CarMax, United Road: Car Haulers Are Talking (And It’s Not Good)

CarMax: Nationwide Retailer Meets Largest Broker/Carrier

According to their Facebook page, CarMax is “the nation’s largest retailer of used cars” and their app lets you search “a nationwide inventory of over 35,000 used cars.” United Road maintains on their website that they are “leading the auto transport industry…with over three million deliveries each year.” If you multiply CarMax supply and growing customer demand, divided by United Road’s ability to offer lowest volume delivery pricing, that should equal a perfect match made in auto transport heaven, right? Plus, if you implement a centralized order management system that works better, faster and saves the end consumer money without compromising delivery time, then this thing’s a no-brainer, right?

“United Roads and RPM have started posting the Carmax orders…FOR FREAKING LESS THAN HALF WHAT autotransport.com posted before.” – ‘clara’

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CarMax and United Road: What Is The Contract?

United Road TransportersFor whatever reason, I couldn’t find any press release online confirming or detailing this new relationship, whereas usually big companies love to share this level of public information because it raises company value and customer confidence. Furthermore, a majority of car hauler businesses already know that these two industry giants are working together because they hear about it through the grapevine, they see the loads being posted online, and some owner-operators continue receiving emails for hard-to-move units. While the dates of when the contract between CarMax and United Road began are unclear, it was sometime in late 2015 or early 2016 when several carriers that once had a direct relationship with CarMax through their load website were suddenly canceled – including Autotransport.com. And curiously, RPM Freight Systems continues to be one of the few brokers still posting CarMax loads. Why (and how) is that the case? Car haulers want to know, “What is going on?”

Car Haulers Reject The Big Drop In CarMax Load Rates

Rates Going DownBut the biggest shock for independent car haulers across the nation is not the “why” but the “what?” – when they began seeing a nearly overnight drop in the United Road load rates for hauling CarMax cars posted to popular car hauler load boards. Until recently, transporters knew the average going rate to haul a single CarMax unit was at 50 cents per mile (although in large volume averaging 40+ cents per mile.) But now, most single CarMax units are being listed around 40 cents per mile (so you can imagine the dip in the volume rate.) Is this true, and how do we know? Yes, and we do know – because that’s what a lot of car hauler businesses are angry about and posting in an online forum at TruckersReport.com

“Anyone who thinks this is a positive change for our industry obviously hasn’t seen the rates. Nobody, no where at no time should be hauling cars for .35 a mile per car.” – ‘joeyg999’

What Car Haulers Are Saying About CarMax/United Road Deal

TruckersReport.com describes itself as an “active and growing community of truckers” and “the largest trucking forum” where hundreds (if not thousands) of truckers regularly voice their frustrations about the trucking industry. In June 2016, user ‘clara’ posted, “So last week we got emails from RPM and United Road that Carmax had contracted them for their moves. Autotransport.com is out…not sure why Carmax did that but doesn’t matter. United Roads and RPM have started posting the Carmax orders…FOR FREAKING LESS THAN HALF WHAT autotransport.com posted before. There’s no way in hell we’re ever booking something like that. It’s a shame, Carmax moves were always so easy.” ‘clara’ is not alone. ‘joeyg999’ wrote, “Anyone who thinks this is a positive change for our industry obviously hasn’t seen the rates. Nobody, no where at no time should be hauling cars for .35 a mile per car.” ‘BigGP’ says, “As far as United Road goes, the rates they are posting are cheap. But then again, CarMax was shopping for lower transport rates. If the cars do not move & Carmax realizes they are losing sales because cars are not available to a customer, the rates will have to go back up.”

