By David Sperau, CEO & Co-Founder, Autosled
Vehicle shipping is a crucial component in turning vehicles faster. With that said, the logistics of automotive transport can become complicated by a variety of environmental and market factors during the winter months. In order to streamline new and used car shipments, there are a few important details for all dealers to consider.
Fluctuating Weather Conditions
Just as the release of new vehicle models affects the pricing of last year’s models, weather conditions during scheduled shipments impact the prices of vehicle transports. This sounds like common sense, but did you factor a 10-15% pricing increase or 2-3 additional days per shipment into your dealership’s budget for the winter months?
During the winter it can be harder to find automotive haulers who are willing to transport vehicles amidst harsh weather conditions. Tracking the anticipated weather conditions at pickup and destination points before any shipment helps to anticipate delays and set realistic expectations with customers or dealer partners.
Weather conditions like storms may also impact your vehicle shipment options. Open transport may be suitable for a clear forecast, however, if heavy storms, snow, or natural disasters are expected during a moving window, it may be necessary to pay more to arrange for enclosed transportation. This is a better option to protect vehicles on their way to their destination. Whether transporting vehicles to another dealership or directly to a buyer, shielding new and used cars from damage is always in a dealership’s best interest.
Time of Year
Seasonal shifts in vehicle transport can also affect a dealership’s shipping cost and timeframe. Generally speaking, June through August is peak vehicle shipping season, it can last as late as October. Demand for vehicle transport usually increases temporarily during major U.S. holidays.
On the other hand, January through March tends to be off-season for vehicle shipping. Vehicle transports during those months tend to cost less and come with more scheduling flexibility. Booking vehicle shipments during the off-season can save your business a significant amount of money.
Transport prices vary whenever a rush is placed on the delivery. Often overlooked, simply scheduling and booking your dealership’s vehicle shipments in advance saves money. A tight turnaround for vehicle deliveries yields premium prices. Even booking a week or two in advance could save a dealership hundreds of dollars on each shipment.
Automotive transport is the final key step in getting vehicles off a dealership’s lot and opening up space for new models. Prioritize vehicle transports by allocating both budget and time during the winter months.
About the Author
David Sperau is the CEO and co-founder of the automotive logistics company Autosled. A car enthusiast, Dave was a Dealer Principal and General Manager for Ford dealerships. He now streamlines the vehicle transport process for dealers, transporters, and retail consumers.