Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and holiday automobile shipping services are officially in season. Until after the New Year, really, auto shippers are having to juggle the holiday season when they ship cars. And while, for the most part, it’s still business as usual, there are some things that may change depending on the circumstances.
With the winter holiday season in full force, it’s also time for winter holiday shipping services. So not only are carriers having to work the holidays into their schedules, they also have to deal with inclement weather in many parts of the country. This can slow down car shipping services and make holiday automobile shipping a bit more stressful.
However, the auto transport industry has been running smoothly ever since the automobile was invented. And it’s showing no signs of stopping. Still, here are some things you need to know about holiday automobile shipping and winter shipping in general.
Holiday automobile shipping is available
First of all, please know that holiday auto transportation is available. There are carriers that can pick up and deliver on the holidays, including Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
However, there aren’t as many carriers on the road during the lead up to both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is due to the fact that a lot of drivers actually like spending time with their families during the holidays. Of course, there are plenty of other carriers who don’t mind being on the road for the holidays.
What this means for you is that pickup and delivery can both be available on holidays themselves. While most companies try not to schedule pickup or delivery on holidays specifically, it is an option. You should let your shipping company know ahead of time if pickup or delivery on a holiday is acceptable for you.
Carriers don’t like holidays
We don’t mean that drivers hate holidays themselves; we mean that they don’t like having to work around them. Everyone has a different holiday schedule, which means that carriers have to be prepared for pickup and delivery dates that don’t work. And while every dispatch department is different, knowing that a load may not be available because of shifting schedules can be frustrating. This is especially true if it’s already scheduled to be picked up.
Carriers do not like surprises. If they book a shipment for pickup on, say, November 25th, they expect to get the vehicle picked up. But the 25th is the day before Thanksgiving. People are preparing for travel, or doing last-minute food shopping or preparation, and they may no longer be available to meet a carrier for pickup or delivery.
As such, carriers tend to be a bit more guarded when it comes to pickup and delivery around specific holidays. They also try to be accommodating, but they can only do so much.
Please keep in mind when your vehicle is scheduled for pickup and delivery that, because of the holidays, you need to be flexible.
Holiday automobile shipping requires flexibility
Speaking of flexibility, it’s an important part of holiday automobile shipping services. And while flexibility really is important no matter when you ship your vehicle, it’s especially important come the holiday moving season.
Remember, carriers aren’t just robots; they have families and they have their own schedules. Not only that, but their schedules are often tight, and having them disrupted once already by the holidays doesn’t help. As such, it’s important to be flexible when it comes to your pickup and delivery dates and times.
Make yourself available. This is a crucial part of shipping a vehicle regardless, but especially with holiday automobile shipping you need to be flexible. Carriers will have to deal with things like bumped orders, canceled orders, and inclement weather. Also, please note that some areas will have parades and other holiday-like events that could slow down carriers as well.
And, while traffic usually isn’t a big deal on the holidays themselves, traffic can be atrocious in the days leading up to a holiday. This can result in longer wait times for pickup or delivery.
Because of all these things, it’s very important that you be flexible.
Try to not have pickup or delivery on holidays
If there’s one thing you can do to help, it’s to not schedule pickup or delivery on a holiday. Or, if you do, make sure that your shipper knows that you’re okay with pickup or delivery then.
Most auto shippers understand that people don’t want to have to deal with auto transport on Christmas or Thanksgiving. Let’s face it – you have more pressing matters to deal with, like cooking, or in-laws. Adding another stressor like meeting your carrier for pickup or delivery isn’t fun for anyone.
If you’re completely okay with that, that’s great! But most auto shipping companies will try to avoid pickup or delivery on specific holidays. So, the 26th of November and the 25th of December and the 1st of January tend to be immediate no-go’s. Not all shippers follow this guideline, but most do.
At the same time, flexibility is important. If your pickup or delivery is delayed, and has to happen on the holiday, sometimes that’s just how it goes. You have to remember that carriers have their own schedules, and getting behind because of the holiday just screws everything up.
But the holidays aren’t the only thing that can cause delays. Read on to learn more about what can cause delays with holiday automobile shipping services.
Be aware of inclement weather
If it’s not the holiday itself causing delays, it’s the weather.
Weather is something that most carriers don’t worry about until it’s a worry. For most of the year, and throughout most of the various regions of the country, the weather isn’t an issue. Rain or shine, carriers pick up and deliver regardless of the weather. But during the winter months – and during the holiday season – snow and ice rear their ugly heads, but some areas have it worse than others.
New England, the Great Lakes, the Midwest, and sometimes even the Pacific Northwest all have to deal with snow. Some have to more than others (for instance, the Pacific Northwest gets snow, but usually only in the east, or in higher elevations). All the rest see it regularly during the winter months.
Snow is a pain for auto shippers to have to deal with. And while most will prepare for it accordingly, if it comes out of nowhere, it can be a real pain in the butt for them. This is especially true in the Great Lakes and New England, where massive storms can show up virtually out of nowhere, dump feet of snow, and leave carriers stranded. This results in delays, which end up costing carriers time. That time ends up costing them money. And that’s a problem.
Not only that, but having their schedules thrown out of whack can make pickups and deliveries more difficult – and push them onto the holiday days themselves. Like we mentioned, pickup and delivery on holidays is usually avoided if possible. Inclement weather can cause issues in that regard.
Always make sure to plan ahead
This is why, when all is said and done, you want to make sure to give yourself plenty of time to plan accordingly. If you live in an area that sees a lot of snow during the holidays, be prepared for it. Give yourself plenty of time to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t arrive on a day you can’t accept it.
You should also know that many companies will actually increase prices during the holiday season. Not only is it due to increased demand – especially on snowbird routes – but also because finding carriers can be more difficult. This is another reason to plan ahead. You want to give yourself and your shipping company time to find a carrier that can get your vehicle moved.
Planning ahead is something everyone should do when they ship a car. But it’s especially important when it comes to booking holiday automobile shipping services. Whether you’re trying to beat the snow, trying to lock in a good rate, or just want to make sure it gets done right, give yourself time to get it done.
Overall, shipping during the holidays isn’t the hardest thing in the world. Auto shipping companies are busy year-round booking shipments, moving cars, and helping customers. They’ll be sure to help you too. Please note that most companies will not be open on the holidays themselves, so keep that in mind as well when shipping. This is another reason to plan ahead – you don’t want to have to contact your shipper just to find out they’re closed!
Choose the right company with ASQ
If you’re searching for holiday automobile shipping services, you can’t go wrong with us here at Automobile Shipping Quotes.
Take a minute to fill out our free online quote form and you’ll get multiple quotes emailed to you from some of the best shippers in the industry. How do we know they’re among the best? We’ve researched them! You can read our reviews of all companies you get quotes from directly from us. We’ve researched prices and customer complaints and reviews and much more. We believe in honesty in this industry. Honesty with customers, honesty with self. It’s important.
You can fill out our online quote form to get your free quotes or you can get help with it by calling us toll-free any time. So no matter what you need, let us here at ASQ help you do it.