A car transported on a trailer

A Look at the Tools and Systems That Make Car Shipping Easier and More Efficient


Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

People have been shipping cars for almost as long as there have been cars on the road. In the early days of car shipping services, things would have been quite tough. 

However, over the years, numerous advancements have made the process of shipping cars across state lines far more convenient and simple. 

Technology has also had a massive impact on the coordination of auto transport services and made handling operations less overwhelming for all concerned.

If you’d like to know more about the tools and systems that make our job much easier and more enjoyable, this post examines those that have transformed the industry.    

Transportation Management Systems

Transport Management Systems (TMS), is a type of auto transport software that helps businesses track and manage loads, make operations more visible, manage billing and invoices, and automate manual workflows. 

In other words, a TMS helps shippers and carriers move cars easier and helps them run their businesses efficiently. 

According to a study undertaken by the Ohio State University Fisher School of Business, 92% of transportation executives said that a TMS is the most critical tool for their business. Generally, there are TMS solutions for carriers and for shippers that match their specific needs within the car shipping industry. 

In its most basic form, a TMS will help individual auto transport segments communicate more effectively, increase performance visibility, and help to build better operational processes. 

More advanced TMS software is also available. It will include integrations with other crucial technology such as accounting software or a CRM. Additionally, there will be a direct connection to important tools such as a mobile app or load board. 

A TMS can also help with the completion of uniform legal paperwork, such as the Bill of Lading. This important legal document is vital for every load and for each car hauled. Without this paperwork, it’s impossible to ship cars. 

In the past, haulers would simply print PDF wireframes of cars and mark the damages on those printed Bills of Lading. It was an easy and simple process, although slow. Paper Bills of Lading have been used for many years, right into the smartphone era. Some still use them today. 

However, there is an alternative. Electronic BOLs are one other improvement transportation management systems offer. 

Transportation Data Analytics

Trucking companies are using big data analytics to define travel routes, detect questionable infrastructure, estimate travel times, and much more. 

Analyses are made using data from a variety of sources. These include the vehicles being driven, fleet management and maintenance, human resources, financial management, and other business areas that contribute to overall system improvements. 

5G connectivity is also helping to create a more energy-efficient and cost-effective transport system. It will be used to provide end-to-end connectivity across various methods of communication. 

Customer Relationship Manager

Another important piece of software for a company that ships cars is the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). CRM is commonly used across a variety of industries. 

If your business has customers you’ll likely get some benefit from using a CRM. It helps organizations manage relationships with their customers or prospective customers.

While a CRM is beneficial across all aspects of the auto transport industry, it’s particularly beneficial for shippers such as auto transport brokers or auto transport management companies. 

Carriers tend to get most of their customers via load boards. Brokers, on the other hand, depend more on generating leads via website traffic, marketing campaigns, and lead list renting. A broker would use a CRM to help manage the acquisition, serving, and nurturing of customer leads. 

It’s also possible for carriers to benefit from a CRM. To get the best from this type of tool, the carrier would indeed operate with a lot of direct customers and need help to streamline the sales process.   

Cloud Technology

Initially, auto-shipping providers stored all their operational data on external hardware. The downside of a storage method like this is that it’s costly to install and maintain. It also meant auto carriers were less efficient in terms of delivering cars on time. 

Cloud technology has revolutionized data storage. All information is safely stored on a remote database. The biggest benefit is that data retrieval is much easier, regardless of where you are. Using a smartphone, auto shippers can access customer information from anywhere and at any time. 

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a sophisticated network of things and people, all of which collect and share data about the way they are used and about the environment around them.

The car shipping industry has embraced this technology and taken the lead in its adoption. The Internet of Things helps car shipping companies find and use the most efficient routes. This means they can boost fuel economy and when you ship a car, it makes trips less costly and stressful. 

As well as helping with efficiency, IoT also has features that help keep drivers and their trucks safe. For example, an auto transport truck might be fitted with IoT-powered communication systems. These provide automatic information on what drivers can expect on the road. Another application is seat belt sensors. These scan the driver's physical state to check whether they are tired or intoxicated.    

Renewable Fuel Sources

Everyone knows and appreciates that the days of petrol and diesel are going to come to an end. Many auto shippers are already turning away from these fossil fuels. 

An increasing number of carriers are using more sustainable fuel sources, such as:

  • LPG
  • Hydrogen
  • Air
  • Nitrogen
  • The heat generated by thermoelectric technology, steam, and kinetic energy
  • Biodiesel sourced from animal fats and vegetable oils
  • Bioethanol sourced from sugarcane and corn

Improved Vehicle Safety

The transportation sector is huge, but the trucking industry accounts for most of it. Trucks carry more cargo than planes, ships, and trains. With so many trucks on the road, there is an increased risk of accidents. Around 130,000 road accidents are caused by trucks every year.

Therefore, a top priority in the transportation industry is driver safety. An increasing number of safety features are continually added to all vehicles. The aim is to protect all drivers and their cargo and create a safer driving environment. 

Some of the recent technologies include:

  • Driver alert systems for fatigue
  • Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
  • Forward collision detection warnings via cameras and LiDAR sensor technology
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for vehicle stabilization
  • Advanced rear view cameras 

Sustainable and Energy-Efficient Trucking

The transport industry gets a lot of bad press for contributing to around one-fifth of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. In the US, the transportation sector accounted for 38% of energy-related emissions in 2021.

Statistics like these are forcing more businesses, including the trucking sector, to go green in response to the ever-increasing threat of global warming. 

