Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Pick a Shipping Company…

By Madame Margherite

Transporting a vehicle isn’t as cut and dry of a task as say, shipping a birthday present through the mail. Your car needs to be handled with care from the moment it is picked up, to the moment it is delivered. Today there are thousands of companies in the United States that transport cars, but be aware that only a portion of those companies are legit. Over looking some of the key components that make a transporter a quality choice may mean never seeing your vehicle again.

The first step is actually searching for a company to deliver your car safely to its destination. While most people often turn to the Yellow Pages or their local directory this may not be the best choice for this type of service. Listing a company with a local directory usually is a no-questions-asked process that’s as simple as submitting your contact information and paying a fee. What you want is a company that has been screened and approved by the experts. Companies listed with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) are always a good choice, especially if they have a high rating.

Another smart way to search for the right company is by doing a Google search. While most of us think of Google as just a search engine, the truth is Google pays very close attention to the web pages they display and if a company turns up at the top of a search that means that it has a high Alexa rank, good reviews, unique content and is approved by the Google experts. This is a sign that the company owners pay close attention to the quality of their business and work hard to maintain it.

Keep in mind you don’t necessarily want a local transporting company, national companies are ideal. Just because your dispatcher answers the phone in Phoenix doesn’t mean that company can’t ship your car from Florida to Texas. Auto shipping companies usually own their own car carriers but also broker deals with drivers outside of their circle. This is not a bad thing as long as the drivers they use have the proper trucks, and the proper insurance to cover all the cars that they transport in a single route.

When calling a shipping company there are three very important questions to ask. The first thing you want to know is what type of truck your car will be carried on. If they say a flatbed, go with someone else. Only in most cases drivers with flatbeds usually don’t have the insurance to cover your vehicle in the event of an accident. You want your car to either be shipped on an open car carrier, or an enclosed car carrier at a slightly higher price. These are trucks specifically designed to secure multiple vehicles at once.

Another extremely important question to ask is about insurance. The truck transporting your car should have enough insurance to cover all the cars it can carry at once. If there’s an accident while the truck transporting your car is in route, $20k isn’t going to cover your car’s damage. $100k is more like it. Ask about the company’s inspection policy. When using a quality transporter the driver on pick up will also be the driver on delivery. You don’t want your vehicle being handed off from one truck to another. That driver should inspect your car upon pick up, and fill out a damage report prior to leaving, and then when your car is delivered that driver will do another inspection and damage report to compare the two. If there is any additional damage on delivery insurance will cover it.

Finally you might want to know if your transporting company is licensed and bonded. While these two factors are to benefit the relationship between brokers and drivers rather than customers it’s nice to know that the auto shipping company you are choosing values relationships between themselves and all those involved in transporting your vehicle. Companies that take proper steps to ensure that all parties are covered and protected are companies that will guarantee the safe delivery of your car.

Additional Tips: Never double book an order! Double booking an order is when you place an order for one car with more than one car transporting company. Drivers are skeptical about picking up a car that is double booked because it is possible that another company may get to the pick up address first wasting time and money for the runner up. When a company can’t find a driver to pick up a car due to double booking that company is forced to drive up the price of the job making it more expensive for the customer. Double booking is something you do not want to do.

Be in touch with the driver handling your vehicle. A good auto transporting company will provide you with the driver’s contact information so that you may contact them directly. Most of the time, the driver carrying your car will call you prior to delivery, but if they don’t it doesn’t hurt to give them a call. Don’t be upset if the driver doesn’t pick up the phone on your first try, most likely they are driving, and will return your call during a rest stop.

If a company accepts credit cards it means that they have merchant account. In order to obtain a merchant account that company is highly scrutinized and investigated for illegitimacy. If they pass the test, they are a trust worthy company with a good credit history.

Your car, truck, motorcycle or boat may be one of your most valuable possessions, if you need to have one of these vehicles transported do your homework and go with the elite. Randomly picking a transporting company may lead to a heartbreaking, costly disaster. Follow these simple steps and your car will be in good hands.


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