auto transport

4° of Auto Transport Interaction. Part 2

Car DealerThe car business is such a fickle beast; sometimes it gives you nothing but lemons, but other times, you get that one gem that you know will bring in the Benjamins. I walked in the dealership early this morning wishing I was still asleep, as I always do. Little did I know, as strange as it sounds, a 24 year old college girl was about to make my day. My phone rings and when I answer the voice on the other end says, “Hey, I have a red hunk of junk that was given to me and I want to sell it. My grandfather died, left me this old car, and I just want it gone. Will you come look at it?”.

Rusted Plymouth

I arranged a time to go take a look at the car and as I headed that way I was dreading the meeting. I kept thinking how I was about to have to deal with some naïve college kid that was about to ask me for way too much money for some piece of crap vehicle I can’t do anything with; I was ever so wrong. I pulled up to her house and she explained that her grandfather had died about a month or so ago, left her this car in his will, and how she didn’t want it because her parents had just bought her a new 2014 VW Beatle which I assumed was the green waste of space she had in her drive way. She takes me to her garage and when she opened the door I became a kid in a candy store. I think I might have started drooling when I saw this car. Her “hunk of junk” was a 1970 Plymouth GTX, candy apple red, immaculate condition. GTXShe told me about how her grandpa used to spend all his free time working on this car and I realized I had stumbled on this poor old man’s pride and joy. Just when I think it can’t get any better I popped the hood to find, you guessed it, 4-barrel 440 CID Super Commando V8 engine. Once I saw that I knew I had to have this car so I asked her how much she wanted for it. She told me she owed $2,000 in tuition and if she could get that she’d be happy. As tempting as it was to give her the $2,000 I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night so I offered her 4 grand. At least that way she could pay her tuition and have some money left over for whatever college kids blow their money on, parties with her friends or maybe a lift kit for that green monster in her drive way. I paid the girl and the deal was done.

 

I got the car back to the dealership and cleaned her to the point where you could perform surgery on the hood, and boy was she beautiful. As tempting as it was for me to keep this baby for myself, I knew the right buyer would be willing to pay a pretty penny for this car and I could use the profits. I snapped some photos and posted her on Auto Trader Classics. And now we wait…

Top 10 Questions For Shipping A Car using a Shipping Company

shipping a car to another state

Shipping a Car is easy as 1, 2, 3 …

These days people are using online tools to ship vehicles. Often times you’re moving to another state or buying online from places like eBay. Hiring a company to transport a vehicle from A to B is much easier compared to driving the vehicle yourself. With this, certain questions start to come up. Lets take a look at some of those now.

1) Is the company licensed?

The Department of Transportation is where the auto transport service provider will need to register. This means that you should be able to see the shipping company ‘DOT’ number. There is also the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website where you can check their Motor Carrier number. For shipping abroad you would want to check out the Federal Maritime Commission. It can be checked here - http://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_menu.prc_menu

2) What does the transport offer for services?

When first talking to the shipping company ask them what services they offer. It might be that they have restrictions on the type or size of vehicle that they are willing to transport. Also, ask about enclosed or open. Enclosed Trailers keep cars out of the elements, but is more expensive. Open Trailers are the most common mode of transportation.

3) What is the cost?

This is not the same for everyone. Costs may vary depending on the company. It might be good to get quotes from a few companies for comparison and make sure that you understand exactly what’s included. This helps you understand any extra charges that you didn’t know about. Companies in general should be willing to provide you with a free estimate. With every price you might want to ask if the price can be negotiated since you may or may not have more then one vehicle to ship.

4) What about insurance?

Your personal vehicle insurance will probably not cover the transport. Ask the shipping company about their insurance and make sure that you will be covered. It would be good to know at what level your vehicle will be protected while being shipped. See if it is possible to adjust if the insurance does not seem to be enough.

5) What documents do you need to provide?

Check with your transport company to find out exactly what papers they will need.

6) How would you get your car ready to be transported?

You need to make sure that the car is empty of belongings. Shipping companies are not allowed to have household items in the car during transport. Also, Department of Transport requires keys to be provided to the transporter while being transported. It is recommended that you have a quarter tank of gas so that you can avoid any extra charges for weight.

7) How much time will it take to ship?

Shipping will vary depending on the company, how the vehicle is being shipped and distance. There are times when it is difficult to guarantee a delivery date. In general, coast to coast can take 1-2 weeks while shorter distances a few days.

8) What about payment arrangements?

This depends on the shipping company. Some will want the money up front in full. Some will take a deposit and the rest payed when delivered. It will be important to ask about what method is being used and if they prefer check or credit card. It is never a good idea to pay for services, in full, before services are rendered.

9) What actions does the company take to make sure my car is protected?

The company, upon picking up the car, with conduct an inspection and often times take pictures. You both will agree on the condition of the car. When the car is delivered a similar inspection of the vehicle will be conducted.

10) What will happen if the vehicle is damaged in any way?

At delivery you will want to take pictures of the damage, if any, and inspect the car. This would be a good time to use your smart phone or camera to get those pictures. This should be documented and signed by the driver. With this information you will be able to make a claim through the service provider.

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We’re Listening to the Auto Transport Brokers

When you’re new in a market you just have to do things better than the other guy!

