Car Shipping Carriers
There are three different types of car shipping carriers that operate on the road today, and while they all come in different shapes and sizes and can haul different numbers of vehicles of different sizes the fact of the matter is that almost every commercial auto transport carrier on the road today can be grouped into one of three categories: open transporters, enclosed transporters and flatbed transporters. Each offers a different service for their customers, though their prices and availability will vary. In this article you can read more about the differences between each type of carrier before you make your decision on which one you want to transport your vehicle.
Open auto transport carriers are the most common in the industry. They are capable of hauling anywhere from 3-10 cars, though most interstate carriers haul ten at a time, and are considered the standard method of transport in the auto shipping industry today. They are the cheapest and the most readily available, and are recommended if you are shipping a vehicle that you drive daily or that you plan on driving daily. They are definitely the easiest carriers to find and come with the shortest pickup windows and usually the lowest prices.
Enclosed transporters are not as common as open carriers but are easier to find than flatbed haulers. Enclosed carriers are meant to transport vehicles that cannot run the risk of damage during transport, which most vehicles on open carriers tend to do (though damage during transport is quite rare in the auto shipping industry). Enclosed transportation services are generally much more expensive than open services, and as such it is recommended that you only use enclosed transport for vehicles that absolutely cannot run the risk of damage.
Flatbed transportation services are used only when a vehicle cannot fit on the back of a standard open transport truck. Typically they are called in to haul vehicles that are just too large or heavy for a standard carrier and are not often used because there are few vehicles that cannot fit on the back of an open truck. Limousines, construction equipment and massive pickup trucks are the most common vehicles shipped on flatbed trucks. Your auto transport representative will let you know if flatbed services may be needed for your vehicle, as it is the most expensive and hardest to find method of transport - in other words, it’s the last resort of auto transport.