Managing a fleet of vehicles comes with many responsibilities. You’ll face recurring costs ranging from maintenance and fuel to taxes and insurance. However, you’ll also need to make sure your employees are licensed to drive them properly and trained to handle them safely and responsibly.
There may also be times that you need to move your company fleet to new locations if your business ever relocates or expands. Sometimes, you can have an employee drive it to a new location and then have someone give them a ride back. However, there are also many circumstances where you might need to consider shipping your company fleet to new locations.
How to Ship Your Company Fleet to New Locations
The process of shipping your company fleet to new locations involves a handful of steps that must be taken in order:
- Pick Your Date and Destination: These two pieces of information will quickly define who is available to pick up and deliver your fleet vehicles where you need them to be.
- Get Quotes: Try to get at least three quotes. Five might be better, but getting too many can wind up stalling the whole process. The point is to find one that can get the job done and done well. The perfect option would be nice, but in this case, perfection is usually just delivering your fleet of vehicles on time and without damage.
- Choose One Carrier: Once you look over your quotes and do research into the quality of each carrier, you need to pick one that balances your need for timely delivery, budget, and reputation for delivering vehicles safely and in good condition.
- Prepare the Vehicle: Each carrier has different requirements about vehicle preparations in regards to personal property stored in it or not and how much gas should be in the tank. Make sure you follow the rules to avoid preventing or delaying the shipment.
- Have It Picked Up: When the vehicle is ready and the day comes, have it parked somewhere a carrier truck can safely enter, park, and exit. Sign the required paperwork and hand over the keys.
- Wait: Shipping the vehicles will take time. It can take up to two weeks if crossing the country and even longer if Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands are involved.
- Have Someone There to Receive It: Someone needs to receive the vehicles when they arrive. That can either be at a prearranged drop-off spot or a distribution facility later.
You’ll want to get a few quotes. A quote gives you an idea of how much you can expect to pay for your fleet vehicle shipping. Getting a few different quotes from different companies can ensure that you don’t end up over-paying for these services. There are four primary factors that you should know about in order to get an accurate quote.
- Distance: The single factor that determines cost more than anything is simply the sheer distance vehicles need to travel. More miles usually mean more cost. Having said that, the farther they go, the cheaper they get per mile.
- Open Carrier or Enclosed: Open carriers leave your fleet vehicles exposed to the elements, but they’re far more widely available. They’re also more affordable. Enclosed carriers offer better security and protection. However, far fewer of them are available, and they might cost 20%-30% more.
- Urgency: If you have a specific deadline that you need to make for delivery or have a vehicle picked up by, that narrows how many carrier routes are available. Prices go up with the demand. When you’re more flexible about the two dates, you have more options and can save money
- Operability: A vehicle that can be started and driven on and off the carrier truck is going to be cheaper than one needing towing or pushing. If you’re moving disabled vehicles to a location where you can have them fixed, then this might matter.
Why Ship Your Fleet to New Locations?
If you haven’t shipped any models in your company vehicle fleet to new locations before, you might be wondering why anyone would ever do it. However, there are several reasons why you might want to.
- Expansion: If your company is expanding to new locations, then you need to provide them with fleet vehicles they can get started with. You could buy new ones where they are, or you could just send them anything extra you have from existing facilities and locations.
- Relocation: While expansion is always an exciting possibility, your company might also just be relocating. Whether you’re trying a better market, moving into some place big enough for your burgeoning business, or just not renewing a lease in a place that doesn’t serve you anymore, you need some way of getting all your fleet units to your new place.
- Replacements: Sometimes, you might have locations that have company fleet vehicles whose time has come for replacement. Erie Insurance suggests two different parting points for vehicles. The first is 24-30 months or 60,000-80,000 miles when you can still recoup a lot of a vehicle’s resale value before it goes into a maintenance trough. At that point, it’s more cost-effective to keep it until 200,000 miles.
Don’t Trust Just Anyone
While there are many vehicle shippers out there, whoever you choose is going to be responsible for not just getting your fleet to their new locations. They also need to show up in just as good condition as you had them picked up with. Things can always happen on the open road, but the best carriers in the industry thoroughly inspect vehicles when they pick them up and secure them the best they can. Make sure you opt for someone that has a proven track record of insurance and customer satisfaction among their previous clients.