Archive for January 26, 2011

Recipe For Happy Clients In Auto Transport: Quality Customer Service And Professionalism

Recipe for happy clients in auto transport:

Quality customer service and professionalism.

Have you ever found yourself caught in the middle of a big mess?

When answering the phone you never know what challenge will be on the other end. Will it be a logistics problem or someone with a time issue? Will it be on your shoulders to fix the problem or another party's responsibility?
 
Our company has two divisions at this time. One is a full service dispatch center for auto transport carriers. The second one is the brokerage for coordinating client auto transports.
 
Today's challenge was a phone call from a dispatcher for an auto transport carrier who had not done her job correctly. We were not the broker nor the dispatch center involved. What was her problem and how could we help?
 
She had accepted a load (a vehicle) to transport to a small northern California town. Her contract noted the exact pick up and delivery addresses as well as the vehicle description and rate for the load. What she did not do was verify the delivery location, big costly mistake.
 
Long after the driver had picked up the vehicle, we are talking days and hundreds of miles; she discovered that her driver could not get to the customers delivery address. In fact, he could not get within 200 miles of the customers location. Department of Transportation sets laws for highway safety. In this case, the length of the truck and trailer were too long and could not travel this route.
 
As a courtesy, we provided several options to help her solve the problem. However, she had accepted a rate that would not cover the cost to deliver to the customer. This left her scrambling to find an acceptable solution so she could keep her driver rolling.
 
Many auto transport brokers and dispatchers would have blown off her request for help. They would have told her that her problem was not their problem. They would be right.
 
However, there have been times in the past that carriers have helped me out with information. After all business in the auto transport industry is a true learning experience every day. So today was my turn to reciprocate, to help a fellow carrier in need.
 
Do not let what happened to Mr. Auto Transport Client happen to you. Let us address several issues regarding what happened to this customer and the less than professional service he received. We will look at how a broker should serve their client for quality and professional customer service.

The auto transport broker's job is customer service.

The primary job of an auto transport broker is to coordinate the transport of the customer's car. It may sound simple enough, but there are steps one must follow to do the job right.

The first rule is to never, ever assume anything. Remember what the word assume stands for – makes an "ass" out of "u" and "me". Questions are the broker's best friend.

The customer cares primarily about the price, timing and care of their car transport. The broker needs to keep all customers needs in mind when competing for the job. Price is certainly a factor, but they also need to keep in mind contracting with a quality carrier. This will ensure the kind of service their customer demands and deserves.

Properly quoted transports can be tricky.

There are different factors the broker must look at to quote a transport. To provide the customer with a quote that gets the job done it must be fair and honest.

Vehicle information is one of those key factors. Manufacturers change many details of cars each year like weight, length and sometimes height. All of these points can make a difference to the car carrier when putting together a full load.

Another key piece of information is the location of pick up and delivery. Remember, auto transport carriers do not drive "as the crow flies".

Therefore, when mapping the route the broker needs to be sure where the car is located and where it needs to deliver to, exactly. When contacting the carrier it is to everyone's advantage to be upfront with ALL of the details. This may sound funny, but it can create a big mess like the one we encountered today.

Auto transport carrier has responsibility, too.

Another layer of responsibility lies with the carriers themselves. To cover all of the bases it is the dispatcher's job to check each location, pick up and delivery. They may not know all of the DOT regulations, but their driver will or should.

The driver and dispatcher must work together, as a team. The dispatcher should know the working space of the driver's trailer. Knowing the varying makes and models of the cars will help him/her be able to load the truck for maximum business profits.

Once a broker dispatches a vehicle to the carrier's company, they have a signed, legal contract for services. The unit, locations and the price is agreed upon in the contract. All research needs completing prior to accepting the load.

When each party completes their piece of the job properly it works like a well-planned recipe. When you do not leave any ingredients out of the mix, it makes for the perfect creation. On the other hand, just like leaving out eggs in a souffle'…it will end in disaster every time.

This is what happened to Mr. Client today. The broker did not map out the delivery location making sure they contracted with a carrier capable of finishing the job. The dispatcher did not verify the delivery location to make sure her driver could get there either. The driver did not know the DOT regulations for this highway route.

Not only were the eggs left out, there was no flour, oil nor sugar! Mr. Client paid for "door to door" service and instead got no service.

We are so thankful for the professional manner in which we learned to operate our business. Our customers may pay a little more, but they love the service they receive. They do not have to drive 200 miles to pick up their car.

