When it comes to car shipping, there’s three main players involved. In order to fully understand the process and to figure out who should be dictating car shipping rates, you have to understand the players involved.
So let’s start there. Theres the client. The client is the one who is shipping a car. The client usually wants the top quality carriers but they usually want them at the lowest car shipping rates possible. However, there are some clients who actually value time over money. That type of client is looking for and willing to pay for “certainty” when it comes to shipping a vehicle.
Next we have the auto carrier. The carrier wants enough clients to fill their trailer but they want to make money. Now some auto carriers want to make as much money as possible while other carriers just want enough money to make a living. Most clients think that drivers make a ton load of money but don’t realize the price they are paying includes the auto transport brokers fee. That at the end of the day, most auto carriers are left with scraps even though they are the ones who are actually shipping a car across country for the clients.
Finally, there’s the broker. The auto transport broker is the middleman. It’s the brokers responsibility to play matchmaker. Think of it like football agents. You know, the Drew Rosenhaus’ of car shipping. And if you don’t know who Drew is, shame on you. Just kidding. Just google him, he’s something of “the man” when it comes to the best agents in football. Anyways, his job is to match the client up with the right team at the right price. It’s the same thing for auto transport brokers. Our job is to match the client up with the right carrier at the right price.
But who determines what that right price is?
Who should be dictating car shipping rates?
Is it the auto transport broker, our matchmaker?
Or maybe the client? Because after all it is their car.
Or is it the auto carriers? I mean they are the workhorse of this whole process right?
Before I get into the answer, you’re probably wondering where did all this come from?
The other day, I was chatting it up with an auto carrier. But not just any auto carrier. A company that has been doing this for over 15 years, have built their business on referrals alone and who has a reputation for providing clients with nothing but the best experience in town.
Anyways, I was talking about the industry when she made a statement about the state of the industry.
Her email read:
“I agree with your reasoning, and in my opinion it should be the carriers dictating the prices (within reason of course) since they are the ones being strapped with rising costs to operate these trucks. But unfortunately it has gone the other way and the cheapo brokers and sad to say, Central Dispatch telling us what the price should be. In the last 5 years our costs have gone up over 30% yet the rates have gone down over 30%. I am not a math geek, but I do know that does calculate out right for the carrier and so many have paid the ultimate price by going out of business or are struggling to make ends meet. None of the brokers have taken in to consideration the new CARB laws and what it is costing the carriers to get compliant in order to go into California. It used to cost 150.00 to 175.00 to get the truck serviced and now it is 350.00. Truck wash and polish same thing and insurance and taxes…..well you get the drift. Bottom line without us, brokers would not have anyone to do the jobs they are selling, yet they continue to, excuse the expression, SCREW the carriers. I like your theory, and I like your thinking, so maybe instead of just teaching them just how to sell the service and make a profit……make them understand that they need to think of the carriers costs too. I am also still trying to figure out when did things change for the customers to dictate what they want to pay. Do they really go to the grocery store or the gas station and tell them, no I want to pay this. I just don’t get it. I hope you understand why I asked, it just seemed odd to me.”
Now I talk with a lot of people about this, and usually nothing major comes out of it but this conversation was different. She made valid points and this led me to ask the same question I’m asking you today:
Who should really be dictating car shipping rates?
So without further ado, I’m going to tell you what I’ve been up to at ReloGeek and give you my take on who I think should be dictating car shipping rates.
The answer just might shock you:
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