Why Video BOLs are the best option for your vehicle’s transport

Why Video BOLs are the best option for your vehicle’s transport

A bill of lading (BOL) is a detailed document issued by a carrier to a shipper providing information on the destination, quantity, and type of the goods being carried. Unlike traditional BOLs that resemble a printed invoice or receipt, Autosled uses picture and video BOLs. 

Autosled’s video BOL is the first of its kind. With no physical paperwork required, it provides video documentation uploaded by transporters within the Autosled platform. Haulers show a 360-degree view of the vehicle and talk through the condition of the car being shipped, noting any flaws. Transporters then directly upload BOLs into Autosled’s app, where they can be viewed in real-time by the vehicle owner (dealer or retail consumer). 

Physical bill of lading paperwork

Transparent and Descriptive

Pictures and videos provide first-hand experience of the subject. Instead of reading about the vehicle’s condition, automotive dealers and individual vehicle owners can see the current state of each car, truck, or motorcycle themselves. If there’s any damage (either prior to shipping or during the journey) the video BOL shows where the damage is and the level of severity. Damages cannot be concealed or overlooked in video BOLs.

Person showing vehicle damage with a video BOL

Transporters are able to provide additional detail and commentary while creating a video BOL as well. This information is not captured by BOL printouts. Autosled’s video BOLs provide transparency between transporters and vehicle owners throughout the shipment process.

Real-Time

Video and photo BOLs also create unique timestamps that cannot be duplicated with paper BOLs. For example, if a vehicle is damaged sometime during transport, the time frame can be pinpointed based on the pickup and dropoff BOLs. It also helps to determine who is liable for the damage. If damage is noted upon pickup, for example, and no new damage is recorded at dropoff, then the transporter wouldn’t be liable. 

Besides the timestamps for video and photo BOLs, Autosled also provides real-time GPS tracking so customers can follow their vehicles from pickup to drop off. Instead of having a vague timeline of a vehicle’s delivery- usually stretching over multiple days, Autosled’s customers can determine the dropoff down to the hour! 

GPS tracking of a vehicle load

Autosled’s network of transporters is vetted and insured so vehicle owners can rest knowing that their cars and trucks are in good hands.  

Besides being convenient for Transporters, video and photo BOLs are ideal for dealers and retail consumers. These BOLs are descriptive, real-time, transparent, and much easier to keep track of because all of the detail is found in one place. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, digital BOLs protect dealers and consumers against vehicle damage and ensure the appropriate person is liable for the vehicle’s condition. Not using video or photo BOLs yet? Then it’s time to check out Autosled’s video BOL! Register your account to get started today.

What is Auto Transport and Why is it Important?

Auto Transport: What is it and Why is it Essential?

Auto transport, otherwise known as car or vehicle shipping, is a service that helps people (dealers, relocating individuals) move vehicles from a pickup point to a destination point in a car transporter’s truck.

How does it work?

Vehicle shipping begins with the individual who needs their vehicle moved reaching out to car transport companies to get a price quote for their specific vehicle move. Individuals can either contact automotive transportation companies directly or go through a broker. Either way, getting multiple custom price quotes is advisable so that the individual can get a good idea of a fair price. 

Once the individual has selected a company to go with, they can proceed with booking their vehicle shipment. They will provide the transport company with information like the make and model of their vehicle, the type of transport they would like, the date or range of dates when they would like their vehicle to arrive, and the pickup point, and the drop-off point for their vehicle. From there, the auto transport company will ensure a transporter gets the customer’s vehicle as close as possible to its destination point within the timeframe specified.  

Types of transport

There are two main types of vehicle transport, open and enclosed transport.

Open transport, per its name, exposes the vehicle to the weather in an open flatbed or tow trailer. Open transport is the most common type of transport and is suitable for a wide variety of vehicles, depending on the comfort of the owner. 

Enclosed transport is less common and more expensive than open transport. With enclosed transport, the vehicle will be transported in a closed trailer or container to protect against weather conditions and roadside debris. Enclosed transport may be best for luxury vehicles, classic models, or new cars due to its added level of protection. However, it can be used for any car if the vehicle owner so desires.

Within these transport categories, there are a variety of transport equipment options available such as containers, multi-level trailers, single-level trailers, and tow trailers. Tow trailers and containers hold a max of only two cars. However, tow trailers are less expensive because they are an open-transport option, as opposed to containers being enclosed transport. Single-level and multi-level trailers are also open transport options that can accommodate larger numbers of cars. Multi-level trailers hold double the number of cars than single-level trailers. Individuals can also sometimes request driver delivery. This involves hiring a driver to drive their vehicle to its destination to cut down on personal driving time.

Why is auto transport important?

Auto transport is a key and often overlooked aspect of the automotive industry. Yet, when considering the automotive market, automotive logistics and transport is a process that drives the system and allows it to remain profitable for the involved parties.