Our passion is to train up a new breed of auto transport broker, true business owners who take pride in providing their customers with quality customer service. We are searching for entrepreneurs who want to be part of making a real change in the industry for a better tomorrow for all families, including theirs.

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

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Auto Transport and The Snowbird Rates

 
Auto transport and the snowbird rates.
 
Do you plan for this season for your business?
 
The day started like any other day of the year in our auto transport office. As the computer was booting up I opened the blinds in the office. What a gorgeous day! It was clear outside. Finally, the fog had cleared from the valley, yeah!

Looking out across the lawn, I could see the doe with her twin fawns frolicking in the tree-studded meadow. The gray squirrels were busy scampering up the oak trees mouths full of acorn nuts. The mountain quail were so cute. The hen gathered her chicks while the cocks were strutting like proud peacocks.  What a way to start the day.

Then it all changed. Out of nowhere, the wind picked up. The day was about to change. What looked like a nice day in the making quickly turned into a blustery chilly day. Change it did, just like the seasons of the year and the snowbird rates.
 
 

What are snowbirds and snowbird rates?

Before I started learning about auto transport and the small yet intricate details of the business, I didn't know the answer to that question either.
 
A snowbird is not an actual bird. No, in the auto transport business a snowbird is someone who moves south in the winter season. They are much like the bird species in that they are migratory.
 
These clients are sometimes retirees who just do not care for the cold winter months. Those families with children in school usually do not fit this group of our clientele.
 
Snowbird rates are different for each individual route and area of the nation. Some preferred auto transport carriers after working with you for a while, will give you a special break on the price.
 
As with any business, "supply and demand" dictates the rates. The rates will be higher when there are plenty of cars. The rates will be much lower when there are few cars on the reverse route.
 
Why do the snowbird rates differ so much when the same truck travels the same miles on the same route? It is due to the truckers not having a back-haul. Back-haul is a term used by truckers who haul freight. This happens when the freight for the return trip isn't enough to fill the available space on the truck. The rates must be higher going to allow for the empty space coming back.
 
Remember this when planning your annual budget.
 
When we first opened our doors for business back in 2005 no one warned us about the different seasons in the industry. We hit the road running the end of January and never looked back or up.

Never having put together a business plan we did not think to put a budget into place either. Each month we paid the bills as they came in the mail. We did keep our expenses as low as we could but they were still substantial.

It is normal to have expenses when you start and run a business. Looking back in hindsight I sure wish someone would have taught or shown me how to put one together.
 
With that plan, I could have included a budget. There was plenty of income to cover the expenses and provide personal income. However, we could have done better with a written budget and plan.

We learned along the way and wanted to share with you this lesson. There are definite seasons in the auto transport business. A smart business person will learn from a mentor who has gone before them. Take the advice you are given, it is for good reason.
 
To run a successful business, plan your budget to allow for the season of snowbird rates in auto transport. You will set your business apart from the masses who may not survive the season of few.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
P.S. sharing is caring, leave your comments below…
 
P.S.S. is there something about auto transport brokering you would like to know more about? Send us your questions, we would love to consider them for a future article.

Auto Transport – The Hawaiian Islands

Auto Transport – The Hawaiian Islands

Have you ever wanted to work to the beat of your own drum?

More than six years ago, we started our auto transport business. We had no idea all the ways we could cash in because our business is mobile. We were excited to learn of all the extra tax advantages of running a business out of our home. However, that first year we would learn that there were many more benefits available to us.

We knew others in the community who owned traditional businesses. We watched as they worked years with no time for vacations, family or fun. Watching our friends we were afraid to take time for ourselves. We knew we did not want that responsibility or the limitations.

What we did not consider was they had a storefront we did not. Shop owners can not simply close when they want to. Travel and time off come at a high price for the business owner. Our friends do not see revenue if their doors are not open and they are not available.

However, for our auto transport business it is different. Travel and time out of the office are easier to schedule. When you work from a home office being mobile allows you to take your business with you, even to the Hawaiian IsIands.

Who says work has to be menial and boring?

Our first year in business was full of learning experiences. Having come from banking it was not easy to start thinking like a business owner right away. Like most people, I was used to rules. Regulations and processes were already in place before I started a job.

Now it was my turn to make the rules. The Department of Transportation made and monitored the regulations I needed to learn and follow. The hardest part for me to learn was how to balance my work hours. Have you ever tried to walk by a ringing phone and not answer it?

Determining how to put a system into place the daily tasks of the business came easy to me. It is really all in finding a system that works for you. When speaking with a client it was natural for me to take detailed notes. From those notes, it was an easy transition to the data input for completing an auto transport order.

