Autumn is the fall season where leaves change colors and the weather gets cooler. It’s also a busy time for the auto transport industry as people prepare their vehicles for the winter months.
Increased Demand for Vehicle Shipping
As the weather cools down, many people think about relocating to warmer climates for the winter. This results in higher demand for auto transport services to ship vehicles from northern states to southern states. Transporting a vehicle by an auto carrier is more convenient and cost-effective than driving it yourself, especially over long distances.
College students also contribute to the autumn spike in auto shipping. When schools resume in late summer or early fall, many students need to transport their cars to and from campuses that may be hours or even states away from their family homes. This increases the demand for student auto transport.
Preparing Vehicles for Winter
Autumn is the ideal time to get vehicles inspected and serviced before the harsh winter weather sets in. Many auto transport carriers see increased business as people ship their vehicles to auto repair shops or dealerships for maintenance and preparations like:
- Replacing worn tires with new winter/all-season tires
- Inspecting brakes and changing brake pads/shoes if needed
- Checking belts, hoses and fluids like coolant, transmission and brake fluid
- Recharging low refrigerant levels in air conditioning systems
- Cleaning and inspecting undercarriage for rust or damage from road salt
This maintenance helps ensure vehicles are in top shape to handle winter driving conditions like snow, ice and extreme cold temperatures.
Preparing Commercial Fleets for Winter
In addition to individual consumers, many companies also transport vehicles in autumn to maintain their commercial fleets for ongoing winter operations. Businesses that rely on large fleets of trucks, vans, tractors or other commercial vehicles prepare them for winter work by:
- Swapping trailers, containers or other equipment specific to winter work
- Relocating vehicles to service centers for scheduled maintenance and repairs
- Transporting spare parts vehicles to strategic fleet bases nationwide
- Seasonally redistributing fleets based on regional winter operation needs
This ensures their commercial fleets are optimized and ready for smooth winter operations in various regions and climates.
Popular Routes During Autumn Transport Season
Some of the busiest auto transport routes in fall include shipping vehicles:
- From northern states like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan to southern states like Florida, Texas and Arizona
- Between Midwest and West Coast states as people relocate for winter
- Within regions to auto repair shops and dealerships for servicing
- Between states for college students transporting cars to/from campuses
Carriers may see a 25-35% increase in vehicle volume on some of these key autumn routes as compared to other times of the year.
Planning Ahead for Enhanced Auto Transport Service
To meet the fall season demand, many auto transport companies scale up operations by:
- Expanding carrier fleets with additional transport trucks and towing equipment
- Hiring more drivers and support staff on a temporary basis
- Increasing shipping capacity and schedules between routes
- Pre-booking vehicle transport appointments weeks in advance
- Reminding customers to arrange shipping well ahead of time to avoid delays
This helps ensure seamless transport of higher vehicle volumes with on-time deliveries despite the busy season. Customers can help by planning autumn vehicle transport needs early.
Post-Autumn Lull Before Busy Winter Season
Once the autumn vehicle shipping rush subsides by late October or early November, carriers get about 2-3 weeks to replenish equipment, complete maintenance, reassess routes, and prepare further for the steady stream of winter transport needs that follows.
Typical winter transport includes frequent cargo redistribution within cold weather regions, transporting seasonal inventories of road salt/grit, snowplow parts, ice-melting liquids etc. This keeps carriers engaged through the colder months until spring.
The autumn season brings specific opportunities and challenges for the auto transport industry. Understanding these cycles can help consumers, commercial clients and carriers better plan for smooth vehicle transport during this transitory yet busiest time of the year.