WHAT ARE SOME OF THE KEY CHALLENGES OF THE AUTO TRANSPORT AND VEHICLE LOGISTICS SECTOR?
Car transport is a sector notoriously riddled with logistical challenges, from short lead-times, to multi-drop routes, and disputes over the condition of delivered vehicles, route planning and logistics management for auto transport can be complex and time-consuming.
DISPUTES OVER VEHICLE CONDITION
Just what every car transport logistics manager dreads: the complaint of a scratch or dent on a newly delivered, pristine car. We make sure every driver goes over the bill of lading at pick up and delivery with our customers
MULTI-STOP ROUTE PLANNING
Another key complexity of planning and managing logistics for the car transport industry, is that routes must take into account multiple pick up and drop off locations. With drivers often making multiple stops during a run, and on the road for a week or more, our customers need to be totally flexible.
The car transport industry is fast-paced and transient – a call from a client can come in requiring a next-day pickup and drop off, even whilst the diver is on the road.
CONFUSING (OR NON-EXISTANT) DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS
With various drivers picking up and delivering to multiple locations for a range of clients, it can be hard to keep track of location- and job- specific instructions. ‘Always approach from the A64’, ‘Ask for Dave’, ‘Use the second gate’ can all get lost if jotted down on paper, or when drivers are switched. With Enterprise job-specific and location-specific notes are entered by our back-office staff as they take an order entering the information via the dispatch sheet for increased efficiency.
MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS WITH AUTO RETAILERS AND CAR DEALERSHIPS
For autotransporters with various clients, competition can be tough. By maintaining great relationships with manufacturers and retailers, Enterprise Auto Transport is able to gain repeat custom, and a great reputation.
Common Problems During Auto Transport
Your vehicle is one of your most valuable and prized possessions, so trusting it in the hands of auto shippers when you’re relocating can be a stressful, harrowing experience. When you’re moving, you are often under a lot of pressure, with many tasks to take care of in a certain time frame. If you are under specific time constraints, you may be dependent on your vehicle arriving at its destination by a certain date, unscathed without spending a fortune–moving costs enough as it is! With so much at stake, you will want to hire auto movers that can get your car to you quickly, safely and at a great price.
Unfortunately, there are numerous factors involved in auto shipping and many ways that things can go awry. This guide describes some of the common problems that arise during vehicle transport, how you can deal with them, and how to prevent them.
One of the most common problems to arise during auto shipping is delayed delivery. While car shippers do their best to provide customers with an accurate date of expected delivery, there are many factors that can contribute to a late shipment. Unexpected traffic jams, extreme weather, mechanical trouble, accidents or a flat tire can all hold up your car’s delivery. Additionally, since trailers are often carrying eight to ten vehicles at any given time, late customers and paperwork can also cause late shipments.
Because of the likelihood of delays, auto shippers will rarely provide you with an exact date and time for delivery. Be wary of any company that does. Car movers will typically estimate your delivery within a three-day window. If there is any occurrence that will delay your shipment, the shipper will contact you as soon as possible with your new expected date of delivery. Some companies may offer you a discount if you car is late by more than three days, but it shouldn’t be expected.
Occasionally, an incorrect quote may be given due to a misunderstanding about your location. For instance, if there are two cities in the same state with very similar names, located several hundred miles apart, this can cause a variance of hundreds of dollars in your estimate. When speaking with an auto carrier or broker, make sure to reiterate the zip codes of your pick-up and delivery locations to ensure you are being quoted the correct price (not to mention avoiding your car being delivered to the wrong city!).
Hiring an auto-transport broker to find a carrier for you to ship your vehicle can sometimes make the process easier, but can also lead to miscommunication. The third-party broker will be handling all communication between the carrier and the customer–while this may take the responsibility off of you, it can increase the risk of misunderstandings or delays.
If the carrier needs any information about your vehicle or the pick-up location and cannot reach your broker, they may remove your vehicle from their list and continue on with their shipment. Your broker will now have to find a new carrier to transport your vehicle, which will only set back your progress and prolong your expected date of delivery. Make sure to be in touch with your broker or carrier to prevent any delays due to poor communication.
Auto transport companies have common routes that they travel for frequent business. If you require pick-up or delivery from an off-route location, you may incur extra charges or a slower delivery. Picking your vehicle up at a terminal, rather than requiring door-to-door delivery, will likely shorten your wait and lessen your expenses. Be sure to inquire about extra charges for your out-of-the-way origin or destination locations before hiring any company, so you can prevent a surprise hike in your price later.
Another common mishap that can occur during transport is damage to your vehicle. When your car arrives, be sure to thoroughly inspect it in a well-lit area for any scratches, dent, cracked glass or any other damage. Don’t forget to check the roof and under the bumpers–these areas are often overlooked.
If you find any new damage that wasn’t there when your car was picked up, make a note of it on the Original Inspection Report (also known as the Bill of Lading). Then have the delivery driver sign the document–you will have trouble filing a claim later if the driver doesn’t sign the document before leaving.
Next, you will want to contact your shipper with your complaint. They will likely ask you to send them the Original Inspection Report, photos of your damage, and a copy of an estimate on the damages from your mechanic. If the company does not respond to your claim with an offer for resolution, you may want to contact the Better Business Bureau to prompt the company to quickly resolve the matter.
Additionally, make sure you inquire about the shipper’s standard insurance coverage and the cost for additional insurance before enlisting their services. You can also purchase shipping coverage from your current car insurance provider. For more on insurance for auto shipping, click here.
Bait and switch estimates
Like any other moving service, the auto transport industry is often plagued by fraud and scam– the most common being the bait-and-switch estimate. This occurs when a company offers an unusually low quote for their service, then tacks on an array of “hidden fees” that raise the price astronomically. When the customer disputes the cost, the company refuses delivery until the amount is paid in full.
You can avoid falling victim to scams by thoroughly researching your auto mover before hiring them. Check their record on the website for the Better Business Bureau, read online reviews, ask for customer references, request the company’s MC number and verify it on the FMCSA website These steps will help you be sure that you are hiring an honest, reputable auto mover to ship your vehicle.