7 reasons why 50% of carrier companies may be out of business by the end of their first year

At CarShipIO we interact with thousands of new and existing carriers every month, and we see some not so encouraging trends with newer car hauling companies that unfortunately make the same mistakes of not realizing few key points on time and not starting their new business on the solid foundation right from the begging, as a result as many as 50% of newly created auto transport carriers are going out of the business in the first year, 70% in first 24 months.

Here are some issues New Car Haulers face:

  • NEW BUSINESS AND NO EXPERIENCE.

    “With Greater Power, Comes Greater Responsibility”
    When a driver opens a new company, they are new to the business and are trying to find out for themselves what is right. It’s too complicated for the driver to keep things together by themselves. Sometimes they have friends/partners who may help, typically it may be a wife/girlfriend or relative, but they also don’t have experience.
    Even new owner-operators who have years of experience being a driver for other companies, fall short in realizing all the unknowns of being a company owner and not just a driver for yourself.

  • TRYING TO MANAGE EVERYTHING BY THEMSELVES.

    Every new company receives thousands of calls from people who are trying to sell them over the phone or email.
    Many get “official-looking” forms with warnings urging new carriers to pay/subscribe to something they are tricked to think they need. Car haulers get scammed and as a result, don’t know who to trust, they shut down and may miss or ignore products or services that will make night and day difference in a day today.
    Refusing dispatcher, while not having great dispatch or communication experience and load planning and billing process, not knowing PVM rate may result in doing a lot of extra work but not getting paid enough. 

  • COMMUNICATION.

    Communication is KEY to a successful operation, but most new car haulers do not realize it for years if they are lucky to stay active that long. Every car hauler signs up with Central Dispatch and realizes that he is wasting too much time on booking loads that he should. Communication is a big-time leak here if they don’t know the rules of the game. Besides calling, texting to book a load, the driver needs to communicate with a broker/shipper about  ETA, status updates, missing or bad information, and payment. Lots of carriers ignore and do not pay proper attention to communication, which reduces the chance of them getting repeat business and some of them may even get a bad rating despite doing hard work, delivering cars on time. You may think it is not fair, but Shippers want to work with professional companies and drivers that are great at communicating, which can save shippers a lot of time, eliminate errors, and in turn allow shippers to provide better quality service to their customers.

  • UNORGANIZED DISPATCH PROCESS.

    When companies start getting more work, they realize that each broker has its own rules, instructions, and requirements. Managing all of that in Gmail or text messages is a lost battle. They will many times lose time and money because of missed documents or not paying attention to details in instructions. What will you do if a broker calls and asks for a picture of the vehicle that was delivered a month ago, because of a damage claim, or not delivered claim, but you never documented delivery with pictures, or took a pic and sent it to your wife, and she recently upgraded her phone and all the photos are gone. Now you both look unprofessional. What if you’re missing a VIN number or completely ignored brokers’ instructions on pickup, or what needs to be collected at pickup, or how to submit billing, all of this will add up in wasted hours and extra miles, without getting paid extra for it.

  • WRONG PAYMENT STRATEGY.

    Many new companies choose to not bother with billing, as they do not have a process and that seems overwhelming, plus they are afraid of not getting paid or paid on time. While it is true that a $1 today is worth more than a $1 tomorrow, and it’s easier to get COD payments, when a new carrier chaises just CODs that may not be smart overall.
    When a driver takes just COD loads they typically get paid 5-15% less and will have more dry runs or running with empty spots on the truck longer just to take another COD load. Why? Because it may be hard to find another COD load in the same area/route. Plus, sometimes CODs turn out to be not CODs, but some version of quick pay was not communicated well or changed last minute and the driver needs a way to handle that.
    Going with a Factoring company is an escape for many until they realize that now they have to do more paperwork and communicate yet with another company, that takes 2-10% fee and still does not pay you 100% of your owed money.
    In reality, many drivers do not get full use of 100% of the Cash they collect right away anyway, and just end up driving around with cash before they make a stop at the bank, as most of the bills and payment are not paid in cash anyway, so it’s more of a peace of mind, knowing that you got paid, not something that is more efficient for the business when you consider the use of funds, getting paid less, and having less loads to choose from.

  • PROTECTION.

