- Is my quote guaranteed?
- Can I ship personal items in my vehicle?
- Is my shipment insured during transit?
- What is the process if my vehicle is damaged during shipment?
- What classifies a vehicle as being inoperable or oversize?
- How do I pay for my service?
- What factors go into identifying the first available truck and how long will it take?
- How long will my shipment be in-transit?
- Since pickup and delivery times are not guaranteed, how will I know when the truck will arrive?
- What is door-to-door service?
- What is the difference between a trucking company and a broker and why should I use a broker?
- Are you able to accommodate a pickup or delivery at a port?
Is my quote guaranteed?
There are many factors that go into giving you a shipping quote – which is an estimate. While automated quoting is programmed to be as accurate as possible, there are factors that the automated system cannot see, such as real time volume on the particular route, seasonal changes, environmental factors as well as industry changes and actual shipment description. We strive to keep our automated pricing as close as possible to what it will ship for but please keep in mind that quotes will sometimes need to be adjusted by a representative. You will always be informed of the accurate price and will be given the chance to accept it prior to shipping. You should never count on a quote that you received more than 3 weeks prior to shipping.
Can I ship personal items in my vehicle?
This is not permitted by the Federal Department of Transportation. Carriers can be fined $10,000 for carrying household goods without proper and legal authority. In addition, these items are not covered by a carrier’s insurance and any damage or theft is not covered. Under no circumstances can a vehicle contain firearms, hazardous materials, illegal substances, or contraband.
Is my shipment insured during transit?
Absolutely! Carriers are required by law to have a minimum of $750,000 liability insurance and we require carriers to have up to $350,000 cargo insurance to be eligible for dispatch.
What is the process if my vehicle is damaged during shipment?
If you believe that damage occurred during the shipping of your automobile, you will need to work through the system properly to ensure that your claim will be processed promptly. Begin by calling us immediately. If you notice damage at the time of delivery make sure to document this on your bill of lading and again, both your signature and that of your driver represents the acknowledgement of the actual condition at pickup and at delivery. We will use the inspection report to compare and verify the condition of your automobile before and after transit. Make sure the driver understands that the damage is new and was not documented at the pickup location on the original bill of lading. The new damage must be documented on the bill of lading that you sign at the time of delivery. All damage should be noted and marked clearly and then signed by you and countersigned by the driver. When you contact us, we will facilitate the arbitration with our carrier. Usually, damages we see are minor and are typically less than the carrier’s deductible, so these are settled quickly. For more extensive damage, a filing must go to the carrier’s insurance company, an adjuster will be sent to your location to prepare an estimate, and the insurance company will begin processing the claim. Do not begin any repairs, however, until you are authorized by the insurance company to do so. Be aware that, in most cases we have only 30 days to file a claim and if not reported to us within this 30 day limit, we cannot hold the carrier responsible for any damage that might have occurred.
What classifies a vehicle as being inoperable or oversize?
An inoperable vehicle is any vehicle that cannot be loaded onto the trailer under its own power. Special equipment is required and extra fees apply, therefore an inoperable vehicle must be declared at the time the order is placed.
Oversized vehicles include any lift kits, dual rear wheels, oversize tires and roof racks as well as any other oversize modifications. Special equipment may be required and additional fees may apply. An oversize vehicle must be declared at the time the order is placed.
How do I pay for my service?
Payment can be made by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
What factors go into identifying the first available truck and how long will it take?
Identifying the first available truck takes many factors into account. First, what level of service did you choose? Discount, standard or expedited? The national average for standard shipping is 1-7 days from the first available date to get a truck assigned. Obviously some routes are going to be faster and some slower depending on how much volume is on the route, weather, etc. You will also want to consider how far off the ‘beaten path’ a pickup or delivery location is as that will influence a driver’s willingness to take the shipment. Discount shipping can take a bit longer at times – we are trying to find a driver who is stuck in an area and willing to take a reduced rate to get where he/she really wants to be. Expedited shipping generally gets picked up much faster as the higher rate will entice a driver to go out of their way or to forgo other loads that are closer to get the higher rate.
Please keep in mind that no matter what level of service you choose, we cannot guarantee a pickup date as there are too many variables that go into transportation logistics but it will be on the first available truck in the area that is headed the right direction with the appropriate equipment to handle your shipment safely and legally.
How long will my shipment be in-transit?
Delivery time is based on the distance it is traveling as well as how many stops the truck has to make along the way. As a general rule of thumb you can count on approximately 300 miles per day. This takes into account other stops the truck has to make, log-book restrictions as well as mandatory down time for the drivers. Just as we cannot guarantee a pickup date, we also cannot guarantee a delivery date. Drivers have a wide range of factors to deal with on the road. They may have other customers that may be uncooperative, traffic, weather, mechanical issues, etc., that they have no control over and therefore cannot guarantee a delivery date.
Since pickup and delivery times are not guaranteed, how will I know when the truck will arrive?
You will be notified when the truck has been assigned and will be given the estimated pickup and delivery dates. The driver will then call in advance to schedule the pickup or delivery more specifically. Please don’t change your schedule or feel obligated to sit around and wait for him/her on the ‘estimated date’ but plan to make yourself available when it is your turn. The driver will call at least a few hours in advance to let you know when they will be there. You may have a trusted representative (over the age of 18) take your place.
What is door-to-door service?
Door-to-door service means that the truck will pick up and deliver to the address provided as long as they can safely and legally get to the door. Keep in mind that the trucks can be up to 75 feet long and not only do they require a large space to maneuver around, the route will need to be free of low hanging wires and tree limbs and corners wide enough for them to get around. Many residential areas have restrictions that do not allow large commercial vehicles. If the truck is not able to get to the exact pickup or delivery location, you will need to meet them at a large parking lot nearby where it is safe for them to get into. Keep in mind that even if it is legal to go into a residential neighborhood, it is up to the driver whether or not he is comfortable doing so since he is responsible for the safety of the truck as well as the load.
What is the difference between a trucking company and a broker and why should I use a broker?
A carrier is the actual trucking company who takes physical possession of your shipment and transports it from point A to point B. Generally a carrier is an independent owner-operator who is only able to service a few routes and utilizes the service of a broker to schedule shipments. A broker has access to thousands of these independent carriers and can service the entire country. No one carrier has enough trucks to be everywhere at all times but by working with the entire network that a broker has access to, we can find the right carrier to complete your shipment. A broker is also responsible to verify the carrier’s legal authority and insurance as well as their safety rating with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety administration. We also have access to a carrier’s industry reputation.
Are you able to accommodate a pickup or delivery at a port?
Yes, we can accommodate port locations; however an extra fee may apply due to access restrictions that trucks face at port facilities.
Finally, please understand that freight logistics, whether it is a car, motorcycle, pallet of crates, or a D-8 Caterpillar, is not like UPS, Fed-Ex or the USPS. There are 43,000 zip codes in the United States – the logistics involved with getting a properly equipped truck in one specific zip code that is going to another specific zip code can take time and patience. Weather and road conditions can present challenges to pickup and delivery schedules as well as traffic problems and mechanical issues. Ironically, the most frequent delays we see occur at the pickup location when the shipment is not ready to be released or the shipment has been misrepresented and the assigned carrier is not properly equipped to handle the shipment. When this happens, it will delay every pickup and delivery along the way, as well as incur additional charges. Please do your part to make sure your shipment is ready and be patient knowing that you have a team of professionals working to get your shipment completed in the timeliest manner possible.