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How to Bid on Auto Transport Jobs
Auto transport jobs are found through a variety of venues. Classified advertising, referrals from car dealers, bidding sites and relocation companies are all utilized by cross-country auto haulers. Customers may request shippers that specialize in racecars, antique and collectible cars, or loads with multiple vehicles. Individuals moving often are in need of an auto transporter.
Consider the competition, your time and the price of fuel when bidding on auto transport jobs. When you are new in the business and haven't yet built a reputation, you may need to underbid the competition to win jobs. Prepare to earn less in the beginning, knowing that your willingness to cut your profit at first will pay off as you develop a steady clientele and regular referrals.
Register with a website that acts as a third-party matching service. Individuals and businesses that need their autos hauled post their requirements and transporters may bid on the job. Many sites sell their services on a commission basis while others are fee-based. Find A Hauler charges transporters $20 a month, or $160 a year, to view the listed requests for haulers. They claim to post more than 60,000 jobs per month.
Utilize shipping brokers that charge a commission for every job you receive through them if they can provide regular quality leads. Shipping boards, such as U Ship, don't charge a membership fee, but instead operate on a commission basis once you've won a bid from their site.
List your accomplishments, years in service, amount of insurance coverage you provide with every load and any training or certificates you might hold. Include any guarantees you're willing to offer, such as time of delivery, cleanliness of car at delivery and no hidden charges. List any association affiliations in organization, such as the American Trucking Association.
Look for the reasons that you lost a bid. Respectfully ask the referring agent or the client why they chose another carrier over you. This is a good time to gather information to fine tune your bidding procedures and add services or change the wording on your bids to become more successful at landing good jobs.
Get testimonials from satisfied customers, especially commercial accounts, such as car dealers or high-end relocation companies. Build a portfolio and use the referrals that best fit the type of bid you're trying to win.
Beware of hauling brokers that don't let you contact the customer until the deal is sealed. While many are reputable, you need to guard your business interests and make sure they don't make promises on your behalf that you can't honor.
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."