Compiling the file folder was a snap. Name, shipping origination and destination were necessary for identifying the order along with the software generated order number. After the client had paid for services, we filed the folder in its appropriate slot in the cabinet.

Although it might seem to some a menial type of business, the exciting part is working with the customers. Each one is as unique as the sands on the beaches of Hawaii…no two are the same. Everyone’s personality is different. Some are subdued some are eccentric and others flamboyant. Each day is a new adventure. 

Auto transport serves customers need

Over the course of our first year, many of our transports were unique. Some days I found myself thinking about being transported to the destination we were shipping the car.

Most auto transports are your typical "point A to point B within the continental United States" transports. Occasionally though clients needs will be more exotic. We have shipped client’s vehicles to Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam, England, Russia, Australia, China, Africa, Costa Rica and the Pacific Islands. Hawaii and Alaska are popular seasonal shipping destinations.

The research involved in learning the logistics of these moves makes brokering anything but mundane and menial. Challenging research and documentation takes your business to a completely new level. Hawaii in particular remains our favorite because we were able to travel with our best friends and see the fruits of our labor thanks to one of our customers.

One auto transport customer was shipping his granddaughter's car from northern California to Hawaii. By working closely with this customer throughout the transport process we became friends. We talked about the islands and how it had always been a dream of mine to travel there one day. It never dawned on me that we could go there and kill two birds with one stone.

He helped me put together a nice little travel package through his connections. He also put together a list of places to go, things to do and where the best food on the island was served. His suggestions for beaches, snorkeling and unique shows were perfect.

By building relationships with customers in your business you can both help each other. When you treat people right and not just for personal gain it always comes back to you in one way or another. Our customer was more than happy with his transport service. Helping us get to Maui was his way of thanking us to help fulfill a dream of ours.

Because my friend and I were both an auto transport broker, we were mobile. We packed our laptops, forwarded our phones and arranged to work from the condominium. Taking our business very seriously, we made a day trip to visit the port and see the shipping operation we worked with.

 

Build your auto transport business and your life… on your terms

Imagine waking each morning to the sound of pounding surf, right outside of your window. Think about being able to hear the birds chirping, palm trees swaying. Visualize watching the canoe clubs make their way around the bay one stroke at a time. All the while, you are sitting on the lanai sipping your hot rich Kona coffee from your over-sized mug.

That scenario is real, that is what we enjoyed with our friends for two glorious weeks in Kihei, Maui Hawaii. After a leisurely morning, we both would boot up our computers to work for a few hours. With laser sharp focus we calculated our customers quote requests. The transport rates were sent to the customer with lightning speed. Limiting ourselves to reduced office hours we returned phone calls. This allowed us to schedule and dispatch the auto transports quickly. Our customers appreciated that we still cared for their needs even while on vacation.

That is the beauty of building your own auto transport business. To realize tax benefits, enjoy freedom of time. To live life on your own terms. No job can give you these things.

Yes, its hard work what business do you know does not take hard work? There is even some sweat and a few tears some days. Anything worth its salt will have its sacrifices along the way.

Nevertheless, being mobile while building your own business allows you to live life… on your own terms.

Here to Serve

Carla J Gardiner

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How To Build An Auto Transport Business Without Spending An Arm and A Leg

 

How to build an auto transport business without spending an arm and a leg

Do you know someone who wants to build a home business? Like many of you, I have looked at several home businesses over the years. That search lead me to getting started in network marketing.

 

The products ranged from jewelry to insurance and investments, even personal products. It was enticing knowing I could be mobile with no territories. I could work from where and when I wanted to earn the money I needed and more.

However, the major drawback was the inability of other business owners to come up with enough capital to continue their business strongly. I wanted a real business with an income that would help me reach my goal of being my own boss 100% of the time.
 
Never having gone to college I did not realize what it really took to build a business let alone from home. Network marketing was just the beginning of my business education.
 

It was when we decided to become an auto transport broker that I learned what business was all about. It is a way to build a real home business without spending an arm and a leg.

Getting started in an auto transport home business

 
When starting a business of any kind the first step is to research your market. You want to know who your competition is. Knowing who your ideal client is will help you build faster. Learning who to contract with will help you serve your clients at a higher level, too.  

Next would be any legal requirements, like licensing, bonding and any local governmental requirements. Check out names you would want to use. Remember, you will need a name that represents who you are. This took me a week to decide on a name that not only fit auto transport, but who I am, my personality. I do not know about you, but I think “Bullseye Auto Transport” is a good fit.

