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An In-Depth Explanation of How Auto Transport Works

We provide this resource so that you will fully understand the Mercury process when transporting your vehicle.  We believe that working with an informed consumer makes for the smoothest transactions and transports. Our job is to make your experience less stressful and more economical.

In this article, we will differentiate transport brokers versus carriers, detail where your vehicle will be posted and how the Central Dispatch system works, and provide a basic strategy in securing the best possible transport price, with a reputable carrier, meeting all your specific requirements. We hope to answer each of your questions related to how Mercury’s auto transport operation works.

What You Need to Know When Transporting a Vehicle
Understanding the Roles of Auto Brokers Versus Carriers

Mercury is an Auto Transport Broker

As a transport broker, we do not ship vehicles. Rather, we charge a fee and find the appropriate carrier for you. We have access to a wide range of car transporters through National Dispatch Boards, and together with you, we can often strategize and negotiate far better rates. Not all brokers are created equal in this talent.

Auto Transport Carriers

Auto transport carriers do the actual work of picking up your vehicle and delivering it to your chosen destination. They are on the road full time and don’t have the time, resources, or desire to interact directly with customers. Drivers or their dispatch managers rely on auto transport brokers such as Mercury to find work.

The Central Dispatch National Load Board

In addition to contacting our network of carriers that frequent your route, we post your vehicle on the National Dispatch Boards for Auto Transport, which exposes your vehicle to every auto carrier in the country.

The National Dispatch Board is an Open Market System

Central Dispatch Board websites are proprietary to industry members only. This system is where all booking agents (brokers), post transport orders seeking carriers, and this is where all carriers choose the orders to fill their trucks.

In this open market system, carriers choose the highest priced orders first, and the lowest priced order last, or not at all. Note: Orders posted on Central Dispatch twice by two different brokers are usually ignored by carriers.

Mercury’s transport specialists are experts at strategizing and negotiating the best possible rates. Understanding your lead time and requirements, we start negotiations with a lower offering to carriers seeking the most cost-effective rates, and increase the offer little by little, as needed. The more lead time you have until your car needs to be transported, the more money you can save.

Assigning a Carrier and Dispatching Your Vehicle

Drivers and dispatch managers for carriers contact Mercury based on our Central Dispatch postings. Once we verify rates and timing on your behalf, Mercury performs a thorough carrier background check. We verify the carrier’s ratings, references, and obtain a certified copy of their insurance certificate. We ensure they are licensed with FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration) and research to determine if any past clients have lodged complaints.

You have peace of mind knowing that the carrier shipping your vehicle is qualified, reputable, and that there will be no surprises, guaranteed

Once you confirm your acceptance of the rates, we assign the carrier. Your service agreement guarantees the price, door-to-door service, and 100% bumper-to-bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges. At that time, all fees are locked in, as well as pick-up and estimated time of delivery. Only then is our deposit due, which can be paid via the debit or credit card that was placed on file when we booked the order. The balance of fees is paid C.O.D. to driver upon delivery. You can also opt to pay the driver with a credit card with a convenience fee.

What Differentiates Mercury Auto Transport


Since 2007 we have posted and managed auto transport orders on the Central Dispatch Load Boards with full transparency. We strategize and negotiate on your behalf – our transport experts endeavor to negotiate a fair, realistic quote and timeline upfront. Our function is to find the most reputable driver, that will accept the lowest price possible, adhering to your timeline.

As a further indication of our transparency, upon request, we will send you a screenshot from the Central Dispatch Load Board reflecting the current high and low carrier fees posted for your transport lane.

We manage your posting every step of the way until it is successfully assigned to a qualified carrier meeting your specific criteria. Once assigned we provide a guaranteed pick-up date, the estimated delivery time at destination, and all pertinent carrier’s information to include the drivers name and phone number.

Our processes, procedures, and transparency are unique in the industry. Our best in class philosophy is why Mercury maintains an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and receives such stellar reviews from customers and carriers. For reference, here are some popular sites where you can read our reviews:

We hope we can earn your business and help make shipping your vehicle as stress-free and easy as possible. When you have a moment, please contact us at 800-553-1828 for more expert input regarding our industry.

Give us just seven days, and we can negotiate the best price with a reputable five-star carrier for your transport.

With the Mercury process, nothing gets done without your approval so there are no surprises, just a smooth, hassle-free transport.

Click these links if you would like to learn more About Us and our Guarantee.


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First, we post your vehicle through our network, including all National Dispatch Boards for Auto Transport. This is where all licensed auto transport carriers can see your vehicle is available for shipping.


We present offers from FMCSA Licensed and Insured Carriers. When you accept an offer, we send your service agreement that guarantees the price, door-to-door service and 100% bumper to bumper insurance. There are never any hidden fees or charges, guaranteed.


Not until you approve your carrier and final logistics is your deposit due. Your deposit is included in your quote and goes toward the total price. The remaining balance is due at time of delivery. Nothing gets done without your approval.


Your driver will contact you prior to your pickup and delivery dates to schedule a time for loading and unloading. Once your vehicle reaches its destination, you do a final inspection of your vehicle and pay the driver the remaining balance. You and the driver both sign the Bill of Lading and each keep a copy.