Car Shipping Glossary
Every industry has its own language, its own set of terms that might not make much sense to an outsider, and as it turns out, as does the auto transport industry. The various terms you might come across may just confuse you and create more questions. We try to take all of the confusing nonsense away and present information in an easy to understand way. Spend a little bit of time going over these terms, and you won’t have as many questions. Below is a list of the most common terms used in the car shipping industry and what they mean.
Open Vehicle Shipping – This is the most common method of transporting vehicles. This is also the most affordable method, the only downside is that it does not provide your vehicle with any protection from the outside elements. Your vehicle is put on a trailer that does not have any walls, and it does not have a roof.
Closed Vehicle Shipping – Closed vehicle shipping is when your vehicle gets shipped in a closed trailer. It provides more protection from the outside world and it is not susceptible to the elements. This method of shipping is more expensive than open vehicle shipping, but it might be necessary if you are transporting a valuable vehicle and cant afford to risk any possible damage.
Insurance – This is the insurance that is provided by the car shipping company. Make sure that you read over the entire policy. Find out who is liable for any damages, and if there is a deductible, find out how much it will be.
Vehicle Covering – Some automotive shipping transport companies will provide a protective plastic covering for the vehicles during transport. It might be included in the price, and it might be available at an additional charge. Inquire with any auto transport service on their policy regarding the coverage
Delivery Time – This is the amount of time that is estimated for it to take for the delivery of your vehicle. This time frame usually starts from the moment the vehicle is picked up. There are many things that can alter the delivery time. Conditions beyond the companies control can affect on the delivery time.
Hauler – This is the vehicle that transports the vehicles from one place to another. There is a really good chance that you have seen one of these occasionally while driving on the interstate.
Shipping Mileage – This is the total amount of miles from the vehicle pickup location to the delivery destination.
Bill Of Lading – The bill of lading is the paperwork that the transport company uses during the delivery process. The driver will have a copy of the bill of lading. On the bill of lading you can expect to find all of the information associated with the vehicle shipment. It is like a contract and a receipt all rolled up into one.
FMCSA – This is an organization within the department of transportation. It stands for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Make sure that your car shipping company is licensed by the FMCSA.
USDOT – This stands for the US Department of Transportation.
USDOT Number – This is a number that is given to vehicle shippers by the FMSCA. Make sure that your car shipping service has a valid USDOT number.