Tips for Summer Shipment of Personally Owned Vehicles

May 17th, 2016

As the school year comes to an end, MetroGistics usually sees an uptick in orders for shipment of personally owned vehicles (POVs). Whether it’s families moving when their kids are out of school, or new graduates relocating to another part of the country, many utilize our services to transport their vehicles.

Following are some useful tips we’ve compiled to help prepare for and track shipment of your POV.

 Before you ship

  • Your vehicle must be operable (drivable). This makes loading and unloading much easier. If your vehicle is inoperable for any reason, please inform our sales team so that we can arrange for adequate equipment and transportation.
  • Provide MetroGistics with several different methods to contact you. This is essential so that the driver can call ahead to verify pickup and destination times and details.
  • Please inform our sales team of any blackout dates where the origin or destination may not be available to release or receive the vehicle. It doesn’t benefit anyone for a carrier to show up with your vehicle at a time when nobody can receive it.
  • Car haulers need adequate space to load and unload a vehicle. Alert our sales team to any physical obstructions that may impede pickup or delivery such as low bridges, low-hanging trees, dead-end streets, etc. You may need to consider meeting at a nearby parking lot or large open space.

Preparing your vehicle

  • Have your car in relatively clean condition so that any damages are easily visible.
  • Remove all detachable personal/household belongings from the vehicle. In no event shall MetroGistics or its subcontractors be responsible for the loss or damage of any such contents. We and our subcontractors and agents can refuse to move a customer’s car until all such items are removed from the vehicle.
  • Remove any temporary bike racks, camper shells, aftermarket antennas or anything else that is a temporary addition. If permanent, alert your sales representative.
  • Make sure there is gas in the vehicle. A full tank isn’t necessary but the vehicle needs to have at least a quarter tank of gas.

Origin and destination inspections:

At pickup and delivery, you or someone you give consent to must take the following actions:

  • Complete a thorough vehicle inspection with the driver, acknowledging all damage before and after
  • Sign off on the bill of lading finalizing pickup and delivery.

Status Updates

When you work with MetroGistics, you can track your shipment anywhere and anytime. Here are five easy ways to check the status of your vehicle.

  • Nightly Status Reports keep you informed on the location of your vehicle each night. Just ask our dispatch team to set you up!
  • Enter your VIN in the “Check Status” box at metrogistics.com.
  • Text “STATUS” to 35819 and follow the prompts to receive an instant status report.
  • Contact our office at 877-571-6235
  • Download the MetroGistics App from the Apple App Store

We’ve even created a short video that covers the POV-shipment process. If you have any questions about transporting your POV, let MetroGistics help you. We work with customers big and small to get their vehicles transported safely and in a timely manner.

Live Chat Offers Real-Time Communication with Our Staff

April 15th, 2016

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Perhaps you’ve noticed the “live chat” icon on our home page, or have seen us close blog articles with an invitation to live chat with us. As a leading vehicle-transport company dedicated to using state-of-the-art technology, we like to provide as many options as possible for customers, carriers and partners to reach us.

The live chat feature makes it easy for anyone to communicate in real time with a MetroGistics agent seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Central Time. Our trained staff are dedicated to providing assistance in the most efficient and professional manner.

Customers can access live chat for any number of reasons:

  • To request a quote
  • Get a status update on a transportation order
  • Ask about how many vehicles to buy to fill out a truck load (for example, when buying vehicles through an online auction)
  • Enquire about the estimated transit time from point A to point B
  • Ask about how the process works when shipping a personally owned vehicle (POV)

Carriers can also use live chat to receive information on the following matters:

  • Get clarification on an assigned load
  • Check on pending applications
  • Receive assistance with their login IDs

MetroGistics’ live chat functionality integrates directly with our customer service and support-ticket platform. That way, our agents can quickly access information rather than having to consult different systems to get answers.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235 or email info@metrogistics.com. And yes, you can still live chat with us via our home page.

A Lot to Learn at Conference of Automotive Remarketing

March 14th, 2016

This year’s Conference of Automotive Remarketing (CAR) from Bobit Business Media will be held March 16-17 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. CAR is organized with the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) Spring Business Meeting and the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA) Spring Roundtable.

MetroGistics staff will be on hand along with 500 remarketing professionals to get the latest information on new technologies, wholesale market conditions, industry standardization and more.

Representing MetroGistics at CAR will be:

William Billiter – Owner and Managing Partner

Melissa Trautman – Director of Process Improvement and Planning

Dustin Ruch – Director of Business Development

Adam Laura – Director of Strategic Accounts

If you’re attending, we invite you to visit us in Booth #10 where you can register to win an Apple Watch and other great prizes. Everyone is a winner!