Then you would start making a list of office supplies and equipment that you might need. I had always worked in an office. But, until I started equipping my home-office, I did not realize how many different pieces of equipment I used on a daily basis. It never dawned on me the numerous types of pens, pencils, file folders and paper, ink, etc that was on the supply shelves at the bank!

You will need a business checking account, book keeping software and any software applicable to your niche. I know this is not a detailed list for every home business, but it is a good place to start.
 
 
Have realistic expectations of start up capital needed
 
I remember thinking $2,000 was a lot of money to get started in business. That is what I needed to get started in one of my home based network marketing businesses. That was more than I made working at the bank in a month. No wonder I thought it to be a lot of money.

However, my desire to change how my life looked over-ruled my small thinking when I started the auto transport business. I used a zero balance credit card to get started. Later I would learn that by investing into my business and my future it gave me a reason to take the commitment seriously. Yes, I had a serious desire to earn enough to pay the credit card back. But that was not all, I wanted to increase my bank account too.

In any business, you need capital to get started. There are some areas where you can cut corners and others that you cannot. There are ways of being frugal and still get the job done but consider all options before making that decision. My grandma always said that you could be “penny smart and dollar stupid”.
 
That is where having a mentor or coach comes in handy. They most likely have been there done that. It makes sense to find a coach or mentor who has a proven track record. When they have built his or her own successful business in the niche you are researching they will be able to help you get started correctly.
 
Home business without inventory
 
When we built our auto transport brokerage, we did not need inventory or a brick building. We did however need to have money available to get started.

There were licenses to apply for and associated filing fees. We had no office equipment so (and I loved this part) we went on a shopping spree. I am a real bargain shopper so we comparison-shopped the first day. The second day we went back to the various stores and made our purchases.

You may think that was not smart because of the time spent shopping. The reality is we saved hundreds of dollars by shopping that way. Those dollars were able to supply the office for the next few months.

You must begin training your brain to be a business owner. Smart decisions from the beginning will set your business up to be more successful from day one. By using the money available to you in a well thought out manner, you will be setting your business up with tools for the greatest bang for your investment buck.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
PS. we would love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below.
 

Auto Transport Broker, The Role Of A Middleman

Auto transport broker, the role of a middleman.

Have you ever wondered what an auto transport broker does for the customer? If you have, you are not alone. Many people do not know exactly what to expect when they make that first phone call. When I first learned of the auto transport broker business, I did not know the exact role of the transport broker either.

There are many small details just like any other job. However, today I want to address one BIG part of the job. That is how the transport broker must balance serving their customer with serving their drivers.

Brokering may seem simple…

The reality is there are many details that make up the job. Some may seem minor, but could take a twist and turn for the worse making a mountain out of a molehill.

One such detail is the carrier's insurance. Department of Transportation requires each truck and driver on the road to carry a minimum amount of insurance. Truckers are no different from you and me. We are fined when we do not have insurance on our cars, the same goes for them.

One major difference is in the insurance limits and terms of coverage. Verifying the insurance is in effect and will not expire during the transport is part of the job. Then there is the matter of what is covered. It only makes sense that liability and company's equipment is covered. However, what about the customer's car; is it covered?

Trucker's insurance has a special coverage called "cargo". Each company's limits will vary according to their equipment, how many cars they can carry and of course, the premium they are willing to pay. Therefore, as a transport broker we must make sure our customers precious cargo is covered at least for the minimum allowed by law.

Another aspect of brokering is in verifying the reputation of the carrier and company. Each brokerage has points of contact to do this part of his/her job. There are government websites available and reference checks from business contacts to aid checking a carrier's reputation. In any case, you always want to know whom you are dealing with on behalf of your customer.

What will happen if a problem comes up?

Just like any other job, problems can arise no matter how well you have done your job. Sometimes it can leave you feeling like you are between a rock and a hard place.

With government cutbacks, paperwork and websites are not always up to date. Insurance lapses and the updating of each file can fall between the cracks. A quick call to each company's insurance agent can solve that piece of the puzzle very quickly.

Can you really count on references to give an honest one? One source you can trust is your fellow auto transport broker! We have found over the years that a huge key to our success is building a solid relationship with our fellow brokers.

By advising each other of negative experiences, we have developed a "black list". This list contains names and locations of carriers who have performed below the standards we choose for our customers.

