When moving long-distance, whether permanently or for a short time, who hasn’t dreamed of being able to beam ourselves and our belongings directly, with no wait time? Life would be so much simpler if we could do that, wouldn’t it?

Sadly, the possibility of instantaneous transport isn’t available, yet.

However, you still need to get your car from point A to point B, and it isn’t practical for you to drive it yourself. That’s where ShipLux comes in, helping you with all your car transport needs.

Of course, we know that two of the most important questions about shipping your vehicle are:


Today we will focus on the question of pick-up and delivery time. As usual, there is no simple answer.

Six Factors That Affect Shipping Time

When it comes to auto shipping, there are several pieces that come together affecting shipping times, including pick-up and drop-off.  All of these pieces are intertwined (so rather than a pie they might look like a complex knot). We’ll explain each piece of the pie in more detail below.

the shipping factors pie infographic

1. Distance and Route
The longer the distance, the longer it will take. That’s pretty basic physics.

Transport drivers are limited by the rules of the road as established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This means they can only drive around 500 miles per day. The best estimate, given ideal driving conditions, would be to find out the driving distance and divide it by 500.

Of course, that applies to cars being driven overland. If your move involves transport over the ocean the time is inevitably longer. This may include overland shipping, movement to a port, shipment over the water, and then more movement overland to the final destination. The port of departure also affects time.

So, for example, shipping your car to Hawaii could take from 8 to 18 days.

2. Type of Transport
Of course, there are many things that can interfere with ideal driving conditions. On average, a coast-to-coast move will take between 7-10 days in an open-shipping transport because they carry more cars, which requires more stops. Open-shipping transport comes with a lower price tag, but a longer timeline.

Enclosed auto transports carry fewer vehicles—requiring fewer stops—which means that a coast-to-coast shipment can take between 5-7 days.

3. Pick-up and Drop Off Locations
Location matters. Moving to or from a major metropolitan area has the advantage of more available equipment, but also the complexities of shipping into and out of congested areas. Rural areas may be farther away from shipping routes, which means extra distance for the trailer to travel.

How does this affect pick-up time? That will depend on the speed you choose:

4. Standard vs Expedited Shipping Speeds


How does this affect drop-off time? Unfortunately, expedited shipping cannot change other variables like distance. However, given ideal conditions, getting your car into a transport vehicle faster will help you receive your car at its destination faster.

5. Seasonal Demand
This is where things get even more complicated. There are regular seasonal shifts in the auto shipping industry that occur throughout the year. These seasonal shifts vary by direction, type of customer (different groups move more at different times,) and routes. If you’re going against one of these seasonal shifts, it could slow down your pick-up and drop-off time.

For quick moves, the best season for shipping your car is from September-November. Unfortunately, you may not have control of when this move happens. Understanding how seasonal demand affects drop-off and pick-up of vehicles might ease some of your worries about when your vehicle will arrive.

6. Road Conditions and Weather
Weather happens. With climate change, harsh weather has been common lately. There is nothing anyone can do to control the weather. Truckers cannot drive if road conditions are unsafe. Power outages can affect their ability to gas up and stay on the road. Road closures can make route changes.

What can you do if you are on a timeline and the weather gets in your way? Breathe and be patient. Your car will get there with everybody (including driver and vehicle) safe and sound.

Shipping Starts Today with ShipLux!

We know that this sounds complex and confusing—but you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to ShipLux today for a transparent price quote. Our shipping logistics agents are prepared to help you make the best choices for your needs, including understanding the timeline, the cost, and the various shipping options.

Call, text, email, or chat with us live on FB Messenger or WhatsApp. We’re here to help you get your car moved from A to B without stress or worry!