    Proper and detailed vehicle inspection is a key! Car hauler’s job is difficult, the last thing he wants after a hard and stressful week is to see an email from a broker who refuses to pay thousands of dollars owed because of a “damage claim”. If a driver does not have concrete evidence of a condition of the car at the moment of pickup and delivery, chances to get paid or not to get hit with an additional claim, have issues with insurance are slim.
    Paper BOL’s do not cut anymore. Having bad pictures or some or somewhere is a time waste and not enough. Many new car haulers get caught with a first damage claim(s) completely unprepared like a deer in headlights, unfortunately for many, the first big damage claim may be their last. Imagine waiting for $5000 payment for moving 3 BMWs across the country and doing an amazing job just to get hit with a FALSE Damage Claim, by a shady broker plus a Claim on your insurance, running a risk of being dropped or rates increase, all while needing money to pay for the truck, trailer or other operational expenses, things can snowball really fast.

  • UNORGANIZED FINANCES

    About 50% of the drivers find themselves not knowing who owes them money, will waste time trying to dig up information somewhere in their Gmail, between an email from uncle Joe and Viagra Spam email, or send it in the wrong format to the wrong place, just wait another week or more, trying to not forget about the payment being owed, not knowing how late it is, all while not realizing they did not send a proper invoice to the proper email in the first place or did not follow simple clear broker’s instruction of uploading a BOL or using an app to complete a translation. Weekends that were planned to be for resting or spending time with loved ones are quickly turned into spending hours figuring things out and coming to that “WHERE THE HELL IS MY MONEY” moment. Many new carriers, not following instructions, would call the wrong number for payment multiple times and leave angry voicemails, send an invoice to the wrong email, as a result, they are paid later than they should have been or even not getting paid because they forgot about this load.
    Many new carriers will give up trying to get paid on some loads. We see up to 20% of loads not getting paid at all for some carriers and 50%+ of them are getting paid 10+ days later than they suppose to, while most of this can be avoided. Trying to stay organized with expenses, keeping all receipts trying to figure out why things are not so great is a whole new topic, many simply do not bother and reply with something like “ I have a lady doing that”.

    9 out of 10 new carriers we interviewed would have no clue what it COSTS them per mile to run their business. 

How to Ship a Car?

Hi there!

We just wanted to share a quick guide on how to ship a car!

When you are deciding to ship your own car or a specific car you should, first of all, organize the following things:

  • Pickup Location – you need to know the specific address, state, postal code either as a company or consumer what is the starting location where that car is going to be picked-up – for the auto transport company
  • Delivery Location – you need to know the specific address, state, postal code for the final destination which is critical for the auto transport company
  • Year of the vehicle –  it’s the production year of the vehicle which is important for the driver of the auto transport company to determine the quote
  • Make of the vehicle – is it a Mercedes Benz, BMW or any other make? Again important for the driver of the car hauling company to determine the quote
  • Model of the vehicle – knowing the model will also be helpful to determine the quote for the auto transport company
  • Time of delivery – you need to have in mind an estimated time of delivery for your vehicle so the auto transport company knows how much time they need to take into consideration
  • Budget – how many $ are you willing to spend to take your car from pickup to delivery location

You will either contact auto transport brokers that will:

  • Find you car haulers for a specific amount of upfront fee before the car was delivered + additional fee after the load(car) was delivered)
  • Find you a car hauler for a specific fee after the load (car) is delivered

 

Search for auto transport broker on different websites like:

  • Google – type in auto transport brokers + specific state you’re in
  • Yahoo – type in auto transport brokers + specific state you’re in
  • Transport Reviews – search for shippers or auto transport brokers and read carefully the quality of the reviews

Either go right away to the car hauler company or auto transport company by searching again on channels like.

  • Google – search for auto transport company + specific state or specific state + car shippers
  • Yahoo search for auto transport company + specific state specific state + car shippers
  • Transport Reviews – be very picky about the quality of reviews by reading the levels of satisfaction of different customers or consumers
  • Check their insurance certificate and safety record information on USDOT
  • Check their facebook page or social media for more insights

And remember you always have an alternative to just put that information of your car here.