Our message to CAR attendees this year is that MetroGistics + McNutt Automotive Logistics = a winning combination driving the future of automotive logistics. That means we are driving the future of automotive logistics through our commitment to delivering cost-effective, reliable transportation solutions, exceptional service and value, and the latest innovations in technology.

We’ll be happy to talk to you about how MetroGistics provides the reliability you need, the service you deserve, and easy-to-use technology.

Hope to see you at CAR!

If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Addressing Normal Wear and Tear on Pre-Owned Vehicles

February 12th, 2016

In last month’s blog post, we provided tips for receiving vehicle shipments and stressed the importance of doing a thorough inspection at both the origin pickup location and destination (receiving) location. In the article, we pointed out the distinction between normal wear and tear versus major damage.

It’s difficult to define what “normal wear and tear” is because it’s very subjective. So much so that two people looking at the same car can have very different opinions over what is or isn’t normal wear and tear.

For example, on a recent visit to a pre-owned car dealership, a buyer noted a broken taillight as damage, while a service writer noted it as normal wear and tear because of the age of the vehicle.  Experience also plays a role in the subjectivity of vehicle inspection.  At another dealership, a porter inspecting a vehicle claimed a ding on the car was transportation damage. Upon getting a second opinion from a service writer, it was decided that it was not transportation damage.

For new cars, there are defined standards, damage codes and inspection procedures to follow before the car is even removed from a bay location. Each party along the supply chain has defined procedures.

For pre-owned cars, however, there are no universal standards at this time.  Leasing companies, dealerships and auctions will all have their own guidelines for normal wear and tear.

From a dealership perspective, vehicles bought online will almost always have pictures to show the condition of the vehicle. The dealer will expect to receive the vehicle just as it was shown in the pictures and expect not to see damages that were not noted in the vehicle condition report.

From a carrier’s perspective, so much can happen before a vehicle is even issued to a driver. That’s why it’s equally important for drivers to conduct a thorough inspection prior to moving the vehicle, and if there are any doubts, take pictures. Most importantly, they should write it down on the Bill of Lading and have the origin point of contact acknowledge the damages noted.

Perhaps one day industry associations will get together and develop comprehensive and mutually-agreed-upon standards for what constitutes normal wear and tear on pre-owned vehicles. In the meantime, the intent of this post is to educate all involved on the importance of vehicle inspections and proper documentation on the Bill of Lading. Don’t let a subjective inspection cost you money.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Get to Know Our Metro Auto Express Staff Members

January 29th, 2016

For this Employee Spotlight, we’d like to highlight some members of the Metro Auto Express team, our owned-and-operated transport division. Meet Robert Hoery, Timothy Nunez and Jim Durant.

Robert Hoery, team driver, has been with Metro Auto Express for a little over a year. His role involves transporting client vehicles from one facility to another. What he enjoys most about his job is the company’s stress-free environment.

You may not know that Hoery is a published historian of Colorado history. He likes to promote and perform country music in his spare time, and, get this – he was once a bodyguard for Bob Dylan. He can also impersonate Waylon Jennings, both in his singing on stage and on CDs. Jennings also performs Hoery’s favorite song, “Never Could Tow the Mark.”  If Hoery could spend a day in someone else’s shoes, they would be Merle Haggard’s.

Timothy Nunez (AKA Tim) is another team driver. His responsibilities include ensuring a safe, efficient and professional pickup and delivery of customer vehicles. Nunez has been working with Metro Auto Express for just over a year. He enjoys interacting with and helping others, but his favorite part about his job is the driving.

Nunez loves to spend time with his family, especially outdoors while camping and fishing. An unusual previous job of his was working in California, where he collected and counted money for a company. He possesses a hidden talent of troubleshooting, and if he could, he would be Nikola Tesla for a day.

Jim Durant, transportation manager, has been with Metro Auto Express for over a year. On a daily basis, Durant directs operations and the movement of EchoPark Denver metro area vehicle transports. What he enjoys most about his job is providing excellent service to EchoPark while meeting the daily challenges it presents, along with working with the great employees on his team.

In his spare time, Durant enjoys going to the movies with his family as well as drawing to relieve daily stress. He has many hidden talents, including playing the piano, drawing, and shooting a basketball proficiently with either hand. This must be why Durant would choose to be Larry Bird for a day, playing in game seven of the finals against the Lakers.

Each staff member is a very important part of our team, and we wish to thank the Metro Auto Express employees for all they do.

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L – R Jim Durant, Tim Nunez, Robert Hoery

Tips for Receiving Vehicle Shipments

January 13th, 2016

Although we’ve written previously about how to prepare vehicles for shipment and how to save transportation costs and time, we’ve never addressed the other end of the process. MetroGistics would like to offer the following tips on how to prepare to receive vehicle shipments.