Auto Load Logic is a new product in a market dominated by a single competitor. We know we have a superior product. We know we are dramatically more customer focused. And we know we have to deliver better results than the other guy.

But sometimes just doing better isn’t good enough.

When we came to the market we promised that we’d take action on new user registrations by the end of the next business day. That’s certainly better than the competition and seemed like a meaningful value-added response time.

But we found that it wasn’t good enough.

Too often we found ourselves getting a call from a Carrier who hadn’t yet registered as an ALL user but who wanted to pick up a vehicle listed by one of the Brokers using ALL.

Human nature, and the auto transport industry, being what they are those Carriers wanted what they wanted — right now!

Not only wouldn’t they wait until the next business day; they wouldn’t – and to be fair, they often couldn’t — wait even a couple of hours.

We clearly needed an even better solution.

That solution is the “Broker-created Carrier Account”.

Auto Load Logic now provides the auto transport broker the ability to do almost all of the account set-up work for the Carrier they want to dispatch a vehicle to, in advance.

Having that work done in advance allows us to approve the new Carrier account literally in a matter of minutes.

The Carrier just needs to download our smartphone app and accept our terms and conditions; both of which can be done within a couple of minutes. He can then pick up the dispatched vehicle without delay.

The rest of the registration process gets done by the Broker and by our staff, leaving the Carrier to deal with the vehicle; which, after all, is what all parties to the transaction really want.

At Auto Load Logic, we’ll do what it takes to provide the service our users need and we know that sometimes just being better isn’t good enough.

We’re working for you – and getting better for you –every day.

Come see us at www.autoloadlogic.com.

And take a look at our interface for the individual shipper at http://autoloadlogic.com/private-shipper/wizard.aspx.

CRL 1/12/14

 

 

 

We Listen to Our Customers — Pricing Change

I get an email almost every day from a consulting firm that specializes in helping businesses figure out how to price their products or services. I guess that means it’s an issue that’s not easy to get right.

OUR INITIAL THOUGHTS ON PRICING

When we began thinking about the pricing of Auto Load Logic’s service our guiding principal was a desire to align our interests with those of our customers. The first conclusion we drew as we talked through the question of alignment was that a monthly subscription model was the wrong one for this market.

Obviously there are others who have used the monthly subscription approach for years. They would probably argue that their ability to maintain that model means it’s reasonable. We think it just means that they haven’t been forced to consider a change.

So, we began with the conviction that we should not charge for our product unless and until it is used by a customer. When our system allows the customer to generate revenue, that should be the trigger for our generating revenue.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Well, maybe not, because that’s only the first of three issues to address. It answers the question: What condition gives rise to a payment obligation? We still have to tackle the questions of the basis on which the payment should be calculated and the rate of payment that should be applied to that basis.

Our thought was that the rates charged to professional vehicle Shippers, such as car dealers, ought to be based on the number of vehicles shipped. We still think that’s appropriate and the dealers we’ve worked with have agreed. So we got that one right.

When thinking about the Brokers and Carriers we thought, initially, that an alignment of interests would be created if we based our fees on the amount of revenue those users generated from a vehicle shipment. As their revenues increased or decreased, ours would as well, and we’d all be in the same position as prices rose or fell. That seemed fair to us.

MOVE TO PLAN B

As we began to work through that system in detail, though, we found more and more ways that a model like that could become problematic. It began to seem like it would require us to be too closely involved in our customers’ transactions. What seemed clear and reasonable in theory didn’t seem so simple in practice!

So we moved to Plan B.

Plan B was based on the well-understood fact that the costs of most of the inputs into the vehicle transport process are distance-determined.

Fuel, driver compensation, truck depreciation and maintenance, etc. are clearly functions of distance. And many others, such as insurance, licenses, and so forth, can be pretty easily estimated in terms of cents-per-mile driven and then converted to cents-per-mile per-vehicle-shipped.

So we thought it would be easily understood and intuitively reasonable to price our product to Carriers and Brokers in terms of cents-per-mile.

But what WE think doesn’t matter much if our customers think differently!

As we entered the market on an initial “soft launch” basis during the summer, we found that this model caused both Brokers and Carriers a lot of problems.

What we thought was very simple didn’t seem that way to the users.  For whatever reason – and a number of reasons were given – what we thought was an easily understood and workable approach was seen as complicated and difficult to our initial users.

The last thing we want in bringing Auto Load Logic to the market is a problem explaining or justifying pricing structure. So….

 WE HEARD YOU

We’ve modified our pricing structure as we ready the release of ALL 2.0.

The new structure is still a pay-on-use model, which we continue to believe is fair and appropriate and acts to align our interests with those of our customers. But it is the ultimate in simplicity. It extends the price-per-vehicle-moved approach to both Brokers and Carriers.

PRICING CHANGE

Our pricing model for Brokers and Carriers is now as simple as this:

Brokers pay $3.00 per vehicle moved using ALL.

Carriers pay $2.00 per vehicle moved using ALL.

That’s all there is to it.

No need to measure revenue. No need to measure mileage. Just count the vehicles and multiply.

And if the count is zero, the cost is zero.

The only exception is that the first 15 vehicles moved are on the house!

Registration as an ALL user is simple and it’s free.

Check us out and register at: www.autoloadlogic.com.

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Let us know what you think. We’re listening!