Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Amethyst a Brokerage Company or a Carrier?
How does the Auto Shipping Industry work?
The unspoken truth is that this industry is: A bidding system industry.
Let’s break this concept down: You need your car shipped, but you have limited or no access to shippers (the carrier trucks) and the prospect of dealing with Shippers is not only daunting and time consuming, but is also a risky proposition.
This is where Amethyst comes in. As expert, licensed brokers, we negotiate with Carriers on your behalf to obtain the best price available to get your vehicle to your desired destination with the time frame you require.
Now about pricing. Contrary to what you may have been told, individual companies do not and cannot determine their own pricing (all of the companies currently contacting you with quotes, us included.) Your vehicle shipping prices are largely determined by industry factors such as: Carrier, Fuel costs, driver demand, routes, size of vehicle, and time frame.
These factors are always fluctuating and are used to create a current average. Every shipper and broker is than bound to work within that current average to determine fair pricing for everyone involved. This is where your choice of a broker matters, as your broker’s experience, network, and negotiation skills will be the ultimate determining factors in finding the best price for your needs.
As with any other bidding system, your broker needs to be skilled and have the adequate resources to be successful. With Amethyst Logistics’ experience, connections, and tactical industry knowledge you can rest assured that you made the right choice. A knowledgeable broker should be an expert at balancing your needs against the “Current Average” for the trip that works for you to create an attractive initial bid. This initial bid is critical as it will be used as an “ice breaker” on the National Board (also known as Central Dispatch.) This bid will attract available or interested drivers and sets off negotiations between your Broker and the Carriers. After some time, counter offers to that initial bid and new offers begin to roll in and a skilled broker should be able to weed out bids that do not meet your requirements and only bring you those that fall within your budget and scheduling requirements.
At Amethyst we value your time and will only submit bids that are in line with your goals and the Current Average. We take the time to explain this process because we understand that when the client, the Brokers, and the Carriers/Shippers work together and understand how the industry works,- (ie: bidding process, price determining factors, investment of time, and logistics that go into shipping a vehicle),- the transaction is inherently easier for all involved. This process does not have to be frustrating.
Note: Your time and flexibility also have an important effect on negotiation and this in turn can ultimately produce better pricing.
What determines pricing for shipment of my vehicle?
The market fluctuates for various reasons (see item 2 above for further explanation) The negotiation by your broker in combination with fuel prices, carrier chosen, availability of drivers, desired dates, and Broker’s industry network connections; will influence and ultimately determine the final pricing for the shipment of your vehicle.
Prices are NOT determined by individual companies. Prices are determined by the then Current Average price for vehicles being shipped and, or that have shipped within the last 3 months.
How are quotes generated?
All companies use automated systems that generate automated quotes. Individual companies do not have the ability to determine their own FINAL pricing. When you request a quote, companies will send out an automatic email with Current Average price (different terms may be used for this). In order to request a quote you need to supply: Year and make of your car, running condition, and the dates of shipment.
What do I need to do to ship with Amethyst?
It’s simple! Submit all of the information we request in our instant quote page. Minutes later, you will receive an email quote. You have the option of submitting an order immediately, or calling Lilly directly to discuss details or concerns. Upon signing on, you will receive a client/broker relationship agreement that will require your signature to give Amethyst authorization to work on your behalf. You will not have to pay for a deposit until we find you the Shipper and you verify all information on the dispatch form.
Why are brokers necessary?
Brokers are put in place by the industry to ensure the client and their property are protected at all time. Brokers were put in place in an effort to prevent price gouging by direct owner/ Carrier operators and to ensure that the client’s interests are protected, and their budget it met. A good broker should ensure that you receive the best and most current shipping rates.
Having a broker guarantees a lower rate which is made in part possible through their network and negotiation skills. When you hire Amethyst, not only do you gain protection, you also gain access to its experience resources, tools, and knowledge.
How do brokers find the lowest price for their clients?
Time is of the essence when looking for the best price to transport your vehicle. The more time you give your broker, the higher the probabilities are of securing an affordable price, as the ideal situation is to have ample opportunity to choose the right offers, and shift out the bad ones as they come in.
The best way to find the lowest price to ship your vehicle is to allow us to post your bid on all load boards for maximum network and driver visibility to those drivers doing your specific route. Interested drivers will contact your broker to begin negotiations. It is important that this initial bid is low, but reasonable. Here at Amethyst we believe in working together to come up with the best possible bid. After discussing your options, rates, and schedule, you and your broker will decide on your initial starting bid.
Having broker authority grants a broker, access to all active and available, licensed drivers nationwide.
Like with any bidding system, the initial bid needs to be low enough to create room for negotiation, but appealing enough that it attracts the right traffic of interested drivers. This tactic, is crucial to opening up a conversation that will lead to closing a good deal.
How much control does the client have in regards to their transaction?