Industry Rate Standoff: You’ve Gotta Know When To Hold ‘Em

Auto Transport Broker Carrier StandoffThe United States is a free market; CarMax and United Road aren’t breaking any laws. The problem is that in the auto transport industry, car hauler load board posted rates to haul cars are already low, and they just seem to keep getting lower. ‘Terry270’ illustrates a very common theme among transporters, “The thing is, if I knew that 45 cents was the lowest it would go I would consider it. But we all know if you say yes to 45 cents then next month they would be asking for 40 cents. I think I saw new Subaru’s on CD for 38cents!! So that’s where I have drawn my line and refuse to budge.” If you take the time to ask them, you’ll find out just how bad it really is. ‘Colorato’ posts, “I been home almost two weeks because I don’t see any loads worth the time. Can’t pay the bills like this.”

“If the cars do not move & Carmax realizes they are losing sales because cars are not available to a customer, the rates will have to go back up.” – ‘BigGP’

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Car Hauler Feedback: Don’t Kill The Messenger

CarMax Car Hauler FeedbackSpeaking for many truckers, ‘Kansas Transit’ sums it up: “We stopped hauling Carmax loads, cheap rates, ridiculous rules, and an app. that doesn’t seem to be compatible with our electronic devices, basically, they want you to jump through hoops for nothing, or in some cases, LESS than what you were making. Keep something in mind, EVERYONE is winning in this deal EXCEPT the transporter/driver, UR is going to save large amounts of green on cutting down or eliminating office workers hours, because of that app, the DRIVER is now their office worker, FOR FREE!!! Carmax wins because not only have they gotten cheaper rates, because of UR’s app they have better tracking ability of where their inventory is and real time notification of p/u and del. AGAIN, it is because of all of the extra work is done by the driver, so Carmax can probably cut the hours of their inventory location staff, money saved. But the driver, unless paid by the hour loses miles and time over the deal, the transport company loses miles and time over the deal, not sure about any one else, but in my world TIME is still MONEY!!!! I can see the reason in this business for real time info on vehicle location/moves, I have NO issues with the concept, but if the driver/company is now also the shippers secretary, then rates need to go UP, not DOWN!!! Sorry for the rant, but somebody had to say it.”

Whether you are a fleet owner, dispatcher, owner operator or broker, what do you think about this recent deal? Does it affect your car hauler business? Does the United Road app make your job easier? Your voice matters and people are listening. What do you have to say?

— Super Jay

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Auto Transport Load Board List for Car Haulers

Your Auto Transport Load Board Search Ends Here

Somewhere…each day, thousands of auto transport company owners, fleet managers, drivers, dispatchers (and sometimes family members) are searching the internet for new loads to book. Car hauling businesses feel the pain of having empty spaces on their trailers – because they cannot afford to haul cheap freight! With a long list of expenses swirling around in their minds as they drive, it’s the car haulers that end up losing sleep at the end of a very long work day – still searching for a better auto transport load board.

There is a balance. You can’t physically watch ten load boards at the same time.

Central Dispatch: Still The #1 Auto Transport Load Board

Central Dispatch Auto Transport Load BoardLike it or not, Central Dispatch is not only the most expensive auto transport load board, but it remains to be the biggest and most comprehensive load board for car haulers in the United States. There are trends in the industry, that hint this is slowly changing. I truly wish it wasn’t so expensive (plus I prefer the ‘Old Look’) but it’s clearly the largest auto transport marketplace to be found anywhere; and therefore, it’s the best place to meet all the other auto brokers and car carriers, to book new loads for transport, and to learn how to fine tune your search for better-paying loads in the future. [For tips and best practices (and car hauler feedback), please read my recent article: “How To Use Central Dispatch: Tips From A Load Sniper.”] Central Dispatch (centraldispatch.com) is much like an enormous convention center, containing everyone from mom-and-pop shops to nationwide trucking behemoths, allowing you to find hundreds of loads at any given time. Remember: this is where you can learn to navigate and negotiate and make mistakes without critically injuring your car hauling business. Since brokers and carriers on Central Dispatch come and go year after year, this is the auto transport load board where you can meet nearly every other car shipper and auto transport broker operating today. Once you have graduated from a steep learning curve, only then are you really ready for the next level of load board/broker-carrier relationship.

Car hauling businesses feel the pain of having empty spaces on their trailers – because they cannot afford to haul cheap freight!