Think about it. Auto transport is the final step in getting vehicles off of car dealer’s lots so that new models can come in. Auto transport is also how auto haulers ensure their livelihoods and how retail consumers can receive their desired vehicles, no matter the geographic location. 

Sometimes an individual’s dream car may not be in the dealership lot they visit or even in the same state. Auto transport makes it possible for consumers to have the car of their dreams despite geographic obstacles. Buying a car in another state can even save individuals money (even with transport costs factored in) if the car market in the state where the vehicle is located is cheaper than in the individual’s state of residency.

Especially now, during COVID times, auto transport has become all the more essential. Car buying and selling have increasingly shifted to digital due to pushes to make our lives safer and more COVID protocol compliant. An example would be the rising popularity of companies like Carvana, especially during the pandemic.

The future of auto transport

Many people today feel safer when day to day procedures are contactless. With Autosled, automotive transport is completely digital to keep all parties involved safe. Want to take the hassle out of vehicle transport? Looking to avoid broker fees? Autosled is free and easy to use for dealers, transporters, and individual consumers. We offer both an app and a desktop interface for our user’s convenience.

Automotive transport may very well be the future of the automotive industry. Understanding how to transport vehicles seamlessly can only serve to benefit everyone from brokers to consumers to dealers and transporters.

What to Consider When Shipping a Vehicle in the Winter

Considerations for Shipping a Vehicle During the Winter

Figuring out the logistics of shipping your personal vehicle can be a hassle. Come the winter months, vehicle transport becomes even more complicated. To ensure your vehicle shipment goes as smoothly as possible, consider the critical details below.

Delivery Budget

Deciding on your budget is a critical first step in the process of getting your personal vehicle moved. The budget dictates what type of transport you can book and the options available for vehicle shipping companies.

Generally speaking, getting multiple quotes from a variety of reputable auto transport companies is recommended. That way, you can gauge a fair price for your specific vehicle shipment. 

In the wintertime, some companies may be less willing to move vehicles, especially under severe weather conditions. You should pad your transport budget to factor in increased seasonal fees. Budgeting for a 10-15% price increase should suffice. 

Delivery Timeline

Vehicle transport prices vary widely depending on the time of year of the delivery. Peak vehicle shipping season generally falls between June and August and can continue until October. On the other hand, January through March tends to be off-season, where vehicle shipments are few and far between. 

Knowing the peak and off-seasons can benefit you as a consumer when it comes to booking your transport. If you have a flexible timeline for when you need your vehicle delivered, consider selecting a slower month to book your transport. Around major U.S. holidays like Christmas, avoid booking vehicle transport unless necessary. Shipping during the off-season can save you hundreds of dollars. 

Booking ahead of time is also in your best interest. When you give a week or two weeks’ notice on your shipment, you avoid expensive premiums for quick shipment turnaround.

Winter Weather Forecasts

During the winter, weather conditions tend to fluctuate more than in warmer months. Weather can impact not only the price of the shipment but also the delivery timeline and the type of transport. 

If the forecast calls for storms, enclosed transport is the way to go to shield your vehicle from potential damage from wind, rain, snow, or other debris. Open transport is suitable for clear forecasts depending on your personal preference. 

Keeping an eye on the weather at your vehicles’ pickup and delivery points can help you anticipate potential delays and get a realistic idea of when your vehicle will arrive. A good rule of thumb is to allow 2 to 3 days longer than usual for winter vehicle transport. 

How to Ship a Car for Cheap

Tips on Shipping Your Vehicle for Less

Getting your vehicle from point A to point B can be an ordeal. Looking to find a cheap, but also a reliable transport option? Read on to learn all the factors that go into how to ship a car without breaking the bank.

Vehicle transport prices fluctuate widely and are unique to every individual shipment. The average cost to ship a car across the country ranges from $700 to $900. However, the actual cost will depend on a variety of factors such as the distance between the pickup and destination points, the time of year you are shipping, the type of shipping, the size of the vehicle, and the vehicle make and model.

Compare Prices and Get Multiple Quotes

One of the best ways to ensure you get a low price on your vehicle shipment is to do your research and get individual quotes from a variety of companies. Requesting quotes from 3 to 5 companies should be sufficient to give you an idea of what a fair price would look like for your specific vehicle transportation. 

Be wary of companies with super high or super low prices. Rock bottom prices may indicate low-quality transport or could simply be too good to be true. On the other hand, disproportionately expensive prices may signal that the company overcharges unsuspecting consumers. 

The price that is initially quoted is not always the final price. Make sure before you book that there are no hidden fees or upcharges on the horizon. 

Book Early

Often, starting the process of booking your shipment around 2 weeks before you need your vehicle shipped will work in your favor. If you need your car shipped ASAP, you may be forced to settle for a higher price out of necessity. The more time you have before you need your vehicle transported, the more time you are giving yourself to find the best possible deal. Planning ahead may even save you hundreds of dollars in comparison to a rushed transport booking.

