Our members have time and time again raised their concerns over the removals and auto transportation industry. In recent years the industry has seen an influx of so called transportation brokers, auto brokers and moving brokers entering the market and advertising as auto carrier providers through comparison websites for car transport quotes. Although competition is generally a benefit towards the logistics and freight market, operators have concerns that these brokers are destroying the industry by charging providers exorbitant referral fees that are unfair. This results in owner operators to cut costs, cut standards and in some cases, forcing providers out of business.
What is a transport broker?
Commonly referred to as vehicle transport and logistic brokers, these are either businesses or individuals that do not operate any of their own equipment and generally will NOT be the car transport company that will carry out the service. Brokers can be compared to being the middle man as brokers facilitate vehicle transportation requirements for consumers by sourcing and connecting with car carrier companies that provide the service.
Although there are certain advantages that a broker service can offer when moving your vehicle interstate such as providing the consumer with a range of options from their network of auto carriers, some unethical practices have increasingly surfaced. The Transport Workers Union along with the National Road Transport Association has reported an increase in complaints against vehicle transport brokers in recent years because of these questionable practices.
What is a car transport provider?
Vehicle and automotive car transport providers or carriers are the company that maintains an asset list of trucks, equipment and staff that provide vehicle transport services. Transport providers can consist of single owner operators to large commercial automotive transport businesses, these businesses are responsible for carrying out the work and service that consumers request.
The Australian vehicle transport industry is a billion dollar industry and the internet has made it easy for some unethical transport brokers to enter. Some brokers are misleading customers by not informing of their broker status and instead, pretending to be a representative of the car carrier provider, these brokers are advertising and marketing their business as transport operators although they do not own any trucks. They then sub contract to owner operators at significantly lower than market costs which forces legitimate auto transport businesses to absorb the financial impact and lower profit margins. This is resulting in unfair working conditions, unfair competition and in some cases brokers not paying vehicle transporters for work completed.
Consumers who are seeking to relocate their vehicle should perform background checks and research into the companies that are offering the transport service. In order to prevent unethical practices that promote unfair conditions across the vehicle transportation network, consumers should ask relevant questions to choose a reputable provider, ask the company if they are brokers and confirm you are dealing directly with the business that is providing the service. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Commission can offer more information on license and transport numbers relevant to specific motor carrier companies.