Car shipping is (still) a shit show

Illustration for article titled Car shipping is (still) a shit show
Photo: Michel Curi

When last we left off, I was struggling to find a shipper to take my car for something even remotely resembling a reasonable sum, and trying to up sell and/or scam me in the process. It was great fun.


Luckily my dealer friend (Joseph) had the ability to list the shipment on “the board,” I assume the same shipping/ dispatch board the brokers use, but I didn’t ask. To increase our chances of getting a good deal, George and I listed our cars as a joint shipment, with Joseph acting as middle man so we wouldn’t learn what each others’ cars are.


We started the bidding at a cheeky $1,100 total for both.

Days went by. Got nothing. Not shocking, but still a bummer.

Ok, how about $1,400?


Ok.... how about $1,900?!

Success! We got a well reviewed transport company booked in to pick up Friday (8/16) in the morning. Redwood Auto Transport*. Cool.


Thursday afternoon, we dropped off the cars, somehow avoiding seeing eachothers cars, and eagerly awaited news.


Morning turned into afternoon and still we’d heard nothing.

I texted Joseph. Apparently the shipper called and rather than 8AM it was going to be more like.... 8PM. Or maybe Saturday. Never mind that they were picking them up at a business... that all seems reasonable. Wait... no... the opposite of that.



Well 8PM came and went... as did 8AM the next day.... and 10AM... and noon...

At this point Joseph was blowing up this guys phone and getting nothing.

The driver had ghosted us.

something something millennials something something

Joseph cancelled the dispatch, left a bad review, and requested his listing fee be refunded. I asked him to repost the shipment for $2,200.


Ten minutes later we had a new shipper who would be there on Sunday.


Around 10AM I get a call. It is the shipper. He is in Dallas and driving up now. Should be there around 4PM.


Ok cool.

At 5PM I hadn’t heard anything, so I text Joseph. Turns out the carrier “broke down” and was going to be more like 7PM. Sure.... that’s what they all say.


Also apparently Redwood Auto Transport had finally got in contact! He too, allegedly, broke down, (seems to be going around!) and didn’t have cell service blah blah blah. I’m not really inclined to feel bad for this guy, so he was told to go away.

Against all odds at 7PM a very badly damaged auto transport showed up at the shop and began loading the cars. Apparently one of his front tires blew out and took most of the front fender with it. The upside is he made it. The downside is without a front fender he can’t drive at night.


Not ideal, but at least the cars are on the transport.

And now we wait...

So with all that two of the cars are on the way. My guts tell me this isn’t the end of it, but we can hope it is....


*Ordinarily I wouldn’t name but eff that guy. Also I refrained from googling the name before he flaked, but now it appears the “company” is just a dude in a truck... and he doesn’t appear to do it often. Spiffy.

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