Use Open Transport

Although not ideal for every vehicle, open transport is a great shipping option to ensure you save money. Open transport refers to automotive shipping where vehicles are shipped on semi-trailers. It is the most widely offered and common type of vehicle transport. Plus, it is often hundreds of dollars cheaper than enclosed transport (where vehicles are shipped in smaller quantities in an enclosed truck.) 

Open transport is well suited for used cars and standard models but can be used for any type of vehicle according to its owner’s comfort. Unless you have a luxury or classic vehicle that you feel requires additional protection, open transport will serve you well and reduce the transportation price tag. 

Ship During Off-Season

Peak vehicle shipping season falls in the summer months of June through August. Sometimes peak season even continues through October. College students are heading back to school, families are relocating, and the weather is warm. Due to high demand during these times, prices are much higher. The same can be said for the weeks surrounding major holidays like Christmas. 

When it comes to quiet, off-season months, January through March are your best bets. February, in particular, is a great month for low demand and low transport prices. If you have the flexibility to schedule your shipment during an off-season month, your wallet will thank you.

Be Flexible with Pickup and Dropoff Locations

The lure of door-to-door shipping is strong. However, if you are looking for the cheapest transport option, driving a little bit out of your way will drive down your vehicle transportation cost.

If your pickup or dropoff locations are remote or difficult to access, you will have to pay a premium to ship your car there. However, if you are willing to drive to more convenient locations for your transporter (locations off of major highways or centrally located in cities) you can save a great deal of money.

You also may want to consider terminal to terminal carrier options. Many carriers have terminal yards across the U.S. where vehicles can be shipped and temporarily stored. These terminal to terminal dropoff shipments are much less expensive than door-to-door shipping would be. 

Be Flexible with the Delivery Timeframe

When you have a tight schedule for vehicle delivery, you will almost always have to pay a higher price. The best way to save money on your shipment is to allow yourself plenty of time before you need your vehicle delivered. If you are willing to wait a few extra days to get your car, you can save a lot of money.

Eliminate the Broker

Finally, being your own broker, as opposed to hiring an auto transport broker cuts down on fees. This entails contacting transport companies yourself to get multiple quotes or using marketplaces like Autosled to self-dispatch your vehicle/s. In addition to compiling quotes, you will also have to research the companies to ensure they are licensed, insured, and reputable. It will also be your responsibility to coordinate pickup with dropoff locations.

All these steps can be a headache, but being your own broker will save you money if you are willing to put in the additional work. Luckily, Autosled’s app and our desktop interface makes being your own broker, getting quick price quotes, and staying in contact with your transporter easy. Contact Autosled today to learn more about our service and how to ship your car today.

Is Enclosed or Open Transport The Right Choice for Your Car?

Enclosed Vs. Open Transport: Which is Right for You?

When shipping a vehicle, deciding whether to do open or closed transport is a crucial component. Considering enclosed transport or feeling unsure about which shipping method to choose? Read on to learn about what differentiates enclosed transport from open transport. 

Open transport is the most common type of automotive shipping and is usually cheaper to arrange than enclosed transport. With open transport, vehicles are generally shipped on a two-level trailer. This type of transport is well-suited for standard models and used cars but can be used for any vehicle. 

Enclosed transport, on the other hand, refers to the type of vehicle shipping where cars are contained within a fully enclosed trailer. The closed container allows for greater vehicle protection and security. This transport type is commonly used for people moving luxury, new, or classic car models. 

What type of car do you have?

The first factor to consider when choosing a shipping method is your vehicle type. Do you have a luxury, classic, or exotic vehicle? Does your car have a custom paint job? Is your vehicle new? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may want to consider enclosed transport for additional vehicle damage protection.

Have a standard vehicle model (whether it be a sedan, a minivan, or a truck) or a used car? Open transport is most likely a solid choice for your shipping needs. 

What is your budget?

Cost varies when it comes to transporting a vehicle. Open transport is often cheaper since it is a more commonly offered option and can accommodate larger vehicle loads. Enclosed transport due to its additional protective measures and smaller vehicle loads often is expensive. 

To get a price quote on your vehicle transport, contact Autosled today.

How fast do you need your vehicle shipped?

Timing for your vehicle shipment can also determine what shipping option you should select. Enclosed transport isn’t as widely offered as open transport, so if you are looking to move your car quickly, with many options and minimal hassle, open transport is most likely your best bet. 

What are the weather conditions like?

The final factor to consider when it comes to shipping selection is the weather during your vehicle transport. Worried about snow, severe weather, dust, dirt, or other roadside debris? Enclosed transport can give you peace of mind that your vehicle will arrive at its destination unscathed.