Many states are quickly coming to terms with the fact that gas prices are stuck around the $4.00 mark for the near future — possibly longer and possibly higher. Most auto shipping companies expected diesel prices to decline after Labor Day, a trend that occurs almost every year. But this year prices have continued to rise, largely pushed up by further trouble in the Middle East and the impact of Hurricane Isaac. Soaring gas prices have just as much of an impact on auto transport companies as they have on individual consumers, perhaps more.
Companies like Budget Auto Shipping often offer customers special locked-in prices when they reserve their services well ahead of time. This helps people moving or depending on their vehicle arriving at its destination on time plan accordingly. But this also depends on gas prices staying fairly stable, something that the U.S. has not seen in years. Rising diesel prices limit technological advantages that auto shipping companies can employ, so many companies have stalled out using the same trucks that have been industry-standard since the 1990s.
But Budget Auto Shipping is prepared to adapt to the future, and there are a variety of possibilities for auto transporters in the near future. One of the most needed and likely changes coming for the auto shipping industry is a more cooperative shipping network, similar to the hub-and-spoke methods used by the airline industry. Improvements in GPS and cell phone technology have made coordinating complicated shipment over long distances much easier than they were in the past.
Auto manufacturers are also set to do their part to help the auto transport industry. When auto shipping first developed, auto manufacturers were fairly strict about which other manufacturers could share the shipping trucks with their cars. After all, a Chevy appearing on a truck next to a Ford could be considered sacrilege to some. But today automakers are becoming more aware of rising fuel costs and wasted resources. Shipping a half-full truck wastes money. Future automakers will collaborate much more efficiently to help save trucks for private customers, and reduce shipping costs (savings they’ll hopefully pass on to their customers).
Aside from transitioning more towards greener fuels and improved exhaust systems and treatments, don’t expect many changes to auto transport vehicles. While boats can be as large as practical to accommodate thousands of vehicles at once, highway-based shipping vehicles are bound by size regulations. The eastern half of the United States only allows fully loaded trucks to be 13.5 feet tall. The western half, on the other hand, allows for 14-foot tall trucks.
While changes in the auto transport industry may not be as exciting as other industries, auto transport companies are constantly looking forward for ways to save customers money and deliver their vehicles more efficiently. Technology like the GPS has already drastically improved the speed and accuracy of the entire shipping industry, but some further improvements will help offset the uncertain gas prices of the future.