There are several reason to use a terminal. Mostly for snowbird customers going to and from Florida from New England. Newenglandtoflorida.com website for American Transport has 9 terminals in Florida and 1 terminal in Massachusetts home base.
City in Massachusetts – Worcester
The cities I have in Florida:
West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Naples, Ft Myers, Sarasota, Port Charlotte, Tampa and Orlando.
Why are terminals important for snowbirds usually they have two cars. They drop one off at my terminal in Worcester, Mass a week or 2 before they are flying down. The car is shipped down to the terminal that you choose. When you get off the airplane you can take a taxi to the location, have a friend pick you up or I can arrange to have you picked up.
The same can be done coming back.
Transporting vehicles takes time and there are several delays that can happen. Trucks do not leave empty must be filled to make money, truck breaks down, overweight must fix load at weight station, have other stops along the way, traffic on I 95 can be crazy so you can see there is a lot. Remember this is 1500 miles not going right around the corner, so a lot IS involved with this transport.
If you book your car with a broker(middleman) they will usually post it on a Transport load board as cheap as possible and the first real trucking company that comes along gets it. This is bad for you and the trucking company. It’s bad for you, the customer, because you are over paying the broker to Carriers your car, so that he can pay himself and the Transport company. Its also bad when you call the broker to find out where your car is and he can’t give you an answer. He has to call the Transport to find out anything about your car, this makes it more frustrating for everyone. It’s bad for the Transport because he is being under paid for the work he is doing. What happens when a Transport is underpaid? First thing is the quality of service goes down. Second, is the Transport has to get cheaper insurance to be able to afford to keep his business afloat. This effects you because the insurance coverage of your vehicle is not as good.
The way we solve this problem is putting you in direct contact with the Transport company. By going direct, you are paying the Transport more than if you go through a broker and you, the customer, are paying less because there is no middle man. There are some good brokers in the industry, but this industry has had so many fly by night brokerages go in and out of this industry, that its given the brokers a really bad name. Several of the large brokers charge the customer and never pay the trucking company. Then the trucking company holds the customers car until they get paid. In so many cases the customer ends up paying twice. AMERICAN TRANSPORT IS BOTH A BROKER/CARRIER WHICH MEANS WE DO BOTH. SORRY I DO NOT LOW BALL AS I KNOW HOW MUCH IT COST TO BE A CARRIER.
Pros and Cons of Auto Transport Carriers and Auto Transport Brokers
The benefit of using a broker for Auto Transport is selection. A broker has ties with individual pre-approved Auto Transport or know where to post the vehicle online for any Transport to select. When using a carrier instead of a broker, you would be responsible for contacting the Auto Transport individually for Car Shipping.
When transporting a Auto, most Auto Transporter companies give the option of either picking up or dropping off your Auto right at your front door, or picking up the Auto and dropping it off at a nearby terminal. The convenience of door-to-door Auto Shipping generally comes with a higher price tag than dropping off and picking up your Auto at a terminal. The biggest issue with door-to-door Auto Shippers service is that you have to be available when the driver is in town. One of the positives of dropping at a terminal, you can drop off and pick up your Auto when you are ready. One of the biggest complaints about terminals is damage. Having your Auto on a busy lot increases the chance of Vehicle Shipper damages. If you can make yourself available then we would always recommend door-to-door Auto Transport over terminal. Newenglandtoflorida can offer both terminal and door to door service
Beware the Auto Transport Quote Rip-off
Here are a few things to look out for when shipping your car:
1. Beware the ultra low quote and things that sound to good to be true. Dishonest companies will do anything to get their hands on your credit card numbers and you could face big problems. Ask yourself…would I haul somebody’s car for .25 cents a mile? Not unless you are desperate! Good transports don’t need to work for low pay but poor quality transports will take almost anything they can get their hands on and if you go with ultra low quotes THAT is who will be carrying your car. BAD BAD news…
2. Giving a deposit before a truck is assigned to your vehicle is a big NO-NO. Booking your car weeks in advance is another. Some dishonest trucking companies will gladly take your money upfront and then ignore your car. It happens EVERYDAY somewhere in the USA. Loads get cancelled and delayed constantly in this industry and the further out you book the more likely it is that your car will sit and you won’t get it picked up or delivered when you expected. It’s as simple as that.
3. So you call for a quote and the price is just soooo low and you’re liking it and eager to book your car at that price and then comes the CONTRACT. Yes, the dreaded contract MUST be signed, so they say. Yes, they do need it signed and returned but not for the reasons you think. Many of those auto shipping companies use contracts to protect themselves, not you OR your car. Take a very very close look at the terms you are agreeing to. Often times the contracts are written in a way for the dishonest transport to keep your credit card deposit. Their car shipping quote suddenly needs “priority” upgrading or other nonsense which forces you to spend more money. Or you cancel with them and they get to keep your deposit. Then you decide to hire a lawyer to get some fair treatment and the lawyer informs you all disputes must be held in their local court system forcing you to travel. These are just a few tricks they use to get your money. They can’t wait for you to just go away and not bother them about moving your car. Many people actually do. They give up. Some even go to the next company and cross their fingers it doesn’t happen again. One way to find honest brokers and dispatchers is to visit the Better Business Bureau. Avoid the online transport reviews websites. Most are surviving by accepting advertising money from transport companies. Does that tell you anything? The information they offer is custom tailored and often tainted to hurt the transport companies that DON’T give them ad dollars.
If you’ve ever tried getting your car shipped, then you know that the competition is fierce. And while competition isn’t a bad thing per se, it certainly can be in some contexts. Case in point is the auto transport industry. There are over 1,000 active auto transport brokers in the US, and the vast majority of them are less than a year old. The reason why there are so many brokers is because the barriers to entry in this field (namely a $10,00 surety bond) are relatively low. But changes in the regulation of freight brokeraging now require brokers to hold a substantially higher bond, which should have the effect of pushing out some of the smaller, less experienced, and, dare I say, less professional brokers. Other costs of operation will increase as well, putting the squeeze on the smaller guys. So as a customer, you can expect a more friendly and professional sales experience, which is certainly a welcome change. The change was made Oct 1, 2013. However, FMCSA gave a 2 month grace period so as of Dec 1, 2013 everyone had to have the 75K bond in place. This was do to the massive fraud that was happening in the industry to customers and also carriers. American Transport is both a carrier and broker.
Higher Barriers to Entry for Auto Transport Brokers