Transporting Vehicles: Things to Consider When Shipping

Transporting Vehicles: Things to Consider When Shipping
January 19, 2021 Chrissy Goodwin
Cargo used for Transporting vehicles

Shipping a vehicle is a great way to move it from its point of origin to a destination securely and with less wear and tear. While transporting vehicles is popular for cars that are condition-sensitive, such as classic or collectors’ vehicles, it can be a necessity for your everyday needs as well. This is especially true if there are too many vehicles to drive (like when moving across the country using a rental truck), or when you need to transport your car by air or sea.

Shipping a vehicle, however, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There is a range of options available to tailor your car’s long-distance transport to your specific needs.


Considerations When Transporting Your Vehicle

There are several factors to weigh when you choose to ship your car. These will determine not just the method of conveyance, but the specifics of how it is conveyed.

  • Condition – While all transport companies will do their best to preserve your vehicle’s state, some vehicles, like high-cost sports cars, are highly condition-sensitive and can merit a higher level of protection than a family sedan with high-mileage and parking lot “dings.”
  • Price – You will find that the cost of transporting vehicles varies depending on the options you choose. You may find yourself looking for a happy middle ground between budget and bells and whistles.
  • Time Frame – Shipping a car or any vessel takes time, but there are faster and slower modes of transport available. Expedited service can come at a premium.
  • Paperwork – Contracting with each carrier yourself can leave you juggling multiple contracts, and international shipping involves the paperwork required for the import/export process. Even domestically, some vehicles may need special paperwork to operate in a new state, such as electric vehicles.

White truck on a long distance transport

Modes of Long Distance Car Transport

How your vehicle reaches its destination can vary. The route you choose might be based on necessity, convenience, or budget, and can affect the timeline for your vehicle to be delivered. It’s best to understand the pros and cons of each method of transporting vehicles so you can make a more informed decision.

  • Land – The simplest and often cheapest route for transporting vehicles when possible is over land. Road travel is fairly fast and there are numerous carriers and options available to give you the perfect blend of care and cost-effectiveness. Unfortunately, not all trips can be traveled by road alone, so this option isn’t always a viable choice.
  • SeaSea transport takes longer than road transport but is often the next cheapest option, and a common choice for those who need to ship their vehicle overseas, such as executives being transferred to a foreign office or military personnel. This mode of transport sees your vehicle loaded onto a cargo ship at an export port and delivered to an import port where it’s unloaded and picked up.
  • AirTransporting vehicles by air is the fastest and, often, the most expensive option. It can be used for both domestic and international shipping, with the possibility of a shorter journey to drop-off or pick-up the vehicle depending on cargo airport availability.
  • Blended – For many people, more than a single shipping method is needed. They may need ground transportation to an airport or seaport at the originating location, while at the end of the journey ground transport is again needed to pick the vehicle up and move it to the final destination.

Transport Options

When transporting vehicles, the carrier will do its best to prevent damage and keep your vehicle safe, but there are several ways to ship a vehicle that affect the level of safety and security offered.

  • Open – Open transport is often cheaper but may not offer your car the protection it needs. In open transport, the vehicle is loaded onto the back of an open trailer or pulled onto the deck of a transport ship and secured. This may leave it more open to the elements, but it does allow cost-efficient transportation that doesn’t put additional wear-and tear on your daily driver.
  • Closed – Closed transport is a more secure method for transporting vehicles, seeing your vehicle loaded into an enclosed trailer, a shipping container with other vehicles or property, or into the back of an airplane. It costs more, but your vehicle is more protected from the elements, potential vandals, and other shipping hazards.
  • Single Vehicle Container – Single container shipping is the most secure mode of transport for condition-sensitive vehicles. Your car is loaded into its own container, with no other vehicles or cargo.

Working With a Vehicle Shipping Company

When you need to ship a vehicle, it can be tempting to begin transporting vehicles on your own. While it’s possible to do for longer trips, especially those crossing international borders, working with a reliable vehicle logistics partner can be a far better option. This takes a lot of the stress of arranging transport off your plate while engaging experts who can make your vehicle’s journey seamless.

Experienced shipping service not only has access to the equipment or carriers you’ll need to see your vehicle safely transported, but the connections to get you better prices and ease the transition of your goods across borders. They can manage customs and import requirements, and provide the guidance you need to prepare your vehicle for safe transport while advising you of the best method of transport to meet your budget and safety considerations. They’ll also be licensed and insured to protect your investment in the case of negligence, giving you the peace of mind you need for shipping a high-value resource like your vehicle.

Delivering Your Vehicle Safely

With the right planning and care, you can transport your vehicle safely to its destination. Just understand your requirements for the trip and don’t be afraid to approach experts for help with transporting vehicles. To get started, reach out to our team at Trans Global Auto Logistics to learn more and get a quote.

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