1. Have an allocated delivery drop area

• This will help ensure a safe unload of your vehicle(s) while maintaining the safety of the driver.

• As a rule of thumb, drivers need at least 150-175 feet of clearance (that includes the length of the truck).

2. Communicate with the transport company

• It’s always good to communicate any changes in delivery area or receiving hours to your dispatcher to avoid delays.

• You’ll also want to let your dispatcher know of any changes in infrastructure (e.g., different entry gates, low-clearance bridges, major road constructions) in your area.

• Having a point person ensures that the right vehicles are delivered to you. There are times a driver arrives at a business and can’t unload because he can’t find a person who knows about the delivery.

3. Inspect your vehicle(s)

• When your vehicle arrives, make sure to do a thorough inspection with the driver present. Drivers should perform an inspection at the time of pickup and note any existing damage, if any, on the Bill of Lading (BOL). When the origin of the shipment is an auction, any damages found are noted on the vehicle gate pass. Use the BOL to note any damages on the vehicle. The driver will keep a copy of this “condition report,” as will you. Sign the BOL only after you’ve inspected the vehicle(s).

• If your business accepts deliveries after hours, the condition report will have a Subject to Inspection (STI) stamp or signature written on it. As soon as you are able to take physical possession of the vehicle, you should still do a thorough inspection and note any and all damages.

• If you see damage, take pictures and contact the claims department at the transport company as soon as possible. Even if you do not have pictures, the sooner you report the damage to the claims department, the better.

• Signing a clean BOL will make it very difficult to file a claim.

• Also keep in mind that normal wear and tear on a pre-owned vehicle is not considered major damage.

4. Check the driver’s paperwork

• When a carrier arrives at your business, have your point person check the BOL to make sure the driver is at the correct location and verify the vehicles that are intended for your company. A carrier can have a full truckload but only one or two vehicles may be for your location.

• Many times a carrier is transporting two or three of the same type of vehicle. Always verify that the VIN number on the BOL matches the VIN plate on the vehicle.

Following these steps will ensure a smooth delivery process, and you don’t have to wait until your next order to notify your dispatcher of any changes.

Our dispatchers are available seven days a week. If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Wrapping Up a Great Year for MetroGistics

December 15th, 2015

As 2015 winds down, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the happenings at MetroGistics in what has been our best year yet.

In addition to finalizing our merger with McNutt Automotive Logistics, we experienced growth in many areas of the company. Following is a brief recap.

Sales

Our sales team added three new OEM clients, which means we are now doing business with all new car manufacturers in the United States. We also added more than 100 new auto dealerships as customers.

Growing Staff

In 2015, our operations team added four new dispatchers and two order entry professionals. On the sales side, we added three new sales reps.

Our management team was bolstered with the addition of Dave Larson as executive vice president of business development, and Bob Brinson as vice president of finance. William Billiter, co-founder and managing partner, recently commented that Bob’s hire “rounds out our impressive management team.”

Carrier Network

Even with a very strict onboarding process to maintain high standards, our carrier compliance team added 1,054 new carriers to our network this year.

Technology

As pioneers in using technology to optimize the transport experience, we always have an eye on innovations that improve service. In 2015, our technology team developed an in-house transportation management system for some of our larger clients, and upgraded and launched new customer sites and portals.

Community Involvement

MetroGistics is committed to being a good corporate citizen and giving back to our community. In addition to our annual Monster Mash fundraising event and Metro Giving Back program (which provides a monthly donation to charities selected by our employees), we were a Gold Sponsor of the 11th Annual A Cause for Paws Masquerade Ball benefitting Helping Strays, and a Bronze Sponsor of the 23rd Annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction. We also donated toys and funds to the First Annual Arch City Riders Toy Drop.

During this holiday season, we wish to express our gratitude to our employees, partners and customers. We send you our good wishes for safe celebrations and a prosperous 2016.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Good Employees = A Great Company

December 2nd, 2015

At MetroGistics, we feel honored to have dedicated, collaborative and talented employees on staff. We would like to recognize three highly valued team members this quarter: Gabriela Hernandez, Demetrius Perry and Melissa Organ.

Gabriela Hernandez, accounting assistant, has been with MetroGistics for almost eight months. Her role involves processing carrier paperwork and payments from customers, issuing checks, and sending invoices. What she enjoys most about her profession is working with amazing, hard-working team members.

Hernandez is Venezuelan and enjoys horseback riding and going on walks or to the park with her son. She is very inspired by Shakira, the successful Latin-American pop artist, for her strong influence in the Latin community and efforts in helping underprivileged communities.

Demetrius Perry is a dispatch coordinator for MetroGistics as well as the regional account manager for the Midwest Region. His responsibilities are dispatching vehicles to carriers, updating customers with shipment statuses, and vehicle tracking.