CarShipIO Ship

Until next time,

CarShipIO team

 

 

Auto Transport Dispatcher – Save Time and Money Guide

 

How to save time and money as an auto transport dispatcher? This specific post is related to a ton of auto transport dispatcher out there that want to improve their daily operations by focusing on these key indicators:

  • Time
  • Organization
  • The Process of Load Management
  • The Process of Trip Management
  • Documentation if necessary – BOL, Invoicing, Inspection Review, Contracts, reports

First of all the most important asset in the every single business out there is managing your time – and if you’re not owning time as a dispatcher, and time is owning you – then the truth is that work is going to overwhelming and stomp you on daily basis.

Mastering this core asset will help you focus on:

  • Actually staying connected with your customers and drivers
  • Spending more time to find quality of work you have for the company/companies you’re working for
  • Having more time will open up business opportunities that you’re ignoring because of your stomped scheduled

An auto transport dispatcher is going to work on daily basis with different loads big brokers out there, big load boards to find loads for the drivers.

They always need to get that dispatch sheet from 10+load boards in different formats and manage them all together – the amount of paperwork gathered is insane and not organized in the proper way. That’s where a load of time is wasted. Manually checking in the load boards, requesting the dispatch sheet via the email/load board, going back to save, going into your email to send it to the drivers,  checking with the driver if he received it, calling him 3+ times, then checking if he got the correct load number, pickup and delivery information.

Sending the BOL, and invoices is another one – an auto transport dispatcher can send typically other 20+ of those a week.

That’s actually near thousands of transport documents in a year – think about how much time you need to spend on to perfect and check that paperwork every single time.

What if someone told you can save all that time for your right away and you can actually focus on bring more loads to the drivers – as that is what you’re getting paid for?

Would you consider it as an auto transport dispatcher? I bet yes!

So if you want to change it, here’s a framework that you can use that we developed in our system CarShipIO for auto transport dispatchers:

  • Imagine yourself uploading all dispatch sheets in one single place from all the loadboards out there, and big brokers ( there are more than 20+ out there in the auto transport industry).
  • Dispatching it right away with just creating a organized trip for all your drivers, will loads, vehicles, miles, addresses, customer information, ability to edit the load, add more loads, delete the loads.
  • Everything is integrated with a driver app on the driver end, and he sees all that info without any information slippage. They have the ability to do everything they need, inspection, electronic bill of lading, change status of loads so the auto transport dispatcher and customer sees it, add vehicles to a load, automatically scan vin code, add expenses.

The real benefit is saving your time, your driver time, your company times, your customer time, and the receive time with everything being organized around the concept of  load, trip, driver.

We highly recommend to try it out as we believe time is going to be single biggest asset out there for you – read more info here

By our average calculations saving 5K $ by using the system on yearly basis is very welcome for your business.

Sign-UP here, use it and get that benefit.

Intro to the Car Hauler Business

 

Are you sick and tired of working for someone else?

If YES then please continue reading as I want you  to imagine this:

You sometimes dream of being your own boss, having your company, being in charge of your own truck & trailer.

You choose how do you work with, what trips to have and what loads to pick up.

Deep down you know it’s time to take this decision as you already have the experience and money to transition to this.

You’ve already decided, you just need to take action to start up already and I know what you’re thinking “ But how I am going to do all of this?’’

The simple truth is hard work and commitment, I really do not advise to take the car hauler business like a joke.

But guess what?

We still have for your some intro steps to start up in the car hauler business:

 

  • First of all get I already assumed you have your CDL A license, but if you don’t have to go get it – Learn more here
  • Go Shop for your truck & trailer – check out our blog about some basics of truck & trailers types in the car hauler business.
  • Come up with Legal Company Name and/or DBA, you can have both
  • Incorporate, LLC or S-Corp will do
  • Getting your DOT Certificate, MC # & IFTA
  • UCR Registration
  • Complete any other requirements
  • Buy the Truck & Trailer – within 30 days of application for your operation authority and make sure you get quote insurance on equipment – these 2 tips are extremely important.
  • Wait for Approval by FMCSA

 

Here’s a big idea – you need to take this seriously and go all in and you will open up the opportunity to make a lot of money.

P.S To really become top notch car hauler, I highly recommend to check out our car hauler software, driver app, and load board as we’ve consulted and helped thousands of car haulers with our technology platform.

