The First Choice companies specialize in automotive transportation and logistics. Our strength is our commitment to excellence in customer service, quality drivers, and delivering in a timely and safe manner. After nearly 25 years of service, our staff has helped countless companies, families, dealerships, auctions, and individuals move their vehicles safely and efficiently.
First Choice began in 1992 with a handful of drivers and a dream. Today we have 20+ drivers leased and safely moving freight. Our growing commitment to better serve our customers has lead to the creation of our brokering service, which now handles the overflow of industry-related freight.
The future is very bright at First Choice. Our goal is to create more opportunities to inspire the next generation of leadership in automotive transportation and logistics.
Hiring an auto transport company requires some due diligence and understanding of how the industry works before making a decision. The process can be daunting if you don’t know where to start or where to get accurate information. This article will cover the basics and the role that shippers, carriers and brokers play in the process of transporting a vehicle.
One of the most important distinctions to understand is the difference (and occasionally, the overlap) between an auto transport broker and a carrier. The customer or person having a vehicle transported is also known as a shipper.
What Is An Auto Transport Broker?
Auto transport brokers don’t have their own transport carriers and typically are not the companies that will transport vehicles. Brokers facilitate auto transportation by connecting customers (shippers) with the carriers that offer the specific services requested. Brokers are also known as non-asset based carriers, intermediaries or third-party logistics providers.
The advantage of using a broker instead of a carrier is that you have more options because of their existing network of auto carriers. If you deal directly with an auto transport carrier, they may not have the necessary equipment when you need it, or may not have licensing in all the states required to move your vehicle where it needs to go. A broker does the leg work of finding a carrier that meets these criteria and can sometimes get a more competitive rate by creating competition between carriers on behalf of the shipper.
The downside to dealing with a broker is that there are some questionable companies in the industry. Auto transport is a multi billion dollar industry and technology--specifically, the internet--has created a low barrier to entry into the business, which has led to some unethical practices.
What Is An Auto Transport Carrier?
A carrier is the company that owns the trucks and employs the movers that do the labor of transporting a vehicle. One benefit of using a carrier is that you are dealing directly with the company (and maybe even the person) who will be transporting your vehicle, essentially eliminating the “middle man.”
It’s important to keep in mind that some carriers may not be able to transport an auto since licensing and legal requirements differ from state to state. Dealing strictly with a carrier can sometimes limit you in terms of availability, method of transport and time of delivery. Dealing directly with a carrier can sometimes mean a higher cost because of the lack of competing bids for the service.
Auto Transport Companies That Are Brokers and Carriers
Some auto transport companies are both brokers and carriers. These companies can transport vehicles, as well as broker a deal between a shipper and a carrier if there’s not a carrier available to handle the job. This is what First Choice does. We like our customers to only have to make one call to ship their car. If we don’t have a truck available, we will find one for you!
Our recommendation is to avoid using companies that require a deposit. Most likely they can’t move your car for as cheaply as they say they can, and if you cancel your order, you could lose your deposit. A reputable company can keep their timeline and conditions consistent from your initial quote, to the delivery of your vehicle! Should you have additional concerns when selecting a transportation carrier, every broker has an MC number as required by the United States Department of Transportation. On Safersys.org you can research the MC number that is given to you.