The transport industry continues to reduce its carbon footprint, and there are an ever-increasing number of ways they can be more sustainable and energy-efficient. 

One very compelling example is the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs). The preconceived notion that they were only limited in form and not a sustainable option for the trucking industry has been crushed. 

Businesses that strive to be forward-thinkers are also thinking about low-emission trucks to gradually replace diesel engines. Trucks running on diesel are major sources of pollution. Alternatives have to be found and not only will they lower pollution, but they will also protect the environment.   

Autonomous and Electrified Vehicles

For many institutions, organizations, and businesses, sustainability has become a pillar. For this reason, it’s expected that there will be a significant increase in green options in the car shipping industry. 

Electric vehicles are sustainable and friendly to the environment. They produce the smallest amount of greenhouse emissions and minimize the risk of pollution. Electrified and autonomous vehicles don’t rely on fossil fuels to the same degree as more conventional vehicles. This reduces the need for damaging excavations.

Autonomous vehicles could transform the way people and products are carried. They can reduce highway congestion and improve road safety. It is thought that they may also revolutionize the way cities are designed. Large parking lots, for example, could disappear. Autonomous vehicles would be able to drop people and goods off at an exact destination and then return to pick them up later if necessary. 

Numerous companies are looking to develop self-driving trucks in the freight industry. TuSimple, for example, is collaborating with UPS and undertaking tests in Arizona and Texas. TuSimple vehicles are equipped with a driver ready to take the wheel. However, the business intends to begin selling autonomous trucks by 2024.   

Electronic Logging Devices

Electronic Logging Devices are also known as ELDs. They have become a vital part of the auto shipping industry. 

ELDs help record driving times for most commercial vehicles and capture critical data such as speed, location, and engine performance. Once these devices are plugged in, they automatically collect the required data. 

Many auto shipping companies have embraced this technology because of its person-centric design. It plays a vital role in enhancing safety, traffic compliance, and driver effectiveness. 

The ELDs interface with a vehicle’s engine allows for easy recording of driving hours. Data is transmitted directly to safety officers. Such recordings ensure drivers do not exceed the recommended driver’s hours.

ELDs play an important role in ensuring the well-being of drivers and the quality of service a carrier provides. The trend of using ELDs is likely to minimize car crashes and guarantee the safe delivery of your vehicle.   

AI-Enabled and Internet-Connected Vehicles

Internet-connected vehicles are slowly becoming more mainstream in the car shipping industry. The technology used features a built-in connectivity system that provides internet access. The goal of this technology is to provide drivers with all the information they need such as speed, road conditions, weather conditions, and road safety. 

AI-enabled vehicles are very aware of their surroundings. They can be relied on for streamlined vehicular inspection and problem identification. You’re able to carry out comprehensive assessments remotely, guaranteeing flexibility and convenience. With such control, drivers could be warned of any engine issues.  

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is creeping into society in many subtle ways and has contributed to many changes across a variety of sectors. In the auto transport industry, its role is slowly taking shape. 

Currently, the auto transport industry relies on artificial intelligence for enhanced data collection and analysis. By combining multiple data, analyzing them, and providing easy-to-understand outcomes, auto transport experts can make informed decisions. This is particularly important in terms of future trends, performance, and preferences in the sector. 

Artificial intelligence also plays a key role in enhancing vehicular safety and performance. Sensors and cameras help drivers avoid collisions by providing accurate information about the road and vehicle. 

AI can also analyze traffic flow across the country. Such analysis allows auto transport companies to optimize their routes and deliver vehicles on time. In addition, AI also contributes to enhanced energy efficiency. 

Now you know about the tools and systems typically used in the auto transport industry, you should be less worried about shipping your car. Here at SGT Auto Transport, we embrace new technologies and advancements because they help us provide the best possible car shipping experience for all our customers. 

If you’re considering shipping your car cross country, use our instant quote calculator and find out how much it’ll cost. 

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We also have an experienced team of shipping advisors who will answer any questions and make the necessary arrangements for your car shipping service. Call (864) 546-5038 or use our Live Chat


What do cars use for shipping?

People use a variety of methods for shipping their cars. They can do it by plane, train, or use an auto transport company. The latter is by far the most popular. In 2020, the global car carrier market was valued at $95 million.   

What is the most reliable car shipping company?

If you want to find the most reliable car shipping company, there are certain factors to consider:

  • Think about your car shipping needs
  • Compare car shipping quotes
  • Ask about the company’s liability insurance coverage
  • Check that the company is licensed, bonded, and DOT registered
  • Ask about payment options
  • Make sure the company offers a shipping contract and a bill of lading

What is the cheapest way to ship a car across the US?

The cheapest way to ship a car across the US is using an open car shipping service. A carrier picks up your vehicle and safely transports it to your chosen delivery location. 

How do you prepare a car for shipping?

Take the following steps to prepare your car for shipping:

  1. Gather the documents for your vehicle
  2. Wash your car inside and outside
  3. Record any damage including dings, dents, scratches, and chips
  4. Remove all personal items
  5. Perform any necessary maintenance
  6. Empty the gas tank to around one-quarter full
  7. Remove or secure all outside accessories
  8. Lock up your car, but leave the keys with the driver
  9. Sign the Bill of Lading and wave goodbye to your car

How do car companies ship their cars?

Most car companies use large trailers that can transport multiple vehicles. The cars are loaded onto a trailer, secured in place, and then transported to the desired location. 

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