P.S.S You can engage and interact in the indeed forum with other car haulers

 

Until next time,

Happy car hauling

CarShipIO Team

Car Hauler Guide to make & save money

 

 

So you want to learn how to make & save more money as a car hauler?

Imagine what would be like making additional $ on top – from 7 strategies we have discovered that works for the majority of auto transport professionals.

Here there are the strategies on how to make & save more money as a car hauler:

  • Organization
  • Less Paperwork
  • Efficient Invoicing
  • Follow-up and Updates
  • Analytics
  • Trip Planning
  • Minimize False Claim Damages

Let me guess you want to get to that X amount net profit monthly?

Use & Practice Organization   

Top 1 is to have a functional system or create a system based on best practices that will give the opportunity to manage easily your top 4 business growing factors or revenue streams.

In the car hauler business the top 4 things that will bring you revenue are:

  • Drivers  –   having great relationships with these people will represent a critical factor for your business to grow, also assign loads and dispatch it in the easiest ways possible for them, with detailed notifications and support on the trip
  • Trucks  –  the core equipment that is key to the economy of every car haulage company needs to manage the maintenance, oil, suspension, service records, the inspection, insurance
  • Trailers –  hauling 10 cars  with different weights and dimensions, VIN codes, models needs technical organization and also professional loading and unloading
  • Load –  if you own this part right here you will skyrocket the revenue you currently make on your loads you deliver, you can check out List of Top Load Boards for Car Haulers in our recent blog post

Minimize Paperwork

How can you make more money by minimizing paperwork?

The principle is extremely easy to grasp in every type of business “Time is Money’’.

If you manage to save only 1 hour a day by eliminated the huge amount of paperwork you do every day, you will literally save more than 300 hours per year, that’s 12 business days.

Sounds good to save 2+ weeks per year to produce some more money in that time and not do much of your boring paperwork! Extra 2 week Paid Vacation? Heck Yea!!!

Invoicing

In your car carrier business, timing will realize a lot of value. When you send that invoice as soon the load is delivered, you will have a greater chance of having all the necessary information about getting paid, as you have all the information you need right there and will not have to go back and look for that invoice in your paper files, or under the seat, glove box, your pet’s bedding, wherever else? Also making your terms and conditions as clear as possible to the customers is of much help, but at the same time include all of the pertinent details in the document necessary to that customer. Being able to invoice as you delivery can help you get paid 12 days faster on average, so maybe you can skip dropping 3-5% on that money factoring company just by implementing the right strategy using the best tools. Think what you can do with Free 5% a year BONUS? Many 1 trucks, 3 car haulers start saving $3000+ a year, just by solving this issue.

Follow-up and status update

One of the weak links in car haulage is following-up! Why? Because they don’t know what to say.

A lot of confusing questions appear such as ‘’ when I need to call?’’, ‘’ what to ask?’’, ‘’who do I need to call?’ Organize your call list, have a basic script for calls, commit to your follow-ups and be extremely timely and persistent with them. Updating and following up as soon as possible is one of the top practical advice to get the fastest results possible and set your company apart from a sea of “rookies” who lose repeat business by not following up.

If you don’t want to follow-up with customers you won’t stay connected and you will loose business.

Knowing your numbers – analytics 

To make more money, you need to have a clear financial target. You always need to know where is your company in terms of expenses, revenue, net profit, revenue per mile, revenue per vehicle mile and other metrics to get you to the point you want to be. Also by knowing your numbers, you are identifying your top weak points and problems and your strongest links, that way you will consider which problems you need to solve in your day-to-day operation.

Reverse engineer on how many vehicles you need to ship on weekly basis to get to that monthly net profit.

Trip Planning

Optimal route planning sometimes is neglected because of the variety of delivery destinations and time it takes, due to complexities and delivery windows.

Every car hauler needs a map system allowing them to view an address and locate that destination and route more easily, even with multiple intermediary stops.

Tools like navigation, map dragging, zooming, detailed and always up-to-date is fundamental to such a system. A good combination of the truck capacity planning and route optimization will reduce fuel and toll charges. Planning your Trips ahead considering best routes, stops, bridges, time windows, vehicle characteristics and more can literally mean if you will make it break it on the trip, or be able to make it home to your loved ones that Friday afternoon after being done with all your car deliveries on time.

