How to ship a car


Handout: Introduction to Auto Transport Industry

Handout: Introduction to the Car Shipping Industry

Welcome to our car shipping agent training series! In this handout, we will cover the basics of the car shipping industry to help you get started on your journey as an agent or broker.

What is Car Shipping?

Car shipping is the process of transporting vehicles from one location to another, typically across long distances. This service is essential for various reasons, such as job relocation, buying or selling a car, or transporting vehicles for commercial purposes.

Players in the Car Shipping Industry

The car shipping industry consists of several key players, including:

- Agents and Brokers: They connect customers with carriers and ensure safe and efficient transportation.

- Carriers: Companies responsible for physically transporting vehicles.

- Customers: Individuals or businesses needing to transport their vehicles.

Understanding Different Types of Car Carriers

Car carriers come in various shapes and sizes, each with its own unique features and advantages. The two most common types are:

1. Open Trailers: These trailers are open to the elements and can carry multiple vehicles. They are suitable for non-expensive or delicate vehicles and are cost-effective and efficient.

- Single-Level Trailers: Carry up to 5 to 6 cars and are used when there are height or weight restrictions or when the vehicle is oversized.

- Double-Level Trailers: Carry up to 10 to 12 cars and are used to transport more vehicles at once, saving time and money.

2. Enclosed Trailers: These trailers provide a fully enclosed environment, protecting high-end or delicate vehicles from the elements and potential damage.

- Hard-Sided Trailers: Have a metal shell and offer complete protection from weather and road debris.

- Soft-Sided Trailers: Have a canvas or vinyl top and offer partial protection.

Other types of car carriers include flatbed trailers, used for oversized vehicles or construction equipment, and lowboy trailers, used for heavy machinery or oversized vehicles like buses or trucks.

Common Industry Terminology

Understanding common industry terminology is essential for effective communication. Here are some important terms to know:

- Broker: Intermediary between customers and carriers, handling logistics and paperwork.

- Carrier: Company transporting vehicles from one location to another.

- Customer: Individuals or businesses requiring vehicle transportation.

- Door-to-Door: Premium service where the carrier picks up and delivers the vehicle directly to the specified locations.

- First Available Pickup Date: Earliest date a carrier is available to pick up the vehicle.

- Delivery Date: Scheduled date for the carrier to deliver the vehicle.

- ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival, based on pickup and delivery locations and carrier's schedule.

- Deposit: Sum of money paid by the customer to secure transportation.

- Carrier Pay: Amount carriers receive for transporting vehicles.

- Cash on Delivery (COD): Payment method where the customer pays the carrier in cash upon delivery.

- Bill of Lading: Legal document serving as proof of shipment and outlining the terms of the agreement.

- Quote: Price estimate for the transportation of a vehicle.

- Lead: Potential customers interested in shipping their vehicle.

- Order: Request from a customer to transport their vehicle.

How the Industry Works

Understanding how the car shipping industry operates is crucial. The process involves shippers, carriers, and brokers:

1. Shippers: Individuals or businesses needing to transport vehicles.

2. Carriers: Companies physically transporting vehicles using their own equipment.

3. Brokers: Intermediaries connecting shippers with carriers, and managing logistics and paperwork.

Communication, coordination, and effective updates are vital throughout the transportation process.

Role of an Agent/Broker in the Industry