Auto transport carriers, or simply auto transporters, are companies that provide the trucks, facilities, and services for the actual transport of vehicles. There are two basic types of auto transport carriers: the private carriers and the for-hire carriers. Both types are required to register with the Federal Highway Administration before they can operate.
The services and rates offered by auto transport carriers are certainly enticing, especially if you have grown tired of dealing with auto transport brokers. For one, you can cut costs by eliminating the service charge of the middleman. And since these companies actually own the trucks and provide the services for auto transportation, they may be able to give a more definite delivery schedule than most brokers can. You can also be sure that your vehicle will be insured by the actual company you are dealing with–a guarantee that can never be given by a broker.
Although there are advantages to dealing with carriers directly, this is not always feasible for several reasons. One reason is service flexibility. Auto transport carriers usually transport vehicles only on a specific route at a definite schedule, allowing them to service only shippers whose itinerary corresponds to their routes and schedules. Carriers also often charge a fixed rate for their services – a thing that many shippers may find disadvantageous.
Because their fixed routes and schedules do not provide them with a large customer base, and their inflexible rates would not entice many either, auto transporters often find it impractical to advertise their businesses. Instead, they rely on auto transport brokers to provide them with the shipping load that they transport. And because of this, most carriers would just stay in the background during an auto transport deal – you still need to talk to a broker.