When you have an auto shipping or transportation service done and your car is shipped somewhere, there are a few people behind that process. Typically, there is some sort of combination of a broker and carrier. When in your research part of finding this service provider, have you come across these two words and just thought to yourself ‘what even are these? And what is the difference between the two?’ Allow us to help you understand each position and how they can work together!
Let us start by breaking down what a carrier is.
The carrier is the person who actually ships your vehicle. This is to say they are the ones who drives the truck that is doing the shipment. Most often they work as individual contracted carriers who then work with brokers, who we will get into later. Carriers are the party directly responsible for the safety and protection of the vehicle when it is being shipped. They are the ones who will have specific insurance policies meant to cover the shipped item, in the case of auto transportation, the car.
Let us now get into what a broker is.
In most instances, a broker works as a separate company that does not actually own and operate any trucks for shipment. Rather, brokers work with the carriers who drive the trucks and then assign them to different shipping routes and schedule them for different shipments. As the party dealing with more administration work for transportation services, they also verify all permits and authorities to confirm the carrier is compliant with state regulations.
As the client, should you contact a broker or carrier?
Good news! You can actually contact and work with either! The bad news is there are pros and cons to either. When you work directly with a carrier, you eliminate the middleman, the broker. If you choose to do this, all of your contact would be directly with the driver of the truck shipping your vehicle. This is one pro for the carrier. However, when you work with a broker, you usually get a reduced rate for your transportation service. will likely mean you will get a reduced rate for your shipment. This is because many brokers have contracted deals with carriers in which they have set prices/price ranges that they must follow when they are booked through a broker.