Updated 12/12/23

Shipping auto parts can seem a complicated and time-consuming process. Transporting automotive equipment requires a lot of inventory planning and great attention to detail. A wide variety of shapes and sizes of automotive parts depend on several regulations. That’s why we’re here to help you figure out the best way to ship car parts.

Shipping auto parts

As an automotive business worker or owner, you need to follow the regulations while shipping car parts. GoShip can help auto parts sellers and buyers find the perfect match for transporting their vehicle supplies according to all the handling and packaging requirements.

We will offer you a wide variety of professional full truckload and LTL carriers which meet your shipment needs and help you to get a freight shipping quote for your successful car part transport. 

How to organize auto parts shipping

If you are planning to ship car parts, it is better to map out the process from the beginning. Shipping automotive parts can seem quite challenging, but it’s just a matter of proper planning. 

First, develop a draft plan for your shipment, including the target dates of pickup and dropoff and the route you’d like to take. You have to consider the volume of items you want to move and what size truck you’ll need for transit. For instance, will the size of your auto parts shipment fill up a truck or can it share space with other shipments? This can determine whether you need full truckload freight or LTL shipping.

GoShip will help you locate a carrier, calculate its cost, and get a FTL shipping or LTL quote in a few clicks. Follow our detailed guide to learn all the essential information about successful auto parts shipping.

Auto parts shipping services

The mode of transportation you can use for shipping auto parts primarily depends on the size of your cargo and any time constraints you have. Based on these criteria, the two most prevalent methods for shipping auto parts are:

  • Full truckload (FTL) shipments only use the entire truck for your freight. FTL shipments typically provide a 48-foot trailer and can transport up to 45,000 lbs. This transit type excludes any additional stops and delivers your cargo straight to the destination.
  • Less than truckload (LTL) shipments share the truck with other shippers for a reduced expense. Usually, LTL shipments are limited to 20,000 lbs or up to six pallets. LTL freight often takes longer because it includes many stops for delivering other shippers’ goods.

Choosing the right container for shipping auto parts

Choosing a suitable container is a crucial point for the safe delivery of your auto parts. If you want them to be transported safely, paying close attention to the packaging is necessary. Each auto part will have different needs depending on its size, weight, and technical peculiarities.

For example, you may transport large car parts in tight containers that are less likely to get damaged on the road. Designed to provide maximum crush resistance, heavy-duty corrugated boxes may be the best choice.

You may also want to use double-wall containers to set yourself up for exceptionally smooth shipping. The main thing to remember is that you have to pick an appropriately sized container – there is no point in leaving extra space for small parts to shift and potentially break. 

Regarding smaller auto parts, packing gets much easier due to their lightweight and portability. You can smartly condense the auto parts into smaller spaces and avoid using any extraneous packaging. However, this rule doesn’t account for fragile items that require additional special in-box fillers to prevent damage in transit.

The volume of items you are shipping also impacts your packaging. Suppose you plan to ship a large number of automotive parts in the same container. In that case, it is usually better to pack the auto parts individually (i.e., separate bagging) than to place them all together in a single crate. 

Use protective packaging to ship car parts

In any case, following the protective package principle is necessary for successful auto parts shipping, no matter the size and weight of your products. That’s why you’ll have to decide what protective packaging will go in the box with your auto parts to provide extra security. Depending on the type of auto parts and used materials, the most popular options are:

  • VCI (Volatile Corrosion Inhibitors): special packaging is produced to prevent vehicle details from corrosion and rust.
  • Foam: a substance that expands inside the package and adapts to your product’s shape to dodge damage in transit and keep its original appearance intact.
  • Anti-static packaging: used for transporting electronic elements and blocking possible static charges during transit.  

It would help if you also considered reliable external protection to reduce the probability of crushed auto parts when shipping. Once the items are firmly fixed inside the truck, they will be less susceptible to external factors. Still, we recommend palletizing the boxes with your automotive parts when available.

Stacking items on pallets will reduce the risk of their movement inside the truck. You may also apply tape or other forms of wrapping for additional protection during transit. If you are worried about sustainability, we recommend you evaluate eco-friendly packaging

Labeling car parts

Proper labeling plays an essential role in the auto parts shipping process – you can streamline your auto parts supply chain by using adequate labeling. Labels serve as passports that provide a brief description of the unit, such as type, model, particular directions for use, etc. Automotive parts labels perform the function of item identification as well as carrying short operational data.

Labeling becomes crucial when it comes to shipping auto parts containing hazardous components. These units should be transported much more carefully to reduce the risk of chemicals’ interaction with external materials. The shortest way to label an auto part properly is to mark it with a durable sticker with all the necessary information.

Regarding package labeling, remember that the more data you provide on the crate sticker, the less likely your load will be considered for reclassification or reweigh. 

Auto parts shipping cost

The price of your automotive parts shipping depends on a range of factors. It’s important to consider all of them before starting the shipping process to avoid any unexpected moments:

  • Distance. The destination is the most influential factor affecting your shipment’s cost. Delivering products to the neighboring state will be much cheaper than moving cross-country. 
  • Package. Choose the proper containers that best fit your auto parts by size, shape, weight, and fragility. Check if you’ve protected all the items adequately.
  • Dimensions and weight. Before requesting a suitable truck, you will most likely want to estimate the overall size of your shipment. After packing the vehicle details into boxes, measure and weigh them. Keeping precise during this stage will save you from any additional charges.
  • Transportation mode. LTL freight usually costs significantly less than FTL, as you split the cost with other shippers. But, if you are in a pinch and your freight could go FTL, you may be able to deliver it faster than LTL.
  • Seasonality. This factor can significantly contribute to the final pricing as it fluctuates throughout the year. You might experience increased costs during the peak shipping season or lower prices in the off-season. Most industries have their seasonality layered on top of fluctuations in the overall freight market. Be prepared for abrupt changes during the holiday period. Seasonality also includes weather instability – transporting auto parts in bad weather conditions will considerably raise the expenses. 

Keeping all of this information in mind can help you find the cheapest way to ship small and large car parts.

How long does auto parts shipping take?

Naturally, the duration of auto parts transit heavily depends on the distance the freight is supposed to travel. Moving the load to remote locations can take anywhere from 5 to 14 days. When planning a shipment, you can generally get an idea of timing when quoting the shipment. However, there are some other factors to count while preparing to ship car parts. 

  • Pickup and delivery location. If these places are remote or hard to reach, it can take slightly longer to get from points A and B. 
  • Shipping mode. If you must deliver the auto parts on a tight timeline, full truckload shipments may be preferable if you can make the pricing work. FTL strictly follows the route and doesn’t include additional stops unless required. On the other hand, LTL remains much more financially moderate due to sharing the truck space (and costs) with other shippers. Regarding shipment duration, it will take more time for the driver to pick up and drop off the different loads, potentially impacting your shipment. 
  • Accessorials. If you need additional services such as layover, please be aware these operations will extend the shipment duration. They may also affect the price, as they are not usually included in the delivery service. We recommend you contact the carrier in advance to arrange any assistance.
  • Seasonality. How does it influence the shipment duration? First, the general delivery time is always conditional on traffic, which fluctuates with peak and off seasons. In addition, weather conditions such as hurricanes or blizzards can sometimes disrupt the entire supply chain.

Shipping auto parts with GoShip

GoShip works with local, regional, and global carriers that provide full truckload and less than truckload shipping. If you are worried about choosing a suitable carrier, we assist you by giving you an extensive range of options.

Optimizing auto parts shipping expenses is one of our priorities. You can utilize our shipping calculator tool to find pricing and get a free quote when you are ready to move a shipment.