Auto Transport Terms You Should Know

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When it comes to car shipping with an auto transport company, there are a few terms that you should know. Some of them will be more confusing than others, however, here we will give you a full list of terms for you to know in order to make your experience much more successful.


Auto Transport Glossary


AmeriFreight: A top company in the auto transport industry, with years of experience and thousands of happy and returning customers. The company ships vehicles across the country in a matter of days, offering affordable prices, great customer service, and different shipping methods. AmeriFreight is highly recommended by thousands of car movers. 

Auto Transport Company: Shipping companies are in charge of transporting vehicles from one place to another across the country and even the world. The industry has terrestrial or water shipping services for transporting any kind of vehicle, offering multiple shipping methods depending on the car shipping company selected. Some car transport companies have their own haulers, ships, or trains, while others request them from an external company. 

Auto Logistics: The planning and execution of an auto shipping operation in all forms of transportation, including freight, rail, and marine. 

Bill of Lading: Also known as the BOL, is a legal document that outlines information about each vehicle’s shipping process from point A to B. The trucker will document this information, and the terms and conditions of it will be stated by both trucker and owner with a signature. The BOL represents a receipt for each transportation procedure. 

Boat transport: It’s the same as vehicle transportation, but this time the truck will carry a boat on its boat trailer. They may be transported on specialized carriers by certain car shipping companies.

Bonded: Vehicle transport brokers are obliged by the federal government and law to have a bond, which is a document that protects the carriers and ensures they will be paid for the service. The bonds are issued by the FMCSA. 

Broker: A broker has a large network of vehicle carriers that cover several regions all over the nation. They are the ones with the most carrier availability, therefore, they provide reduced costs of shipping. Brokers also check that the carriers have vehicle cargo insurance, federal licenses, and USDOT permissions. They track the entire journey, ensuring that the car is sent by the carrier.

Car Hauling: It’s the way of moving, purchasing, and selling a car out of the state. They provide cost-effective alternatives so that the customer doesn't have to take much time and effort to ship the vehicle longer distances. 

Carrier: A business or truck driver who is responsible for the actual transportation of cars or other freight.

Quote Shipping Calculator: This tool calculates the cost of transporting your car. At AmeriFreight, you can find it for free.

Co-loading: The  process of loading several vehicles onto a single carrier. In essence, this lowers transportation expenses for the carrier and the client.

Dealership Auto Transport: Specialized transportation services designed only for moving cars for dealerships. 

Delivery Network: The car transport system's trucks, ships, aircraft, and trains.

Diversion: This phrase refers to the modification of a shipment's transit path.

Door-to-Door Auto Shipping: This refers to the truck driver picking up and delivering the car as near to your house as they are able to do so legally and safely. Large trucks are not permitted to enter certain residential neighborhoods in several cities due to limitations on their use. The driver may request that you meet the truck in a big parking lot nearby, such as a grocery store lot if access to your house is impeded by narrow streets, low-hanging trees, speed bumps, or tight curves. Transport trucks are massive and need a lot of space to navigate and turn around.

Department of Transportation (DOT): On October 15, 1966, congressional legislation created the Department of Transportation. Federal highway, aviation, railroad, marine, and other transportation administration duties are under the control of the D.O.T. 

Drop-off Window: This is the time or day when your car will be delivered.

Enclosed Car Hauler/Trailer: Enclosed car haulers are often used for shipments that need special handling or need to be protected from the weather.

En route: This means when a vehicle is being carried from its place of origin to a specific destination. Simply defined, the car is traveling from one location to another.

FMCSA: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This organization helps the federal government regulate laws and informs the states about new laws and requirements. Additionally, it provides a public database with information on insurance and licensing requirements for companies that provide vehicle logistics services.

Freight: Inventory and products that are going to be transported.

Open Auto Transport: The most popular kind of automobile transport is an open carrier, which is an unprotected sort of carrier. This carrier exposes the automobiles to weather conditions.

Proof of Delivery (POD): A document that certifies that a car shipment has been received; it is often a bill of lading.

Terminal-to-Terminal Transport: It’s a transport method that consists of dropping off the vehicle at a terminal (a designated area where cars are readied for loading) closest to the pickup and delivery location. Since the automobiles don't leave the origin until there are enough to load a full trailer, this sort of shipment sometimes takes far longer than door-to-door delivery.

Transit Time: The amount of time spent traveling from the point of origin to the point of destination.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): Used by the automotive industry to identify certain motor vehicles, a vehicle identification number is a distinctive code that also includes a serial number.

Vehicle logistics: A phrase used to describe management, planning, and transportation in the automotive sector, including shipment through land, rail, or water