The top to bottom process of shipping a vehicle. This includes the coordination with your
carrier, the route selection, the pickup and drop-off locations, scheduling of your shipment
and much more.
This term is what experts in the vehicle transport industry commonly use to refer to a
vehicle’s return trip.
Bill of Lading
This is a critically important document during the car shipping process which documents the
condition of the vehicle at the time of the pickup. It is also a record of your contact
information (address, phone number etc.) as well as the official agreement for transport.
You also must have this document in order to file any insurance claim regarding your
This means a company has been deemed sufficiently ready to provide a service to its clients.
Essentially, a company being bonded obligates a company to compensate a customer for damages
if they occur. This protects the customer’s interests but also allows the company to
demonstrate how reliable it is, which helps facilitate business.
This is another name for car shipping. Generally, it is used to describe shipping a vehicle a
short distance but can be used to describe any sort of auto shipping.
The shipping of multiple vehicles during one shipment by one individual. This is more
efficient than shipping multiple cars on multiple shipments and is more cost effective.
Cut Off Time
The term used in the car shipment process that defines the latest time for a vehicle to be
delivered to its destination.
This is when the route for a shipment changes during the shipment due to unforeseen
circumstances such as inclement weather or traffic situations.
Door-To-Door Auto Shipping
The process where an auto transport driver will pick your vehicle up at your exact requested
location rather than you having to meet the driver nearby or at a pickup terminal.
This is when there are 2 drivers in the truck and enables the non-stop movement of freight
because this eliminates the necessity for rest stops. This procedure is best for expedited
or perishable freight being shipped long distances.
Department of Transportation (D.O.T.)
The D.O.T. is the government organization that passes and upholds legislation concerning all
highway, air, railroad, and maritime transportation in the United States.
Enclosed Auto Transport
This is when you ship your car on a trailer with a roof and walls, otherwise known as an
enclosure. This provides much more protection from the weather and other potentially
damaging hazards on the road which your vehicle is normally exposed to during a regular car
Expedited Auto Transport
This service is for when you need your car shipped as fast as possible. This will speed up
the car transport process but will also cost more.
This is the process where notes are made when the shipment is received at the carriers’
terminal or put onto a vessel. They show any abnormalities in packaging or actual or
suspected damage to the shipment. They are then added to the bill of lading.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is an established government agency which is
a smaller part of the Department of Transportation. The FMCSA is responsible for regulating
motor carrier and driver safety on the roads.
This is a type of car hauler where the deck height drops below the height of the wheels in
order to be able to carry taller standing loads.
The MC number, or Motor Carrier Number, is issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation
and the FMCSA.
Open Carrier Transport
This is any carrier without an enclosure. These are the most common types of carriers that
you’ll see out on the road. They do not offer any protection from the elements.
The allowance given by the Department of Transportation to run any sort of freight company
which encompasses car shipping companies.
This is the period in which your car will be picked up for shipment. The full window
generally tends to be about three or four days long.
Proof of Delivery (POD)
The receipt/documentation that your vehicle has been delivered.
Shared Vehicle Shipping / Shared Car Carrier
These are how the most common car shipping carriers operate. Usually, the cost of the entire
transport is divided up between all the cars on the transport thus making it cheaper for all
This is a type of car hauler where the 5th wheel is positioned on a drop frame set behind and
lower than the rearmost axle of the power unit.
This is the name for all the cars on the upper portion of the auto carrier. If you choose to
have your car in the top load it normally costs an additional fee.
The terminal is a facility that acts as a central hub where vehicles are shipped and stored
in order to be picked up by the client. This is now a rarely used form of vehicle shipping
since door-to-door shipping became more popular.