One of these problems arose just the other day in our office. We received a phone call from one of the office managers of the trucking company. The issue revolved around the delivery of a customer's car. After carefully listening, pulling the file and contacting the customer for their side of the story, we were able to call the carrier back with a solution.

As a business owner, you must be able to referee each part of the transport in a fair and equitable fashion. There is Department of Transportation laws that govern what we as brokers may and may not do, period. Keeping this in mind, we must serve our client who has paid us. Then, we must also take care of our truckers who provide the service to our customers and us.

So, what are we to do? Listen to all of the facts, from both the customer and the driver. Looking at our file and notes, we must then make a determination of "the reality". We must keep in mind that each driver and customer is going to be looking at it from his or her own perspective. Each will want the situation to end the way they want it to. We help each party calm down, take a step back and come to a solution, peacefully.

We must make each one happy. We want a happy, satisfied customer with their vehicle safely in their possession. However, we also want a satisfied trucker who will want to work with our company again.

As the transport broker and business owner, all we can do is follow the law. Guide our customer through the process and help the driver and customer complete the transaction in a fair and equitable manner.

This is auto transport brokering. It can be a fun, challenging and rewarding profession. If you want to ship your car a broker can help you. If it is a new career you are looking for, an auto transport broker is a possibility, too.

Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

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Efficiency of Employees Determines Business Profits

Efficiency of employees determines business profits.
 
Today I woke to the buzzing and pounding of a chipper truck. The truck, chipper and crew was parked directly in front of our driveway. The chainsaw was whirring, limbs falling. The employees of the unit stood watching, as the brush pile grew larger.
 
There were five men in all. It certainly did not seem like the operation's efficiency was at its peak that is for sure. The man with the saw rode high up into the sky in a bucket truck. His job seemed to be simply to operate the bucket and cut the limbs from the overhanging trees.
 
One man wearing the bright orange colored safety vest sat on his lunch box by the side of the road. Our guess was his job was to direct traffic. We could tell by the orange flag he had placed in the cone, which sat in the middle of the street. Never did see him wave a flag, stop a car or actually move off his lunchbox for that matter.
 
The other three men each took turns picking up one branch at a time. Walking over to the chipper, they were careful to shove the branches into its grinding steel teeth. All three were cautious to remove their hands and arms before it chewed up the limbs to the end.
 
None of them would have been following my grandpa's words when he said "step it up" that is for sure. Their actions were more like "slow as a turtle" in the heat of summer. Watching the way they went about their work reminded me of cutting wood with my dad. Now there was a system with true efficiency.
 
No stranger to cutting wood and pulling brush.
 
What seemed like an eternity turned out to be only about an hour or so. The odd part of watching this comedy is that I grew up helping my family cut wood. You see we used oak wood to burn in our heating stove.
 
My dad had a system, a well thought out system with the efficiency of a well-oiled machine. He was in charge of the chain saw cutting down the small trees, and then cleaning off the leafy shoots. 
 
Dad cut the logs into manageable pieces; mom would carry them over to the pick up. My sister would pass the log to my other sister and then to me. My job was to stack the logs in even rows.
 
There was always a rotation of jobs. Each sibling had each job for fifteen minutes to half an hour. This ensured that no one got overly tired.
 
Within one day of working together, our family was able to cut, clean up, load and unload, then stack enough wood to last us the winter. The efficiency of the day's work made for a profitable, warm winter.
 
Working as a family teaches how to build business profits.
 
Although I hated helping out in the fields as a kid it taught me the basics of how to build business profits. You must always start out with a plan, a well thought out plan.
 
Next, you should use enough workers to get the job done efficiently. By employing too many, we waste not only their time, but also our money and valuable resources.
 
When on the job, we always were working. There was no time or place for slackers. In fact, if dad caught you slacking…you got the privilege of cleaning up the brush and completing your assigned job.
 
Everyone welcomed break time, always. Hot cocoa and donuts re-energized us giving us the desire to keep going. Today, we look forward to stepping outside the office for a hot cup of coffee and a piece of fruit or light snack.
 
We learned early on that when we worked together we had the privilege of enjoying the reward together. All winter long as we sat by the fire we could tell a story of being together cutting that wood that was keeping us warm.
 
Just like our family, business profits depend on everyone doing their part. You must employ just the right number to get the job done but not too many to waste precious resources.
 
So, if you are an employee think about what you give to your employer. Do you give 110% or are you a "slacker"? If you are a self-employed business owner as I am, do you give "you" 110%? On the other hand, do you find yourself slacking, too?
 