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Stop Missing Loads: Ready Auto Transport (RAT) and CarsArrive Network

Ready Auto Transport Load BoardReady Auto Transport (ratloads.com) and CarsArrive Network (carsarrive.com) are easily the second and third largest auto transport load boards in existence today. Their car shipping load boards not only allow car haulers to book cars online without ever having to make a phone call, but their loads are quite reliable when it comes to being ready, and usually, the carrier pay is at a reasonable market value. These two companies are also very respected within the industry and that’s why all carriers are required to complete a lengthy packet in order to qualify and meet their business requirements. Once approved, simply log in with your new username and password. Note: It is highly advised that a transporter checks these load boards frequently to avoid missing the best paying loads.

Find Loads At United Road: The Nation’s Largest Broker/Carrier

United Road (URautoloads.com) also posts many of its brokered loads online. Since they are a carrier and a broker, they have their own drivers on the road – who may or may not be in competition with your car hauling business. However, since they are the largest broker/carrier in the nation, you should become a member of theirs and consider them as an additional source to fill empty spots on your trailer. [Please read my recent post (and auto industry feedback): CarMax, United Road: Car Haulers Are Talking (And It’s Not Good)]

Always say, “Yes!” Even though you may get inundated with emails, there will be times you’ll be glad you did.

Auto Broker Load Boards You Should Know About

Reindeer Auto RelocationAfter the top three or four, there are unfortunately only about a handful of other load boards worth actually checking. This is because the volume of inventory of nearly everyone else is either too small to watch all day or the effort required to find an occasional good load is often greater than the reward of discovery (which is why nearly all brokers post on Central Dispatch – in addition to their own website). However, some of these specialize in regions and/or clients – while others specialize in a type of pickup location, such as rail head, port, and/or manufacturing plant. Overall, based on your carrier size and physical location, it may well be worth searching regularly if you have a specific route. Here is that list, along with a few takeaways:

MetroLoads.com – rail yards, ports, dealers, and more
Carrier.ReindeerAuto.com – corporate relocation at a premium
uShip.com – residential moves requiring weeks of planning ahead
AutoTransmart.com – includes JMN Logistics loads
FDSdispatch.com – smaller, but user-friendly

Note: It is highly advised that a transporter checks these load boards frequently to avoid missing the best paying loads.

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Car Shipping Email Lists Help Keep You Loaded

Relotrans Vehicle RelocationAs you develop personal relationships and network your business, you will meet various brokers and dealer contacts that offer to add you to their email distribution lists. Always say, “Yes!” Even though you may get inundated with their emails, there will be times you’ll be glad you did. Some of those companies include:

Montway.com – a large database of VIP and residential moves
RPMvehiclesystems.com – several reps nationwide with long lists ready to move
Relotrans.com – bid daily on premium corporate relocation moves
PoseyTrans.com – great paying loads that oftentimes require specific timing
PRAlogistics.com – nationwide broker with volume contracts
RiteWayAutoTransport.com – offering you loads on your route
LogisticDynamics.com – working hard to move cluster loads now

How Many Load Boards Is Too Many?

Even if you are a full-time dispatcher, you can only watch so many load boards at one time and still feel efficient without missing new loads. There is a balance. You can’t physically watch ten load boards at the same time. But to succeed, you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket, either. My ultimate advice is this: To grow your car hauling business into a long-term success, secure a regular customer as your base, and use load boards to fill in the rest of your empty spaces. And to do that, I have just told you about every Auto Transport Load Board I ever used when I used to dispatch. Good luck out there.

If you have a comment, or a suggestion, or maybe you just fell out of your chair laughing, please tell me. And if you have another load board, email list, or a great auto broker to share, the auto transport industry is dying to hear more about it. And please share this post with other car haulers. Thanks for your time, and keep on trucking.

— Super Jay

#1 Car Hauler BOL App – Import orders directly from Load Boards. Stop buying paper forms. Try It For Free. Download for Android HERE and for Apple HERE.

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