Terminal-to-Terminal Auto Shipping

What is Terminal-to-Terminal Auto Shipping? 


Q: Do all auto shipping companies use terminals?

A: Most auto transportation services are door-to-door. Meaning the carrier picks up & delivers your vehicle to the addresses you provide. Terminals are a good method of shipping for people who have to drop their vehicle on a specific day. Once the carrier picks up your vehicle, they will deliver it shipped to another terminal where it will stay stored until you can pick it up. You might also hire the carrier or a local towing company bring your vehicle to the terminal if you are unable to do it yourself.

Some shipping companies will offer terminal-to-terminal transport for a discounted rate. A terminal is basically a storage facility for cars. Once the vehicle is dropped off, it will be stored until a driver can pick it up. A terminal representative will contact you once the driver has picked up or is in transit to deliver your car.


Q: Is an auto shipping terminal necessary?

A: No! It is not necessary to use a terminal when shipping your vehicle. Most shipments are door-to-door. Shipments that require a terminal are those shipments that begin or end in certain locations such as New York City, downtown San Francisco, or any other place that will not allow commercial car carriers.

Another route that requires a shipping terminal is when the shipment is going overseas to Hawaii or Alaska. The vehicle is first shipped on an auto transport carrier and then on a ferry or ship. You vehicle will be in a terminal at the shipping dock while awaiting transfer.


Q: Are there benefits to terminal-to-terminal shipping?

A: The main benefit to terminal shipping is that people who live in or visit areas where the use of a terminal is required for the shipment to be effectively completed.


Q: Are there any downsides to terminal-to-terminal shipping?

A: Individual situations are always different and depending on your specific situation there can be a couple negatives. Terminals are not located in every city and state, which means that depending on where you are located determines how far the nearest terminal is to you. If a terminal is too far from your location, you would either have to pay money to have your vehicle delivered there or would have to waste gas and risk wear and tear on your vehicle to drive it there yourself.

Another negative is that it is not always a fast process. Your vehicle may sit at a terminal for a couple days or a couple of weeks waiting on a carrier that is headed to your destination terminal or is running a route that the destination terminal is in. Some terminals charge storage fees which will drastically increase the price depending on how long your vehicle will sit. This is not an ideal situation for people who were looking to save a couple of bucks or who need their vehicle in a certain time frame. You are basically at the mercy of a drivers schedule.