As little or as much control as you’d like. As the paying client you have the ability to decide on your initial starting bid as well as which driver we book your job with once we have provided some options for you. As previously mentioned Amethyst will advise you on the current market prices and give you an educated opinion on where your bid should begin. This bid will be the starting point to the process of finding you the best possible deal. This bid should make you feel comfortable, but should also allow room for negotiation.
Choosing the driver can also be up to you, as your broker begins to receive offers on your bid, he or she will perform a background check on the driver requesting the pick up of your car. Amethyst will ONLY bring you offers from drivers with a good rating.
Will prices change after your trip has been booked/dispatched?
No. Never. Once you have reviewed and accepted an offer and we have dispatched the vehicle to the carrier, that offer will stand. You will have the dispatch sheet for your records. Time is of the essence, you must confirm within a 2-3 hour window for us to lock in the price and for you to not lose the spot on the carrier.
Do carriers book their own trips?
Unfortunately, because this industry is so competitive, some companies will say and do anything they can to convince you that they are owners and operators of carriers to convince you to sign on with them. It is very common for some companies to claim they own their own trucks and also book their own trips and have full control of pricing. This is generally not true and they are just selling you the idea of “price advantage and price control.” Beware.
How much are deposits?
Standard in our industry is $200 upon booking, over the phone and with a credit card. This price can vary based on the service level you choose. Ask your representative for further details. The remaining balance is due upon delivery to the driver.
With Amethyst, you will only pay the deposit AFTER we find you the FIRST DRIVER and we get confirmation.
Note: If you are under a limited time schedule we recommend you submit payment upon booking your order. Having proof of payment on file speeds up the process and omits several steps. When the carrier sees payment has already been submitted, they will automatically reserve your spot on their truck.
Are there any discounts available to me?
Yes. Please ask about our discounts for:
Military, College students, Snowbirds.
As a token of our appreciation ask how you can become part of our Loyalty Program. Our return customers, will receive a discount of $10.00 every time you book with us. This discount is not transferable to other customers and it is to be used only by you, the returning customer shipping. Note: License and Registration will be used to verify ownership of vehicle being shipped. Please keep record of your dispatch order form number to honor the discount.
What is double booking/posting?
This is when more than one broker is working on your behalf and your listing has been posted on the National Board (Central Dispatch.) more than once.
You must keep in mind that- every broker, nationwide has access to and uses the same system, this means that all brokers are able to see ALL of the vehicles needing to be shipped at all times. times.
If more than one broker posts the same car, the system cannot determine it is a different car, but this results in increased rates, averages, and demand for that particular route, which in turn will raise the price for your trip.
Clients that are not familiar with this technicality, think that having multiple brokers may work to their advantage, because there are more hands in their search, but unfortunately it has the opposite effect. By having your bid open with multiple brokers, you are inadvertently creating demand for your route and are in fact working against yourself.
Do not allow more than one broker, work on your behalf.
Note: When the same vehicle is listed multiple times in the system, established Carriers will eventually skip/ignore the bid as those bids usually tend to cause delays and confusion as to who the broker is, or may indicate that the shipper may not be serious. Keep in mind, that these drivers picking up these bids are usually on the road actively booking their trips. They will always go with what is fast and easy to them.
Here at Amethyst it is policy to immediately CANCEL the broker/client relationship if double booking occurs, resulting in the loss of your deposit. Please ask us, how you can prevent this from happening.
What is Central Dispatch?
Central Dispatch is the main system used by brokers and Carriers. It is a regulated service that keeps track of all shipping jobs available, credentials of users (drivers/brokers), and reviews amongst peers. You will often hear it being referred to as the National Board or “the board.”
Cancellation of Order
Once we have found you a driver and you have accepted and paid the deposit and you wish to cancel, we charge a service fee of $75 that will be subtracted from the deposit amount.
We must remain in good standing with the carrier we hired on your behalf by sending them funds for their time and loss. The client’s cancellation may result in that spot on the truck going unfilled.
What is the average time of a trip?
Under the law, drivers are only permitted to drive an average of 400-500 miles per day. To have a better idea of your trip, do a quick search to determine the exact mileage between point of pick up and drop off and estimate by dividing the miles by 400/day.
Can I place items in the trunk of my car?
This is left to the discretion of the driver we hire on your behalf, upon booking please confirm whether it may be done.
How far in advance should I book my trip?
The more time we have, the better. Generally, we like to work with about 2 weeks in advance achieve the best prices.
How can I prepare my car for transport?
- Remove any personal belongings.
- Take pictures of vehicle’s condition.
- Do a quick walk-thru with the driver.
Do I need to be present at pick up or drop off?
No, not necessarily. If you need for us to arrange an alternative solution for you to not be present, we most certainly can. Just let us know.
Additional fees may apply if further logistics past our capacity are needed.