Terminal To Terminal Car Shippings Slow Decline
Terminal to terminal method of transporting cars is gradually disappearing in today's industry. It's actually been slowly dying for a while, at least in the past decade.
We have discussed why terminal to terminal auto transport services should not be used unless absolutely necessary. We also discussed why terminal shipping is disappearing. We haven't given an exhaustive overview of what's happening in the transportation industry to make it stop using the practice.
We will examine what terminal shipping is and who it was meant for.
A summary of terminal-to-terminal car shipping
Terminal shipping, as the name implies, is when you drop off your vehicle at a pre-designated place (called a terminal), for collection by a car transport driver. The vehicle is then transported to the terminal.
This is the antithesis to door-to-door car shipping because you will not be there to pick up or deliver the vehicle. You can drop the vehicle off at one terminal, and then pick it up at another terminal.
It sounds simple and it is. It is great for those with hectic schedules and people who are moving but can't take their car.
Terminals are usually located in big cities or near airports. Matson's terminal in Long Beach, for example. Individuals find airports to be more convenient than other terminals. Most port terminals are only used to ship overseas shipments. We do not know of any port shipping company that will store a vehicle for customers who aren't shipping overseas.
Terminal shipping has many benefits
People who are unable to use door-to-door shipping can benefit from terminal to terminal shipping. For example, people who are moving immediately. A terminal is an option for someone who cannot be there at pick-up. The same applies to delivery.
Access to another method of transportation is not a problem. It can still be moved using the same carriers who handle door-to-door transportation with terminal shipping.
Terminal shipping can also be quite affordable. This is because terminal shipping can often fill a truck full of cars in one go. This reduces fuel consumption and mileage, which in turn saves you money on maintenance. It's a good idea to inquire about terminal transport if you are looking for affordable auto transport services.
It's quite cool that carriers can move from one pickup location into one drop-off location. It's odd, however, that carriers would prefer to do door-to-door shipments over terminal ones. It's not clear why.
Why door to door shipping is preferred by carriers
It's easier to explain why door-to-door shipping is preferred by carriers. With door-to-door shipping, carriers are able to meet the customer and inspect the goods. Terminals don't allow for this.
Terminals are often just open lots. It's rare to find attendants or gates at terminals. This can make it difficult for carriers because they don't have anyone to inspect the vehicle after they pick it up. It's possible for customers to claim that a vehicle they picked up was not damaged on pickup if it is. This is especially true when the carrier signed the pickup inspection report. Terminal shipping is more vulnerable to fraud.
Storage fees are another issue. Some terminals don't have them but larger ones have them and are more secure. If one of the cars is not paid for storage fees, the carrier can't pick up the vehicle. The terminal won't usually release the vehicle.
Shipping terminal to terminal can cause a lot of problems for both customers and carriers. These problems are less common when you ship from one door to another. The carrier can be inspected by you and you can meet them. There are no secrets or shades, just clear pickup, and delivery.
Terminal to terminal shipping is slowly dying
These factors have made terminal shipping less attractive and important. Customers are noticing the advantages of door-to-door shipping, particularly the increased reliability. Door to door is very pleased to be able to inspect the vehicle at pickup and delivery. It's great for carriers to be able to limit fraud and other issues. Customers and carriers have both great incentives to choose door-to-door.
Prepaid terminal shipments are another reason. This means that you pay upfront for the shipment, while your shipping company pays the terminal and carrier. This adds a lot of work to shippers and puts carriers in a tight spot. Shippers must ship on the promise to pay and this is not something many carriers enjoy doing. If the price is right, they will. However, waiting for payment is something that not many carriers are able to handle.
Terminal shipping can also be more difficult for customers, brokers, and carriers. You will need to locate the closest terminal to you, then take your vehicle there to drop it off. This will require you to take a ride from the pickup terminal to the delivery terminal. It can be difficult.
Carriers rely on door-to-door shipping, which is almost always delivered cash on delivery. It allows them to keep their trucks running and fuelled, and gives drivers cash for use at truck stops or other places. Carriers love the convenience of having money available immediately.
Is this a sign that terminals are not available anymore? No. Although there are still many of them, most of them are located in major cities or near airports. They are more difficult to access and less reliable for carriers.
It does however mean that there is a smaller cost gap between terminal shipping and door-to-door shipping. It's often cheaper to ship your car door-to-door than to do it via a terminal.
Dave's thoughts on terminal shipping services in the future
Is this all a sign that terminal shipping is ending? Somehow, I doubt it. Even though it is a small need, there will always be a demand for such terminals. Terminal operators are looking for other ways to make money as terminal shipping is slowly declining. This is mainly due to storage fees. Many terminals are now simply car storage lots or lots. This is where the majority of their revenue comes from.
It's not as though they will disappear. We are one of many shipping companies that will do whatever it takes to make your shipment go as smoothly as possible. We can help you find a terminal if a customer is unable to ship door-to-door. It will take longer to locate a carrier. Sometimes, they may wait weeks until they are able to fill their truck.
Door-to-door services are a good option if it is possible. We can provide a quote for shipping a car. Give us a call.