Monday, January 25, 2010

To Insure Or Not To Insure

Relocating can be tedious and tiring work. If you are looking to transport your car, hiring professional car shipping is your best bet, but ensuring that your auto is delivered safe and in pristine shape requires careful planning and forethought. Insurance is one important aspect that should never be overlooked. It is pointless to be uncertain about insurance considering that your valued auto is handed to someone else for a long distance transit. In particular, if you are looking to ship cross country, you would need to get your car insured before it can be transported.

Any professional car transport company will offer insurance by default, or suggest you get one from a third party insurance provider. Regardless of how you choose to insure your car, is wise to remember that the insurer will not cover items inside your car. Car inspection at the time of insuring the vehicle for shipping cross country is therefore of utmost importance. Check your car thoroughly before getting it insured. Leaving stuff in a car may seem like an easy way to get it shipped, but this is a deceptive move for which you may pay dearly. Read the terms of your insurance policy before you sign up for one.

Insurance will help you recover any damages that occur while car shipping, and you will be entitled to receive repair costs or a reimbursement. While transport insurance will cover damages to your car, it is useful to have a good idea of the actual condition of your vehicle prior to shipping. Take digital photographs before packing your car off, or make specific notes of existing dents so you are not left in a fix on delivery. Once the vehicle reaches your said destination, ask the truck driver who moved the car to sign the record of damages, without which your claim may be invalid.

Indeed, there are several players in the market offering great car shipping deals and value offers. Choose the better known companies, and don’t haggle over an extra dollar. After all, insurance or not leaving it to the professionals can mean peace of mind, and paying that little bit extra can go a long way in getting your car transported without stressing yourself over little details.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Car Carrier Vessels, Ocean freight, Car Transport

Car transport is a difficult job and getting the vehicles to American buyers is a time consuming affair. You only have to drive down an American road to realise how popular Japanese and Korean vehicles are to Americans, but how many people know exactly how the vehicles get to America? A small minority of Americans probably know that the vehicles they desire are brought across the oceans on huge car carrier transport vessels that travel back and forth in a constant parade of titanic ships.
The car carrier vessels that bring the cars from across the seas are specially designed to handle the unique freight carrying requirements of vehicles, such as their large size and weight, which requires they use a roll-on/roll-off freight handling method. In addition, these vessels are built for speed, believe it or not, and the desire to make them faster does influence the design of car carrier vessels.
In order to safely load as many cars as possible onto a car carrier ship designers have logically arranged the decks and implemented ramps on car carrier vessels, in order to make handling the vehicles a lot more efficient during loading, transport and unloading. Space age car carrier vessels plying the oceans of the world today use decks that can move to allow them to take on cars of various volumes and weights. The newer ones even have on board cranes that they use to unload and load containers. Using the systems in use these car carrier vessels can load hundreds of cars per hour in a safe and professional manner and bring vehicles to markets around the world.

^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Color Magic (2007)"
^ Asklander, Micke. "M/S Ulysses (2001)"
^ "World's largest car carrier leaves Port of Baltimore on its maiden voyage". The Baltimore Daily Record.
^ NYK-Nippon Oil Joint Project: The World First Solar-Powered Ship Sails
^ Bill Bryson (1995). Notes from a Small Island. London: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0385405348.
^ Emmanuel Makarios, The Wahine Disaster: a tragedy remembered, page 50 (2003, Grantham House, Wellington) ISBN 186934079

Brunswick's Import Stew, Mercedes Sends First Car Shipment

Brunswick is something I associate with pool tables and bowling equipment, but Brunswick, Georgia’s port is becoming a major car port. Its latest get is Mercedes-Benz, who dropped off 1600 cars last week in their initial shipping of imports to its new facility. Mercedes is making cars in the US, having opened up a new plant in Alabama, but some of its cars still are imported from Germany.

That will add some car-hauling work for people in Georgia and elsewhere along the I-95 corridor in South Carolina and Florida, for Brunswick is a relatively short drive from both Charleston and Jacksonville; the Colonel's Island Terminal is only 2.5 miles away from I-95. Charleston just lost some BMW car handling business to Baltimore, so haulers who were working for BMW might be able to slide down the coast to Brunswick and get a different breed of German import.

