is possible with the right equipment and technique. These are the steps to load your car onto an auto transport:

  • Ensure the auto transport company positions their car in a flat, level area and the brakes are engaged.
  • The company should attach the loading ramps and see that it has stabilizers to keep the vehicle stable while loading the car.

Factors That Affect the Shipping Process

Factors That Affect the Shipping Process

In most cases, car shipping might take a longer time than expected. The only way to understand why shipping might take longer than expected is by learning some of the factors affecting the process as listed below:

The Distance

The distance of the route can significantly impact the cost and time it takes to ship a car. The longer the distance the car has to travel, the higher the shipping cost will be. It is because such shipping will require more fuel, labor, and resources to transport the vehicle over a longer distance.

The Season and Traffic

The season and traffic can impact a car’s shipping, but that happens differently. During certain seasons, such as winter, car shipping may be more difficult due to weather conditions. For example, if the roads are icy or covered in snow, it may be more challenging for the carrier to transport the car safely. Traffic also impacts the shipping of a car, particularly in densely populated areas or during peak travel times. If a carrier needs to navigate through heavy traffic, it may take longer to transport the car, which can result in delays.

Mechanical Issues

Mechanical issues delay car shipping delivery. If the carrier trailer has mechanical problems, it may need repairs before proceeding with the shipping process.

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You need to learn that the car shipping method is quite challenging. Sometimes individuals go through unexpected delays due to weather conditions or your chosen shipping method. However, it is pretty easy to understand what happens from the start to the end. Additionally, finding the ideal auto shipping company ensures that even if the process is disrupted, the carrier will keep you updated on the shipping progress.

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