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Of the many things that you can ship with a simple flat-rate fee these days, cars just aren’t one of them. There are a lot of factors that determine shipping costs for vehicles, and it can quickly feel like a strange jigsaw puzzle to figure it out. That process itself can end up costing extra money—both for you and for your customers.

Fortunately, you don’t have to figure it out on your own: using a carrier transportation management system (or TMS) can make it easy to boost efficiency and keep costs down. Let’s see how.


Sizing Up the Vehicle

Like lots of things, moving something from one place to another tends to cost more the bigger, heavier, or more expensive the item is. The same is true for vehicles, and you can expect to pay higher fees to ship a large sport utility vehicle than you would to move a two-door compact car. Smaller cars require less space and are usually lighter, putting less strain on the carrier and requiring less fuel to move.

Of course, it’s not only the space it takes up during the move, but the type of space you use to do the moving. Open carriers are a cheaper option, while enclosed carriers—the preferred choice for many luxury, vintage, or other specialty vehicles that require extra protection—will cost a little more to use.

And don’t forget that it helps to make sure the car is in working order, as cars that are broken down will need additional resources to be loaded and unloaded. Issues with drivability can quickly wreak havoc on your schedule, creating delays and demanding extra support from your team.

Using a carrier TMS can help account for all those requirements, providing an all-in-one platform for managing loads, tracking shipments, and making it easier to move cars faster.


Identifying the Destination

The farther away you’re shipping a vehicle, the more expensive it’s likely to be. Moving a car across the state, after all, won’t require as many resources as it will going from one coast to the other. But though that rule of thumb is true, it still does not account for all the other factors that can affect the shipping rate.

For one thing, it’s more common to have more shipments coming in and out of big cities, making them more likely to receive or ship many vehicles at once. It’s also typically easier and more convenient to ship to large metropolitan areas because they have ample access to interstates and major roadways.

It’s always going to be more expensive to move a single car to an out-of-the-way location, especially to areas that have difficult terrain or that are primarily reached by rural roads. Using a good load board can help you keep your truck at capacity, prioritizing loads that can get several vehicles to a centralized location will help lower costs for both you and your customers.

In fact, the best way to consolidate loads and streamline your shipping processes starts right at the beginning. Using a carrier TMS to digitize and simplify your administrative processes eliminates duplicate work, reduces errors, and makes it possible to easily plan trips all at once. That means you won’t have to rely on a patchwork of platforms and tools to run your business. You can manage everything from one spot!


Mapping Out the Route

Regardless of where it’s coming from or where it’s headed, a straight-shot route is just not always possible. And the farther it has to go or the more stops that have to be made, the more time (and expense) it’s likely to take.

Creating the most efficient route helps smooth the way, avoid added delays, and decrease your costs. Luckily, planning the perfect route no longer requires manually plotting the way. Using a carrier TMS can help simplify the process with minimal work on your part.

Shipping software makes it possible to factor in additional considerations like maintaining compliance with federal and state regulations or anticipating seasonal surges. Summer, for instance, is prime time for car shipping due to extended vacations, college kids returning home or going back to school, and families who take advantage of the break to move—so plan accordingly.

A carrier TMS also helps you rely less on manual processes that are prone to mistakes, automate workflows to reduce delays, and receive real-time updates so you know changes aren’t getting lost in the shuffle.

If your goal is to ship cars faster, smarter, and cheaper, a shipping TMS can streamline the process to accomplish exactly that.

The Super Dispatch team is committed to helping auto carriers and shippers move smarter, easier, and safer with digital solutions designed especially for you.

Ready to see just how Super Dispatch can help you reduce costs, improve efficiency, and offer exceptional service for your customers? Sign up for your free trial today!

Published on July 15, 2021

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