How Auto Transport Brokers really work.
In our industry getting bad reviews is common. The majority of people who write bad reviews about auto transport companies do so because they feel they had a bad experience based on how they perceived the car shipping process would be. Better education needs to happen in our industry and more regulation so that customers will understand that auto transport brokers don’t make the prices. Transport brokers do the same job as real estate agents. In real estate, realtors place bids on the customers behalf to purchase a home. In auto transport, we place a bid on the customers behalf to secure an auto transport. In both situations the owner of the truck and the house has the final word. Auto Transport broker agents look for car carriers for customers by placing a pre-authorized bid on their behalf on the national driver load board called centraldispatch.com. Every driver in America and every broker in America uses this load board. Once the car is on this load board it makes no difference who the broker is at that point. All the drivers look for is who is paying the most money. This is why customers who shop around for the best price often are shooting themselves in the foot. The best price is the price quoted correctly. For finding a driver the broker charges a fee. Typically this fee is $200.00 If a broker divulges their fee to you and educates you on what to bid then their can be no bait in switch. Bait and switch transports only happen when the brokers do not divulge the price and do not educate you to understand what the correct bid is. A good broker will look up the last 5 cars moved off the load board that were accepted by any driver. They will also look at the supply of cars available on the day their customers car are available. If their are not enough cars on the load board and the brokers automated quote is not enough money for the equipment size needed then the price will have to be readjusted. For example, we should not post a bid for a 10 car hauler if your car is the only car on the board. We should adjust the rate to get a smaller quote. Also, the prices and supply and demand are constantly changing so you could be posted for the correct price and along come 5 brokers who post 5 loads for a higher price then yours. A good broker will pay attention to the market and keep you informed as to how the bidding process is going. Most estimates are right within $100-$200.00.Automated rates like the ones you get online are just quick estimates. You should always call your broker to confirm the quote is correct for today’s market. Having the correct bid is the key to getting your car moved in a timely manner with a driver with good ratings and valid insurance.
How do the drivers decide what cars to choose?
When the driver logs in the driver is looking for cars going on the same day he is leaving. He’s looking for cars that pay the most and weigh the least. Ninety percent of the time the driver will be looking for loads leaving on the same day he logged in. He first puts in the origin he would like to pick up from to find customers cars. Then he plugs in the destination he would like to go to. Some drivers go a step further and tell the load board what the minimum amount he is willing to accept is so that he will only see cars at the minimum price he is willing to accept. From there he takes out his notebook. He circles all the cars leaving the day he wants to leave and then prioritizes them by sorting from the highest price to lowest. If the driver has 10 spots for example and he finds 20 cars available and half are $800.00 or more and the rest are low balled then he will take the highest priced cars first. He will sort them all by weight and try to get the highest priced cars which weigh the least first. He then will call all the brokers and ask them if he can pick up their vehicle. This causes a lot of problems. If the driver is able to get all the brokers to give him those 10 loads he is finished dispatching his truck. Then he will go out for delivery. If the driver calls the first 10 cars and cannot find enough he will then take a look at the other half of the cars which were posted. If the price is less than the driver wants he will then call the broker and ask them for more money. A good broker will know what to quote but sometimes it’s just not enough to satisfy the driver who is interested in their load. If the driver calls the broker and asks for more money then the broker will call their customer and ask them if they would like to accept the drivers offer. Here is where customers feel bait and switched. Most customers incorrectly believe the broker makes the price. This is not true. The final price comes from the driver. If the customer decides not to accept the offer of the driver the car stays on the board. What is not fair is that when this happens brokers are blamed for the drivers wanting more money. They get upset and sometimes cancel thinking the broker is trying to scam them and then they go online to write bad reviews defaming the agent who was only trying to help them. I will never understand this. When a realtor who does the same job as a transport agent gives a counteroffer to a customer by the seller, never do you here that realtor is trying to bait and switch us. The fact of the matter is the brokers fee never changes. It’s the drivers fee that does. This is what every auto transport broker/agent wants you to know.
Customers looking for an auto transport should really take extra time to find a good agent because really your buying the agent and their skills more than the company they’re working for.