Perry just reached his one-year mark with the company this month. His favorite thing about working here is the friendly environment – everyone is both professional and down-to-earth. In his free time, Perry enjoys writing short stories and poems, playing video games, and reading up on neuroscience.

Melissa Organ, dispatch coordinator, has been with MetroGistics for over a year. Her daily duties include placing orders, updating order statuses, and price moves. She says her favorite thing about her job is the people she works with.

When she is not busy at work, Organ really enjoys reading. She also has an investigative side to her, having almost falling into the profession crime scene cleaning. According to Organ, the song that best describes her is “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack.

As our staff continues to grow, we look forward to continually spotlighting our wonderful employees. Gabriela, Demetrius and Melissa, we’re glad you’re part of the MetroGistics team.

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Considerations for Winter Vehicle Transport

November 12th, 2015

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According to the Winter 2015-2016 outlook, this year’s El Niño is forecasted to become one of the strongest on record. Winter is definitely the hardest time for car haulers since they have to account for highway closures and dangerous driving conditions. Following is some information to help you plan and be prepared for the winter shipping season.

Inclement Weather Affects Travel Time

  • Transport through mountainous regions can cause significant delays, especially when the Department of Transportation mandates tire-chain requirements during snowy conditions.
  • Drivers can usually only run about 20-30 miles per hour when the chain rule is in effect, and those caught operating without chains can be hit with steep fines.
  • Depending on how bad conditions are, an additional two to three days may be required for transport.
  • Time spent sitting in traffic is also counted towards hours of service and drivers must adhere to rules governing consecutive driving hours and appropriate rest periods.
  • Clear your load/unload area of snow and ice to allow for safe handling of vehicles.
  • If possible, extend your delivery hours or allow for weekend delivery times.
  • Communicate with our dispatchers to make them aware of any changes in hours of delivery and/or load/unload areas at your location.

Maximize Your Loads

By maximizing loads, you can reduce transportation costs and avoid the risk of winter storms delaying your overall inventory replenishment.

  • Passenger cars average eight to nine per load, depending on the size of the sedan.
  • For midsize vehicles such as minivans, the average load factor is seven.
  • For mixed loads of eight, the makeup can consist of:
    • four midsize vehicles and four cars, or
    • five SUVs and three cars
  • If you call for a quote on a full truckload and then exceed the number of vehicles that can fit on that truck, the single car or cars left over will have a much higher cost of transportation on a per-unit basis.

Combined Purchasing Efforts

  • When possible, combine purchasing efforts in an area to save time and money. A driver would rather have a few stops in one day than have to drive empty miles between stops over a number of days.
  • With the increasing amount of auto operations, look for opportunities to partner with other nearby companies to share the load and reduce your transit time.

MetroGistics’ dispatchers work closely with customers to apprise them of all options and do their best to provide accurate ETAs and help ensure safe delivery. We do this by:

  • Promoting safe driving practices and strict adherence to all DOT regulations. We will not tolerate cutting corners or utilize drivers who break the rules.
  • Staying up to date on weather conditions across the country and advising our customers of possible transit delays.
  • Staying in constant contact with our carriers and providing nightly shipment status updates to our customers.

If you have any questions, call us at 877-571-6235, live chat via our home page, or email info@metrogistics.com.

Monster Mash Fundraiser Nets Nearly $15.5K

October 13th, 2015

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Sure, we love our work, but we also love having fun and raising money for worthwhile charities.

On October 3, MetroGistics hosted the 4th Annual Monster Mash Halloween costume party fundraiser at the historic Soulard Preservation Hall in Saint Louis. More than 100 revelers enjoyed food, drink, music, prizes and a few surprises. All attendees also received special Monster Mash t-shirts to commemorate the occasion.

The event raised nearly $15,500 for two outstanding charities: the Humane Society of St. Clair County, Michigan, and Helping Strays, the Humane Society of Monroe County, Illinois. Each organization will receive about $7,700 each.

Major sponsors for the event were Backup Parachute Software, McCarthy, Leonard & Kaemmerer and Twist Integrated Marketing, thus allowing 100 percent of proceeds from ticket sales to go directly to the charities.

“This annual fundraiser has outgrown our office, so we had to move it offsite,” said Managing Partner William Billiter. “We appreciate all of the sponsors and participants who supported this event, and we’re already looking to see how we can top ourselves next year.”

The Humane Society of Monroe County, Illinois, and The Humane Society of St. Clair County, Michigan, are nonprofit organizations that take in rescues and owner surrenders. The animals are updated on all vaccinations, tested for heartworms, and spayed/neutered, making them available and ready for their forever homes. If you would like to join us in supporting either nonprofit organization, please click on the links above to be taken directly to their websites.

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