For any employee's efficiency to produce business profits, we must show up and give 110% all the time. The rewards of working in a "well oiled" business are profits in the bank.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
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The Auto Transport Broker and The Piracy of The Truck Driver

 
The auto transport broker and the piracy of the truck driver…

Have you ever thought about what it takes to run a profitable business?
 
To tell the truth before owning my own auto transport business I never gave it a second thought. Frankly, I think most people are just like me. Many folks just get up in the morning, drive to work, put in their eight hours and go home. The next day they get up and start all over again; it it is like being in a rut.

You are probably thinking that is cold! Well, fact of the matter is that is exactly how I used to be. When we hate what we are doing, we just go through the motions. Who cares about our efficiency, if there is a profit or not, it does not affect me – we think. All we are there for is to put in our time and collect a paycheck that doesn't go far enough.

You are probably wondering what this all has to do with auto transport and the piracy of the truck driver. Well, as employees we had better start caring our efficiency and about the company profits. Think about it for just a minute. If  they do not make a profit, we probably will not have a job for long. Have you ever thought about it that way?

Auto transport industry is no different…

After talking with a truck driver, today this very point came to mind. Our whole conversation revolved around the economics of running our mutual businesses. There are so many pieces to the puzzle; but, one main reason really took the majority of the talk.

Today there are too many auto transport brokers out there not doing their job the right way. Greed has set in and taken over all common sense. Their focus is on their commission today and not that of the customer, trucker or industry. There is no looking at the stability of the business for tomorrow, next week or next year.

Doing whatever it takes to secure the order they lie, cheat and bait the customer to earn a few dollars. Now I am not saying it is not right to earn money, not at all. What I am saying is that doing business that way is an injustice to all. How you ask?

I could really get on my soapbox here and rant for hours. Instead, let us focus on just one area of concern…the truck driver, or as we call them the owner operator.

Owner operators do not work for free either!

As a business owner, many expenses occur monthly this is called overhead. There are necessary expenditures that keep the truck, office, drivers and other employees "in business", or employed.

The business owner goes into business to make a profit. Sounds reasonable, right? They know what it costs to replace tires, change the oil and other fluids necessary to keep the big rig safe on the roads. There are permits, fuel taxes and surcharges, insurance costs and fuel costs too. Of course we can not forget there are truck payments, trailer payments, and the savings surplus account for repairs.

Next they must price out their loads to cover the driver expense, taxes, meals and sometimes-overnight lodging accommodations. Then there needs to be some sort of profit margin so the company can stay in business for the following month.
 
If the business owner is the truck driver as well, he or she must factor in the personal expenses, too. Most have a husband or wife at home with kids. There is the mortgage, power and water bills, telephone, food, insurance and taxes just like all the rest of us.

Auto transport brokers must educate the customer…

Part of the job of an auto transport broker is to educate the customer. I do not know about you, but before becoming a broker I knew nothing about the industry. I learned by talking with truck drivers who had years of business experience under their belts. By implementing these principles in my own business I have been able to weather the storm of this new economy when others have not.

Let me ask you a question…when is the last time you were able to walk into your local supermarket and tell the cashier what you were going to pay for that loaf of bread? Ha…won't happen will it? Of course not. The market sets the price us consumers will pay for the product and we either buy it or we don't, right?

When auto transport brokers do their job correctly, the customer will understand how the transport business works. They will understand why the prices are what they are. Sure there will be slight differences between brokers. Healthy competition is expected and good in the marketplace.

What is not good is when one sector of the industry turns to piracy. By charging the customer an excessive rate then paying the trucking company less than market rates this upsets the apple cart. It makes for an unbalanced industry and forces good people like you and me out of business.

Two years ago, I watched as about 75% of owner operators handed in their keys. Some of these hard working men and women were my friends. Business owners who had provided me and my clientele incredible service at equitable prices. We had developed friendships. They are real people, just like you and me. More than once, I cried myself to sleep after listening to the plight of these people and the causes for their decision.

Today something has to change. More honest hearted people need to step up to the plate. Hard working auto transport brokers who own their own business need to get back to the basics. Educate the public that more than just diesel prices drive prices; which by the way is on the rise again.

You would not work for free…stop asking these business owners to pay you to ship your car! As a broker we are not for the government stepping in to solve an industry's problems like is so rampant today.
 
However, as an individual auto transport business owner myself, I'm taking my stand. Education is key and our clients are well educated, informed and happy. They are happy because their truck driver has a profitable business driven by fair market value.
 
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
 
ps. we'd love to hear your comments, leave them below!