Other importers have found their way to the Colonel’s Island facility. Volkswagen, Volvo, Saab and Porsche all have offices here, and quite a few car haulers have facilities at the terminal. If GM kills off Saab rather than sell it to Stryker or another suitor, Brunswick will be short a customer, albeit a shrinking one at present.

However, even if the Saab business does dry up, the Brunswick facility seems a rather vibrant one. The one thing that seems to be missing from their mix is that their RORO facility seems to have a lot of rolling off and not a lot of rolling on; their share of the export market seems rather low. That might be something that the Georgia Ports Authority might be working on behind the scenes.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Car Carrier NYK Mothballing Ships, Car carrier shipping

Japanese car carrier NTK, the biggest car carrier firm in the world, has announced that it expects its car carrier business and the car carrier industry in general to experience a decrease as the vehicle market they were expecting to sell the majority of their vehicles in has dried up, the North American market. Predictions are that Japanese manufacturers will be reducing production in response to recent numbers for December that indicate car exports went down by over thirty percent. The numbers for Japanese vehicle exports in December certainly match the numbers for vehicle sales in the United States for December, which was also down by over thirty five percent, during the month of December. Japanese firms are probably a little nervous over the numbers, which are the worse since they started recording the numbers, back in 1972. The rumour mill says that Japanese car carriers have been asking vehicle manufacturers for information on the numbers of vehicles they plan on shipping in 2010, but they have heard nothing but silence, so far.

NYK announced that it might mothball up to twenty car carrier ships, in addition to the twenty or so it was planning to mothball by the end of March 2011, in response to the predicted downturn in business. This seems like a sensible decision, considering the current numbers and expectations in the near future. Other Japanese firms in the auto industry are also getting prepared to reduce production in response to the lack of demand for vehicles and if car manufacturing goes down, so does the demand for car carrier services.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Can’t find an Auto Shipping Company?, But you really need to ship your car?

Sometimes it can be hard to find an auto shipping company in your area. One just might not exist where you live. That does not mean that you are out of luck when it comes to shipping a car.

You first need to be sure that there is nothing in your area before branching out further. Do an exhaustive search online for vehicle shipping companies. When you conduct your searches be sure to use your city/ town as well as your state in the location. Use numerous key words when you are looking as well since there is no telling what words will show up in the company’s name. There are sites online which act as a directory for auto transport companies. More than likely if there is one in your area it will be listed there. They can also help you locate an auto shipping company that does not advertise much.

If you cannot find one there that does not mean that you are stuck driving the car yourself. You could find the one that is closest to your location and drop the vehicle off yourself or maybe hire someone to deliver it for you. Towing your car to the nearest auto shipping company would be another option, but probably one that would be a little more expensive than what you would like.

Some non-local vehicle transport companies may offer to come to your house or office to pick your car up for you. If this is an option that appeals to you, be sure to ask about any possible charges they may tack onto your final bill because of this service.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beware the Lowest Bidder, More on Recent Car Hauler Scams

One of the terms I had to introduce when I taught Managerial Economics was fungible. That is a term that we used to note a generic-type product that’s all the same, like wheat or milk, where it’s hard to get a premium price for your product.

Are car-hauling services fungible? If you are putting up hauling quotes to the lowest bidder, you’re essentially saying yes. That can get you into trouble if you don’t know who’s shipping your car.

Here’s an interesting and well-written piece from Automotive News, where they look a bit more in depth into the rash of thefts by people posing as car haulers. In one Memphis case, the thief walked into a Lexus dealership with a legit-looking bill of lading and got handed the keys to the van in question. In other cases, the thieves posed as legitimate car haulers, using real USDOT numbers of the target firm, and put in winning bids for hauling on auction sites.

Of the two big auctioneers, Manheim has been hit by the scammers but Adesa has yet to be hit. However, that may be as much luck as skill, as Manheim would be the most likely target, having half of the auction market; they might be targeted much as Outlook is targeted for e-mail viruses.

