In the auto transport industry, there are two types of companies: auto transporters, who are the drivers of the transport trucks, and brokers, who organize the transport between you and the auto transporters as well as handle all the paperwork and most of the money. Many people wonder why brokers are important, but if you ask us the main reason why is that they provide an essential link between the auto transporters and the customers. Brokerages take a lot of time to find customers for the different auto transporters out there – time that auto transporters just don’t have, as they’re too busy moving cars to stop and work on their advertising. Some larger auto transporters, especially those within fleets, can afford to advertise straight to customers, but the vast majority of auto transporters are small companies with just one or two trucks.
Rules on auto transporters are very strict – whether it’s a simple one-man operation or an entire fleet of auto transporters, federal laws are rather strict. An entire administration was created to oversee the auto transport industry called the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. Auto transporters are required to carry a minimum of $750,000 worth of insurance – most carry $1 million, just to be on the safe side. The last thing that auto transporters want are insurance claims. They strive hard to protect your vehicle during transport.
Auto transporters communicate with brokerages through a website called Central Dispatch. It is a website designed just for brokers and carriers – brokers can call auto transporters to see if they want to take loads, and auto transporters can call brokerages looking to book loads. Most auto transporters work on specific routes, so many brokerages have relationships with often-used auto transporters on popular routes. However, it’s important to know that few auto transporters travel into sparsely populated regions – North Dakota is particularly difficult to dispatch freight in and out of, as few people live there, therefore few people want auto transporters to move their cars.
There are many auto transporters who only work during the summer months, as many more people are looking for transport during those months. With the sun out all the time and school out for the summer, it’s the perfect opportunity for families to move to a new state – there are many other reasons, but the fact is that the summer is the busiest time for auto transporters. During the winter months, the only busy routes are through California and from New England down to Florida – other people obviously ship during the winter, but some auto transporters who work smaller routes don’t even work during the winter months, as there are too few loads on their particular route.
Brokerages also help with organizing transport during the winter months. Some brokerages are closed as well – usually smaller ones. But larger companies, especially those with relationships with auto transporters, can move cars year-round. The more you know, the better you can prepare your auto transport and find auto transporters any time of the year.