Monday, March 23, 2009

Transport Brokers – In Your Best Interest?

Seeing an increase of complaints about bad experiences with transport brokers, we wanted to do a write-up on “what you should know” about transport brokers - especially when dealing with your boat transport. As anyone knows about brokers, they work on commission. So when you contact a broker to give you a bid on your boat shipment, understand that they can sometimes add their commission fees on top of the transporter’s quoted price - this is simply more cost added onto the consumer for using a middle-man.

Now, not to say that ALL transport brokers do this, we have had great relationships with brokers in the past who ran a good, clean, and honest business - and we paid the commission out of our fees to transport for the customer.

What some people may not realize is their legal stand-point when it comes to a transport broker. Will the broker hire a “legal transporter” for you? What happens if your load receives damage? Who is liable? Who’s insurance will pay for the damages? Who do you deal with if you made the contract with the broker, but the transporter was the one who damaged the boat?  It is important to not just inquire on your transport broker the also the boat transporter themselves and get in writing who is liable for your boat in the unfortunately event of an accident.

One can find themselves in a quandary when things may go awry. Technically, you pay the broker for the service – yet the transporter is the one who is actually doing the work. If your load is damaged, you may feel you have recourse with the transporter. In actuality, you never paid the transporter for the load, you technically paid the broker who paid the transporter to ship your boat on your behalf. What a lot of consumers do not realize is the “good faith deposit” is what covers the broker’s commission fees. So, right up front they have gotten paid for the job, regardless of customer satisfaction - and at times can lose interest for the consumer once this has happened (especially if something has gone wrong with the transport).

In the event there is something wrong such as the transporter not delivering in the agreed upon time frame, the shipment has become damaged in transport, or the transporter will not release the boat until their share of the payment is due (even with damage) – what can you do? Did you also know that if a transporter (even a legal one) carries your over-sized boat load without proper permitting and it is damaged in an accident – your own insurance will not cover it?

We wanted to point out how important it is for consumers to research their boat transporter and/or broker to find perhaps not the “cheapest” but the “safest” to make sure they do not make a several thousand dollar mistake in the long-run. It is in our hopes, that no matter whom you choose for transport, that they get your boat there in the safest and most timely manner possible. Feel free to check out our earlier post to avoid being a victim of illegal transporters and our pre-travel checklist to help prepare your boat for travel. We are more than happy to give you a FREE Sailboat Transport Quote or a FREE Powerboat Transport Quote.

- Christine Barber -
Christine Transport
Free Boat Transport Quotes: 352-553-8637
“Get your boat to where the fun is."

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