Your car shipping pickup window—the projected period of time in which your vehicle will be picked up—is based on a number of factors. It may seem logical that once you book your shipment, you are then given a date and time for the carrier to arrive.
However, your carrier is most likely not sitting around waiting for a call, it is most likely traveling over one of the highways that bisect the country, delivering or picking up cars along the way. So, they are susceptible to the same type of delays any other motorist would be such as traffic, weather delays, road work delays, and any other type of events that slow down road travel in general.
That’s Why It’s Called a Window
This is why, when you make your arrangements, you’ll be given a car shipping pickup window and not a guaranteed pick-up or delivery date and time. The general window is usually 24-48 hours in order to take into consideration road delays and delays that can happen when picking up and delivering other vehicles on their route.
Keep in mind that most car shipping services operate ten-car carriers, so they have a route with numerous stops where they deliver and pick up cars along the way. Often they must shuffle cars around on the truck, which can be time-consuming.
Organization and Efficiency in Car Shipping
Planning a route, monitoring the traffic patterns, and coordinating all the pickups and deliveries is practically a full-time job of its own. They have to plan for every stop and as many possible delays as they can think of in order to make sure they deliver to their customers in the car shipping window they committed to. Initially, this may seem inconvenient for you, but it is better for everyone in the long run since it makes the trip easier and more cost-effective. Then consider the mode of transportation.
It takes time to drive from one part of the country to another—think about how well you could estimate the time it would take you to drive from New York to Los Angeles, then factor in delays due to unexpected traffic or road work. Your representative from your car shipping company will tell you when your car has been dispatched and give you an estimate on when to expect it.
Stay Close to Your Phone and Transportation
At this time, you’ll need to stay close to your pickup location and have a friend with transportation on standby to take you to the drop-off or pick-up location. Your auto carrier driver should call you when they first enter your area, usually considering the city limits or as they approach the metropolitan area. Car shipping isn’t extremely difficult, however, it does take a lot of coordination, cooperation, and patience.