Minimize false damage claims

The main thing to do is to take pictures of every dent or scratch on the body, interior, wheels and glass before you load the car on your trailer.

That way you will truly minimize the false damage claims, by presenting that you have inspected the car with the pictures from all angles.

Another way is selecting your customers, shippers, dealers based on professionalism and rating in their service and the relationships they have previously formed.

Focus on these things as your car shipping company grows and let us know how they changed your results.

Hoped it helped and thank you very much for reading CarShipIO blog.

Until next time!

CarShipIO Team

 

 

Car Hauler BOL and eBOL

Nowadays car haulers do a lot of paperwork, one of them is the BOL.

A Bill of Lading (BOL) is a document that is related to the auto transport business. Another definition is a legal document issued by the carrier company that will be given by the driver who meets to pick up your vehicle. The Bill of Lading is emitted at the pick-up time, it will serve as a receipt of your vehicle getting picked up and as a contract regarding the transport of your vehicle.

The general information for the BOL  will be:

  • Origin and Destination of the Vehicle
  • Dates and Time
  • Vehicle Make, Model, Year, VIN & Mileage
  • Vehicle Inspection Report
  • Other Vehicle Description
  • Customer Agreement to Terms & Conditions and Driver Agreement to Terms & Conditions
  • Form of payment
  • Carrier Contact Information

As an auto transport company/carrier make sure to check out or inspect the cars, before signing the BOL.

The possible damages must be recorded at the time of delivery.

As a car hauler or other party, the Bill of Lading will be the single evidence supporting any further discussions and claims related to these damages.

Always make sure you check the vehicles accordingly, report all the types of damages so you can increase customer loyalty and your carrier rating.

The BOL is an operational process that you’re are going very often and you also need to make sure you don’t lose it and that it gets to the relevant person (customers/receivers), otherwise, you risk having a little bit of hassle.

Generally speaking the trend for the paper BOL is starting to transition to a digital BOL, because of technology, eBOL ( Electronic Bill of Lading) solutions is becoming more and more popular.

eBOL is a quick tool, that you can use your mobile device like a phone or tablet.
At the minimum, you can generate digital BOL, that will produce you a professional looking printed BOL with all the details filled in.

The auto transport world is changing rapidly and is going digital as well, like any other business.

Imagine that in the near feature every car hauler that wants to stay in business will just go to his customers give them the mobile device, they will sign and that’s it, NO MORE PAPERWORK!!!

At the end adapting new technology and efficient processes that it brings, will make your car hauler business sustainable, scalable and growing fast.

Like it or not, but we still need to transport vehicles and pay our bills, so if you are left and are not performing efficiently you are wasting time and money while allowing your competition to deliver more cars in less time.

Feel free to ask any questions or share your knowledge about the BOL and eBOL by leaving a comment, CarShipIO team would be glad to help you or engage in the comments.

Until next time.

Happy car hauling,

CarShipIO Team

 

Best Practices when you are delayed or truck broke down

 Have you ever been delayed by weather? Did your ever had your truck break down? You are hauling ten cars and 10 customers are relying on you to be on time. Logically you need to notify everyone, and if your next trip is already planned out, those customers need to know you will be delayed as well.

The key to effective notifications is having all the customer information including email and phone numbers so you can notify them immediately.  It would also be good to notify other contacts associated with each load, for example any contacts who are waiting for you to deliver the vehicles listed on the order.

Maybe you are lucky to have someone at the office who will notify everyone on your behalf, but if you don’t then it’s up to you to do that. Even if you have everyone’s numbers and email addresses, you still need to search for the contact info, and make the call, compose and send an email or text message right?

There is a better way and that is a mobile application that allows for instant notification of ETA to everyone on your trip.  With your mobile device you suddenly have that power – send out a notification to as many people as you need to on that trip.  Your customers will appreciate the notification and you are more likely to keep them as a customer the next time they need to transport their vehicle because you took time to manage their expectations.

Luckily there is a tool that provides Notifications for every step in your process: Starting a Trip, Picking Up Vehicles, Delivering Vehicles, General ETA to your destination. That tool is CarShipIO online business management tools, which  are designed specifically for your Auto Transport Business so you are prepared for anything that comes your way.