It’s common in the Caribbean community for people to fill up a Box truck with freight or to overload a Sports Utility Vehicle with personal stuff then drive it to a US port entrusted with the responsibility of shipping that vehicle to a port of discharge in the Caribbean. This crude way of doing business may on the surface save you money but will consume so much of your time and in the long run, end up costing much more. Contrary to popular belief, it is cheaper to hire a third party – i.e., transport company – to haul your vehicle to the port you regularly use to ship cars and trucks to the Caribbean, than doing the job yourself. “I would be glad to do the math with you.” It all boils down to how much your time is worth. From a business standpoint, it is also about “value and convenience.” Value in the sense of what’s important to you as a customer. For example, how fast do you you want the vehicle delivered to the US port? And how much money are you willing to spend to get the job done right? This way, you can spend your valuable time doing other things? Convenience in this context means that you sit in the comfort of your own home while a customer service Representative gives you regular updates of the whereabouts of your vehicle, until it arrives to the port of discharge in the Caribbean. With a high degree of certainty, your vehicle will be in the same exact condition when it arrives to its final destination. Besides, both the transport company and vessel provide automatic insurance coverage. However, once the ship is underway, things can get a bit more complicated. When a vessel is out to sea, even major “Auto Transport Companies” don’t get an immediate response to an urgent inquiry. At that point, your patience would be greatly appreciated. Like you, the CentEx Cargo and Auto staff waits for words, whether the ETA is going to be met or whether there will be some type of delay due to unforeseen circumstances. You’ve read this far and still want to do the job yourself. Ok, but you have to do it the right way. It is not too difficult to drive if you don’t live too far from the port. But regardless of the distance in terms of miles traveled and driven from your home to the US shipping port, you must carry some type of liability of insurance on the vehicle. Driving any car or a commercial vehicle with no insurance carries a very stiff penalty in all 50 states. Moreover, the vehicle must be in very good driving condition. Because, if it breaks down on the way to the port, you will incur both the costs of towing and repair. And lastly, in the worst case scenario, you can potentially pay some steep impound fees if you cannot afford to have your box truck, for instance, fixed immediately after some type of mechanical failure or an accident.
Well, let’s say you make it to the port without any incidents. Bring a couple of screwdrivers, so you can remove the license plate(s) before leaving. Keep in mind that most RoRo vessels reserve the right to charge you an additional fee for any vehicle that is overloaded or if your SUV doesn’t start. As you approach the port, don’t fill her up with gas. For safety reasons, a crew member of the vessel will siphon gas out of the tank of any vehicle that’s on FULL.
The ideal way to transport any automobile is EMPTY (i.e., with nothing in it). If you are shipping a sedan, an SUV, a pickup truck or van, you should hire a transport company that will put it on a ‘double deck car hauler’ or a ‘flatbed trailer.’ This way, you can have peace of mind and adequate insurance coverage until your vehicle is delivered to the US shipping port. If you have a big truck or semi-trailer, it is best that you deal with a company that has access to some heavy duty flatbed trailers and hire professional drivers that have years of experience hauling big trucks and heavy equipment. As a valued customer, your time is too valuable to get behind the wheel yourself and do the job. How much does a one-way ticket cost for you to get back from the shipping port to your home state? How many hours are you willing to spend on a bus to get back home? Is this how you want to spend your time off from work? I don’t know about you but I would rather spend my vacation ‘hiking’ or on the beach somewhere with my family. Then, upon getting the update that my vehicle has arrived to the port of discharge in the Caribbean, part of my vacation would be spent supervising and clearing my automobile out of customs.
Feel free to post a comment directly at the bottom of this blog post or call 770-864-4871 to discuss this topic further. For more information about Transport and Auto Shipping service from the eastern seaboard of the US to a port in the Caribbean, visit http://pinterest.com/centexcargo
2 thoughts on “Auto Transport Tip: Leave the driving to the Professionals”
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