There is a lesson here on car transport; not all haulers are created equal. A low bid might be from a very good but young firm, or a fly-by-night carrier with questionable quality or an outright scam who will take your newly-purchased car on a long cruise to Russia.


Monday, January 11, 2010

International Car Transport, What to expect

It’s not every day that the average person needs to ship a car from the United States to Europe, Asia, or South America. And it’s not any auto transport service that can handle the complexities of the job. After all, there’s more to it than just loading the vehicle onto a flatbed trailer and driving it down the road.

There are language barriers to deal with and different customs regulations depending upon the country to which the car is being shipped. There is a lot of paperwork to prepare before the car leaves the United States, including bills of lading and dock receipts. There will be taxes and/or tariffs to pay in addition to the actual shipping charges. There may be import duties at the destination country.

There is proof of ownership and possibly inspection documents that must be provided. Some countries don’t allow used cars to be imported—cars must be used. There may be specific emissions requirements at the destination country.

It’s important to find an auto transport service that knows its way around the world of international shipping. The most reliable service will do more than pick up a car and deliver it to a shipping port. It will make sure the car is prepped for sea travel, ensure all the appropriate paperwork is complete, see the vehicle safely loaded aboard ship, and have someone at the destination port to see it through the customs and final delivery process.

With today’s shrinking world, many people find themselves vacationing or living and working overseas…and needing or wanting their own cars to get around the foreign locale. An international auto transport service is the only reliable way to make that possible.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Importing Cars to the U.S., Preparing the Vehicle

Once all appropriate documentation has been gathered for the vehicle that is being imported into the United States from a foreign country, that vehicle should be prepared for overseas shipping. First the vehicle should be cleared of all personal items, just as it would be if it was being shipped across—inst4ad of into—the country. Empty the cab, the trunk, and don’t forget the glove compartment. This requirement is not only for U.S. Customs (any personal items would have to be declared upon entry) but to avoid the theft of those items in transit. Even though it will likely be transported in a secure area of the ship, it’s better not to take chances. And, in many cases, the transport service will not allow personal items to be shipped inside the vehicle.

Next, the owner should verify that the vehicle doesn’t leak coolant, oil, battery fluid, or any other type of fluid. Fuel can leak, too—and it’s combustible—so the owner should make sure that there is less than one-quarter of a gallon of fuel in the gas tank. Any loose parts, such as the antenna, should be removed. Mirrors should be folded back. Vehicle alarms should be disabled, as well.

Finally, whether it is a car, truck, or motorcycle, the vehicle should be thoroughly cleaned, as it is important to avoid bringing dangerous pests such as insects or rodents into the United States. This cleaning must include the vehicle undercarriage as well as the exterior and interior.

All of these steps will make it more likely that the vehicle will be delivered in its original condition.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Get a Spare Classic Car for Parts, Car transport makes it possible.

Vintage and classic cars need replacement parts just like new cars when they breakdown. But getting replacement parts for older cars is not easy. A good way to ensure you have the replacement parts you need is to have a scrap car on hand from which you can harvest parts. You can find such a car through online auctions and then use a car transport company to get the vehicle home.

Having a spare classic cart for parts makes the life of a classic vehicle owner much easier. Instead of chasing down individual parts, the part you need will most likely be on hand. You only need to remove the part from the spare vehicle and reinstall it in your primary car.

When buying a classic car for parts, you probably do not need closed container shipping from your car transport company. This type of shipping is more expensive and better reserved for moving your primary classic car. Scrap cars are already dented and rusty, so car transport in the open air is unlikely to cause any additional harm. When your car arrives, you will be able to take off the spare part you need and install it on your primary car.

Because scrap cars are not running, you will have to pay extra for the labor involved in getting the car on and off the car transport vehicle. Take the money you save from using open transport and apply it to the cost of loading and unloading your scrap car.

Using car transport to get a classic car, you also save money because you do not have to pay for parts to be hunted down and located. You also save the trouble and expense of having replacement parts fabricated. While the part you need may not always be on your spare car, most of the time you will have just what you need on hand.