Demystifying Auto Transport: Unveiling the Roles of Car Shipping Carriers and Brokers

In the car shipping industry, there are car shipping carriers and car shipping brokers. The difference between the two is one of the most explained concepts in the world of auto transportation. Handing your vehicle over to either of them will get it to your desired location, but carriers and brokers go about the actual transportation in different ways. In this article, we will highlight the main differences between car shipping brokers and car shipping carriers and give you important information on how they operate. Car Shipping Carriers vs. Car Shipping Brokers

Car Shipping Carriers vs. Car Shipping Brokers

A car shipping carrier is a small company or operator that directly carries out the transportation of your vehicle. Carriers are the ones who arrive to pick up your vehicle, load it into the trailer, and drive it safely to your destination. They usually operate along a specific route or within a particular geographic location.

A car shipping broker, on the other hand, is a company that serves as a connection between a customer who needs to have a car shipped and a broker who transports the cars. Brokers do not directly ship your vehicle but instead assign it to a legitimate carrier. They carry out necessary procedures like planning the journey, overseeing logistics, and providing you with expert advice and support from the start of the transportation process until you have received your vehicle.

The Difference Between How Carriers and Brokers Operate

The Difference Between How Carriers and Brokers Operate

Both carriers and brokers have the aim of shipping customer vehicles; however, there is a clear difference in how they operate.

With carriers, their main operation is the transportation of your vehicle, or, simply put, the driving of the trailer that contains your vehicle. They do not provide any additional services or assistance, like insurance, logistics, or route planning. Working directly with a carrier can be complex and confusing; this is why you need brokers who serve as a medium of interaction to facilitate a smooth shipping process.

For brokers, their main operation is connecting the task of shipping your vehicle to a carrier. This could be one of their dedicated carriers or a solo carrier who offers the best bid for the task. In the usual shipping process, you are required to provide shipping requirements, such as the type of your vehicle, the distance to your destination, and the shipping options you prefer. Even after the vehicle is transported, the broker still provides assistance and support to ensure that you are satisfied with your delivery and that any damages sustained by your vehicle during the journey are resolved through insurance.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Carriers

Benefits and Drawbacks of Carriers

Choosing to work directly with a carrier has more drawbacks than benefits. One of the major benefits is the simplicity of the entire process, since carriers are only involved in the actual transportation of your vehicle. They also have straightforward procedures and schedules, allowing you to enjoy a smooth transportation experience without sudden changes or surprises. Their simplistic nature is also a drawback for them in that their services are limited or confined to a particular route, timeframe, or range of accepted vehicles. This makes it extremely difficult to find a suitable carrier in cases where you have specific or uncommon requirements.

Benefits of Shipping with a Car Shipping Broker

Brokers, on the other hand, have more benefits than drawbacks, which is why they are the recommended means of transporting vehicles.

  • They have access to a network of carriers, allowing them to meet all sorts of shipping requirements from different customers.
  • They are able to provide customers with lower prices since they have numerous carriers bidding for the job.
  • Their range of operations usually spans across the nation and, sometimes, international locations.
  • They oversee the bulk of the planning and shipping details, saving customers from headaches, sudden delays, and unnecessary expenses.

Benefits of Shipping with a Car Shipping Broker

The drawbacks of shipping with brokers usually don’t apply to all of them. For instance, being charged additional costs or hidden fees only happens when you work with sketchy or fraudulent car shipping brokers.


In the world of auto transportation, understanding the contrast between car shipping carriers and car shipping brokers is crucial. Carriers handle the actual transportation, while brokers connect you to reliable carriers, offering a range of benefits like cost savings, convenience, and broader options. When you need to ship your vehicle, make the right choice: engage the services of Ship A Car, Inc. Contact us today at (866) 821-4555.