The Economics of Terminal-to-Terminal Auto Shipping

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3 min to read

Are you researching the feasibility of a cross-country vehicle transport? Auto movers such as Montway Auto Transport offer a variety of car shipping services that vary in price. The cost largely depends on the convenience of a particular delivery method.

For example, from a delivery perspective, the least convenient type of auto transport involves shipping a single-vehicle door-to-door in an enclosed car transporter. A more convenient method is called terminal-to-terminal auto shipping. Learn more about how dropping off your car, truck, or van at a regional transport terminal can help lower your costs and keep your budget in check.

What is a “transport terminal”?

An auto transport terminal is a regional storage facility for automobiles that are typically located in or adjacent to a large metropolitan area. And when you go with that type of move, you’re responsible for getting your vehicle to the terminal where it will be picked up by a car shipper. The trucker will transport it to another terminal location as close as possible to your destination where you would then need to pick it up.

Now, at first glance, that arrangement might seem like a less attractive alternative compared to door-to-door transport services, but because it’s easier on car haulers, it’s maybe the most cost-effective auto transport service available to consumers. Since carriers transporting vehicles to and from regional terminals are able to combine shipments headed to the same region, terminal-to-terminal auto shipping saves carriers time. It does, however, require a bit of extra effort on part of the party booking the shipping. So ask yourself: Are you willing to drop off or pick up your car or truck at a specific date and times? Are you willing to trek out to the nearest terminal? Well,  then terminal-to-terminal transport might be the right auto shipping option for you.

Do Regional Auto Shipping Terminals make Car Transport easier?

Advantages of Terminal-to-Terminal Cross-Country Vehicle Transport

Despite the impression you may have gotten based on the brief description above, auto shipping terminals aren’t simply uber large garages operated by vehicle relocation companies or massive automobile lots where your poor car will have to sit outside unattended and exposed to the weather waiting for you and the next leg of its journey. In reality, terminal-to-terminal cross-country vehicle transport can be as easy as needing to meet your car carrier truck driver in some  area acceptable to both shippers and receivers.

But speaking to the service variants’ main advantages (beyond affordable pricing), let’s start with how you’ll be free to drop off your vehicle well in advance of its transport date. That’s right, you can deliver the vehicle to the transport terminal in question at your convenience. If your schedule is especially tight or you need time to secure forklift and or towing services for a car that’s damaged or isn’t running, terminal-to-terminal is a great option. If you’re going to be away from home, terminal to terminal is a way to store your vehicle until you can pick it up.

Taking Advantage of a regional car transport terminal can make your auto shipping experience hassle free

Disadvantages of Terminal-to-Terminal Shipping

Even though it’s a more affordable car shipping option, terminal-to-terminal cross-country vehicle transport isn’t for everyone. Problems can occur, and various intrinsic issues can pop up. For instance, because you’ll be leaving your automobile virtually unattended at both transport terminals, it’ll be somewhat vulnerable to accidental or environmental damage as well as to vandalism. Most major auto shipping terminals have both security and 24/7 surveillance, but you should be aware of an added risk.

Obviously, to take advantage of the reduced costs of terminal-to-terminal car shipping, vehicle owners will also need to arrange transportation back from the terminal when dropping off their vehicles and a ride to it when picking it back up. You might find that the cost of getting to and from the nearest auto transport terminal cancels out any cost savings you’ve earned. You may also incur additional vehicle storage fees if you’re unable to pick up your car within the agreed-upon time frame. You should also be aware that your car will probably be handled by more than one person during its terminal stay. And again, terminals are open-air lots, and your vehicle will be exposed to the elements while it’s there.

If you’re comfortable with all of the above, like the price point, are flexible enough to get to and from the terminal, and need exact pickup and drop-off dates, terminal-to-terminal auto shipping is definitely an option to look into. If you have other questions or concerns, you should contact your vehicle mover regarding their terminal-to-terminal cross-country vehicle transport services. They’ll be familiar with their specific terminal-to-terminal shipping procedures. Visit Montway Auto Transport’s FAQ page for more information on shipping a car across the country or simply contact one of our Car Relocation Specialists directly by calling (888) 666-8929.

Read what our customers say about their experience with Montway at Montway Auto Transport reviews.

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