While researching companies, you should be able to acquire each company’s USDOT Number (United States Department of Transport) and their FMCSA licensing (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If these are not readily available on a company’s website (check headers and footers of the main page) or they are unable to provide them to you over the phone, move on to the next candidate.
Request a Quote
Request quotes from the companies that have passed your licensing checks. Be sure to ask as many questions as you need to to obtain a firm understanding of the company’s specific procedures and of the shipping process in general.
Select a Logistics Specialist & Settle Terms
Your Shipping agent will assist you with contracting the best possible transporter who is able to meet your requirements as closely as possible within the given timeframe. At this time you will settle terms of payment, insurance information and contracts
Prep your Vehicle for transport
Ask your agent for a comprehensive list for vehicle preparations for transit. This list will include washing your vehicle, disarming your alarms and toll tags, ensuring you gas tank is no more than 1/4 full, removing customisations and checking tire pressure.
Confirm your Pick-Up
It’s always best to be personally proactive when it comes to Auto Shipping. Confirm your pick-up with your driver or agent at least one day prior to your scheduled load date. As dates and times cannot be guaranteed, due to the numerous factors that can affect a Carrier’s progress on the road, it’s always recommended to acquire an update on their projected timeline 24 hours prior to your pick-up so that contingencies can be implemented when necessary.
Take photos of your vehicle
Document the condition of your vehicle with digital photographs; both of the exterior and interior. If you’re taking extra luggage, make sure to photograph this as well and list it within the Bill of Lading prior to signing it. This luggage is always transported at your own risk as it is not covered by the Carrier’s insurance. Check with your own insurance Carrier to confirm whether or not these items would be covered under your own insurance policy while in transit with an Auto Shipping Carrier.
There must be someone present to release the vehicle to the carrier and to sign the initial inspection reports. If you cannot be present, you would need to authorize someone to be available on your behalf. Details for this person must be provided to your Auto Shipping Specialist prior to the pick-up date.
As dates and times are only estimates, it’s important to have some flexibility in your schedule. Load times may need to be adjusted if your driver has been held up en route. If your original pick-up location proves to be inaccessible to the truck, you may also need to drive your vehicle to a nearby locality; such as a shopping mall parking area.
Bill of Lading (BoL)
On pick-up day, you and your driver need to inspect your vehicle. The driver makes note of any pre-existing damage in the BoL. Once the driver has finished the inspection, both you and the driver with need to sign the document stating agreement with the findings.
Load ’n Lock
After you car is loaded, make sure to lock it. There should be little reason for it to be unlocked again until delivery. Some circumstances may require vehicles on the trailer to be rearranged, but these cases are rare.
As a driver’s progress on the road is vulnerable to many factors that could cause delays, it’s best to seek updates from your Shipping Agent or your Transport Company’s Dispatch office. Should you wish to communicate with your driver, it’s recommended to use text messaging and to request a call-back once it’s safe for your driver to talk.
More and more Carrier companies are investing in GPS tracking systems for their trucks. This allows you to gain real-time information about the location of your shipment at any given time.
Be Flexible and Available
As with your pick-up, a delivery will require some flexibility with your schedule and the ability to be present to receive your vehicle.
Once your vehicle is unloaded, both you and your driver will do another inspection. This will certify whether or not your car sustained any damage during its transport.
It’s important to retake photographs in the presence of the driver so that any new scratches or damage can be verified.
Sign-off on the Bill of Lading
Make sure the receiving condition of your vehicle is documented in the BoL prior to signing it. Ensure the driver also acknowledges the condition of the vehicle in this document with their personal signature.
Should you have any questions, feel free to touch base with a Yellowfin Shipping Specialist at any time. We are ready and waiting to address any questions and concerns you may have. Your Advisor will be available to you throughout the duration of your shipment to ensure you have access to the expertise necessary for a professional and streamlined shipping experience.