Auto Transport by Rail Saves up to 30 Percent


Auto manufacturers have known about it for over 100 years. Henry Ford, in fact, purchased his own railroad to quickly and economically rush early Model T’s to eager buyers all across the country. Today, as more used car dealers keep one eye on online auto auctions as a source for late-model inventory they need and the other eye on their bottom line, they’re also discovering that rail transport can be a surprisingly economical, dependable and hassle-free solution.

Rail Transport is Economical

In an industry expected to suffer a steady decline of inventory from trade-ins, consumer lease returns, and fleet/rental cars possibly through 2011, used car dealers who don’t shop online auctions for quality, low-mileage inventory are missing a huge opportunity, as well as important added profit potential.

Online auctions can significantly expand a dealer’s trading area and car haulers that offer long-distance rail service as well as short-distance truck transport can affordably deliver the cars and trucks they buy online, wherever they are located.

Because railroads now move a ton of freight nearly 410 miles for each gallon of diesel fuel used, shipping a car or truck by train for moves over 500 miles can often lower auto transport costs by up to 30 percent. Even at a time, according to the NADA News, when the year-to-year average used vehicle retail selling price is up almost 10 percent and average gross profit per used vehicle is up over 40 percent, every dollar saved in shipping still adds profit on the bottom line.

A new generation of car haulers also makes it easy for used car dealers to place orders online, get instant price quotes and estimated transit time for door-to-door pickup and delivery anywhere in the country. Truck transport is usually recommended within a 250-mile radius of the pickup point. Rail or a combination of truck and rail transport is recommended to more affordably ship longer distances.

Rail Transport is Dependable

Over the last five years, almost 75 million import and domestic cars and trucks were sold in the United States. Over 70 percent were moved from manufacturing or assembly plants to dealerships across the country by rail transport. That’s almost 53 million factory-new vehicles shipped and more than 99% arrive damage-free. So, it only makes sense for used car dealers to also consider rail transport.

In most cases, the same fully-enclosed railcars that protect new vehicles from the elements and road debris are also used to ship used vehicles by rail.  Specially-designed railcars, called auto racks have two or three decks and can carry up to 20 vehicles, although the average is around 12 units. Vehicles purchased at auction are first transported to the nearest rail terminal by truck and then carefully loaded into the rail car by specially trained terminal loaders. They’re also secured inside the railcar with straps and tire chocks to help prevent damage during transit. Once the train arrives at a rail terminal near the final destination, vehicles are carefully unloaded, then placed on a transporter truck and delivered to their final destination.

Rail Transport is Hassle-Free

Modern car haulers make rail transport of cars and trucks purchased at auction ­hassle-free. They coordinate the entire move from local pick-up to final delivery. A knowledgeable and experienced operations team monitors every step of the process to ensure reliable, quality delivery. Online shipment status and ETA are also available 24/7 at the car hauler’s web site. So, used car dealers can spend more time focusing on customer needs rather than waiting and worrying if the fresh inventory they need to fill their lots will arrive on time.

If you are a used car dealer shopping auto auctions outside your usual trading area and concerned about your bottom line, consider using a car hauler that offers affordable rail service as well as truck options. When you work with a car hauler with a solid reputation, rail transport can be a surprisingly economical, dependable and hassle-free solution.


Source by Wally Koster