Yellowfin’s Logistics Experts are trained to provide only the most cost-efficient and reliable auto transport options available. However, for the Do-It-Yourself enthusiasts in our shipping community, we’ve put together this handy checklist to aid you in identifying the best Carriers for your next Auto Shipping project.
CHECK THAT THEY’RE REGISTERED
All car transport services need to be registered with the Department of Transport (DOT) and must have a DOT number. Carriers that operate interstate are also required to be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and will be issued with a 6-digit MC Docket number and a 7-digit USDOT number. You can check on the validity of any Carrier’s registration by entering their MC Docket number into the ‘Carrier Search’ field on this site.
Avoid any Carrier, or Broker, that doesn’t display their MC Docket number on their website.
MAKE SURE THEY’RE BONDED AND INSURED
As the insurance coverage of your vehicle will be held by the Carrier, it’s important to know what coverage your car will have while it’s being shipped. All Carriers must carry a valid insurance certificate and should be able to present it when asked. Enquire as to the details of their policy; whether your entire vehicle is covered and whether or not you would be required to pay a deductible if damage occurs.
CHECK ONLINE REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS
Although it’s most often the case that people will make more of an effort to write negative reviews rather than positive, it’s always good to spend some time researching a company’s online reputation. A lot more can be said of a company from how they respond to the reviews they receive than can be deduced from the actual review itself.
TRANSPORTERS DIFFER WIDELY ON THE SERVICES THEY OFFER
Some Transporters will only operate regionally while others may be licensed to operate interstate or nationwide. Auto Transporters may also have restrictions on the size and type of vehicle they’re registered to transport. Most companies will offer a free shipping quote, so be sure to provide as much information as possible in order that they can assess whether or not your requirements fall within the range of services they are able to provide.
COMPARE THEIR PRICES
Another benefit of requesting numerous shipping quotations is that you will be able to compare pricing between companies. Many people assume that by having a Broker facilitate your transport, your cost will increase. This is rarely the case. In fact Brokers, by the very nature of their expertise, function as price-regulators. This means that Carriers are less likely to place unnecessarily excessive charges on an order when cooperating with Brokers on a customer’s shipment.
ENQUIRE ABOUT DAMAGE PROTOCOL & CLAIMS ASSISTANCE
Prior to hiring any company, it would be prudent to enquire about the standard procedures they follow should damage occur. Get clear on what they would require from you at any point in the process. It’s much easier to process a successful claim if protocols have been followed by all parties involved. These protocols are usually outlined in a company’s Terms and Conditions. If they’re not, be sure to get it in writing before pick-up.
Although some Carriers may provide comprehensive customer support, most brokers will offer Claims Assistance services for their customers. Having a Broker in your corner during an emergency situation is its weight worth in gold.
ASSESS THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE
A great Auto Transportation Service needs to be customer-centric. The Logistics Industry relies on the efficient collaboration between various teams of people. With so many moving parts working together, it’s imperative that the customer is able to reach a primary point of contact at any moment during the shipping process. How courteous, user-friendly and proficient their contact centre, the better it can indicate the kind of service you can expect throughout the shipping process.