The car transport industry is driven by convenience and effectiveness. It’s amusing that cars created to offer transportation need to be transported themselves. Nonetheless, millions of vehicles must be moved annually via truck, train, or large vessels for various purposes.
Cars cannot be driven to their respective dealerships since customers would view them as used vehicles. This is why auto transport benefits suppliers needing new car stocks and customers excited to drive their vehicles.
Beginning in this article, we’ll go through a three-part series on the topic, starting with the various transportation methods: plane, ship, truck, and railroad car.
Auto Transport By Plane
The president’s limousines are transported via an Air Force C-5 Galaxy cargo plane for all his journeys outside Washington, D.C.
However, it is rare for personal vehicles to be transported by air. Some exceptions include unique collector cars, racing cars, or exclusive concept vehicles that are set to be showcased at a significant auto show.
Auto Transport By Ship
Ocean vessels for carrying cars can hold up to 8,000 vehicles, but most are built to transport between 4,000 and 5,000 vehicles. These ships primarily import foreign-made cars and trucks to the United States.For instance, in 2008, Toyota imported around 1.1 million vehicles from Japan to America.
To serve the American market, Toyota can charter or contract up to 30 ships and uses five ports, two on the East Coast and three on the West Coast, to unload the vehicles for further transportation to dealerships by truck or rail.
Auto Transport By Truck
Car manufacturers believe that around 65–70 percent of all new vehicles sold in America will be transported by rail before being delivered to the dealership by an 18-wheeler auto transport truck.
Trucks typically cover an average distance of 250 miles from the pickup point, with rail transportation being more cost-effective for longer distances. However, rail transport has limitations, including restricted destination locations and the need for specific equipment to load and unload vehicles.
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Auto Transport By Rail
Most vehicles manufactured in North America are transported by rail, but they make up a tiny portion of the total rail cargo transport in the United States.
Rail transportation is an effective method for transporting numerous vehicles simultaneously. Auto racks, specifically designed for rail cars, have two or three levels and can accommodate transporting up to 20 vehicles, averaging about 12 units.
Trucks and large SUVs are typically carried on two-deck auto racks, while cars are transported on three-deck auto racks. A train dedicated to vehicle transportation, consisting of 70 auto racks, can carry over 800 vehicles. On average, a new car travels around 1,300 miles via rail transport.
Typically, vehicles are placed onto auto racks at the manufacturing facility. However, new vehicles may be transported to a loading area at the rail yard in certain circumstances.
Special inclines enable the cars to be driven onto the decks of a railcar. The cars are then fastened with wheel chocks and locked into position on the decks.
The Auto-Max, a cutting-edge car rack, was created by collaborating with Honda and Greenbrier companies. This multi-level rack can accommodate up to 22 vehicles, including cars and trucks, by efficiently utilizing the space between the railcar’s axles.
Honda has purchased 400 Auto-Max railcars and boasts the highest rail-shipping rate of any car manufacturer, at 82 percent.
Stay Tuned for Part Two
We’ll continue this series by discussing two other ways of transporting automobiles—double-deckers and personal options—and other interesting information that should make the journey safer.
- On Auto Transport Part 2: Double-Decker and Personal Options
- On Auto Transport Part 3: Safety and Security Measures
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