Finding cars to haul could be difficult when you are starting out. As an auto transporter & an owner operator looking for business it is important to take advantage of all resources available to you. As your skills and customer base increase you can be more selective and find your niche to figure out what best suits your needs.
1. Load Boards
Sometimes the easiest and the most common way of finding freight is on load boards. Load boards allow mostly dealers & brokers to advertise available freight to qualified carriers. Load boards typically charge a subscription fee but also provide useful tools for order tracking, communication and a ratings system. Disadvantages of load boards is that often prices race to the bottom with surplus of trucks. Popular load boards: CentralDispatch, DATexpress, TruckStop
advantages: inexpensive, large volume of loads, ease of use, visible ratings
disadvantages: massive fluctuation of volume, prices could be low, strict requirements for membership, monthly fees of $50+, risks involved
2. Broker Portals
Major freight brokers often allow car haulers access to their without a fee. Research the companies that offer freight in the lanes you operate and get setup with those brokers. Sign up with us to get first updates when we have available loads.
advantages: no cost, build long term relationships,
disadvantages: limited volume, cumbersome websites and difficult to use interfaces, higher insurance requirements.
Auto auction sells thousands of cars and constantly need trucks to bring inventory. Different auctions have different needs depending on what they sell. Salvage auctions and dealer auctions are very different in how they operate.
advantages: High volume, steady & consistent work, full truck loads
disadvantages: relatively low pay, having to wait for payment, mandatory commitment
Although dealers tend to avoid shipping cars when they can, they hire car haulers on regular basis. Depending on the type of a dealer your approach
advantages: higher pay, relationship building,
disadvantages: little flexibility, having to make multiple stops, commitment.
Individuals looking for move often choose to ship their cars instead of driving them. Individuals that ship personal vehicles are often college students and working professionals that need one or multiple cars transported to their new place of residence.
advantages: higher pay, flexible work schedule
disadvantages: having to make multiple stops, tight delivery schedules, personal items.
The kind of clients you can serve as owner operator will also depend on your service area. Some drivers want the flexibility to spend weekend at home, while others don’t mind traveling coast-to-coast.
Alex Marinov is the president of RCG Logistics LLC, with years experience in the shipping and freight industry. His main interest include sustainable building design, video production and automobiles.