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How Hurricanes Affect Car Shipping Service and Cost

When shipping a car, there are many elements that can affect cost and service. Weather in particular is one such factor that could greatly influence your auto transportation experience. Hurricanes, floods, and snowstorms are all severe weather conditions that can cause delays to transportation routes as well as lead to damage of vehicles. In this article, we will be taking a look at how hurricanes affect car shipping service and cost. Thereafter, tips on what you must do to guarantee yourself a smooth process will be provided.

Severe Weather in the United States

From hurricanes along its Gulf coast, to thunderstorms and wildfires on its Atlantic shores; from snowstorms in its northern states, to floods throughout many of its regions – extreme weather in America can be an obstacle for those in auto transport. Vehicle carriers are not immune to these conditions that could increase car shipping cost.

Impact of Hurricanes on Vehicle Carriers

No doubt, disruptive weather patterns can lead to a wide range of drawbacks for car transporters. To better understand the troubles posed by hurricanes and other serious meteorological phenomena, let’s take a look at how hurricanes affect car shipping services and cost.

Cut Off Roads

Severe weather can create dangerous road conditions, leaving many areas inaccessible and disrupting transportation. To combat this problem, experienced carriers often have contingency plans in place, as well as alternative routes they can take. Such companies pay attention to official warnings from local authorities and track weather forecasts carefully. By doing so they are better able to deal with any hazardous situations that arise.

Slippery Roads

For carriers who navigate regions that experience frequent snow and snowstorms, the risk of being on icy or slushy roads is a major concern. The inclines and slopes of these areas can be particularly treacherous when covered with a thin layer of ice. To ensure safety, tire treads or chains may be used to increase vehicle traction while driving on slippery surfaces.

Fog and Intense Smoke

When the air is thick with fog and smoke from wildfires, responsible drivers understand the importance of slowing down and exercising caution. In such conditions, it is best to wait until visibility improves before continuing the journey; this will help to protect against potential collisions and avoid any damage to vehicles.

Snow and Ice

Drivers delivering cars via transport can experience some daunting difficulties in snowy and icy conditions. Despite the heft of the transporter aiding in grip, hazardous situations on roads are still present. Major snowstorms or lake-effect snows may require rerouting, especially when they come out of nowhere.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Though it is possible to plan ahead for a hurricane or tropical storm, the effects of these can still be devastating to the transportation industry. In fact, powerful wind and rain often cause severe damage to transport trucks and cargo, potentially resulting in a complete loss of goods. Fortunately, carriers have the ability to make necessary changes in their routes when given advanced warnings of such events.

Flash Floods

An unexpected hazard that can arise after heavy rains is the threat of a sudden and powerful flood. Such an event, known as a “flood” or “gusher,” carries significant risk for truck drivers who transport cargo. Even simply driving through an area prone to floods could spell disaster, potentially resulting in enormous losses due to the truck and its contents being swept away by the water.

Top Ten Most Devastating American Hurricanes

The fury of the natural world is well known and hurricanes are a frightening show of power. These gigantic storms unleash powerful winds, flooding rains, and often leave behind a wave of ruin. Numerous major hurricanes have left an indelible mark on American history due to their intensity and destructive capabilities. We will take a look at the top ten most influential storms to ever touch down in America’s lands, and how hurricanes affect car shipping services and cost.

1. Hurricane Katrina (2005):

Katrina will go down as one of the most notorious hurricanes in American history. The winds reached a staggering 175 mph, and this Category 5 storm wreaked havoc on New Orleans and many other areas along the Gulf Coast. Tragically, over 1,800 people perished from the disaster, and it is estimated that the hurricane caused $125 billion worth of damages – making it one of the costliest storms to ever hit US shores.

2. Hurricane Harvey (2017):

The destructive force of Hurricane Harvey was felt across Texas when it made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. The resulting flooding in Houston caused an immense amount of damage, with some areas experiencing over 60 inches of rainfall. Unfortunately, the storm claimed 68 lives and is estimated to have cost $125 billion in damages.

3. Hurricane Maria (2017):

The destructive force of Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, dealing a major blow to the island in the form of a Category 4 storm. This led to an estimated 2,975 fatalities and caused about $90 billion worth of damage. In addition, it left millions without electricity for months afterwards.

4. Hurricane Sandy (2012):

Nicknamed “Superstorm Sandy,” this post-tropical cyclone wreaked havoc across 24 states along the East Coast. This monstrous storm was responsible for a staggering 233 deaths and an enormous $68 billion in damages.

5. Hurricane Andrew (1992):

Andrew, the Category 5 hurricane, unleashed its destructive power upon South Florida with winds of up to 175 mph. Its path of devastation left behind a reported 65 deaths and an estimated $27.3 billion in damages.

6. Hurricane Ike (2008):

Ike, an immense Category 2 hurricane, wrecked havoc on Texas with its landfall. Storm surges were as high as 20 feet and the destruction it caused was substantial, resulting in 195 deaths and approximately $30 billion in damages.

7. Hurricane Irma (2017):

The destructive forces of Irma, a Category 5 storm, left its deadly mark across the Caribbean and even into Florida. At least 134 lives were taken by the hurricane and it caused an astonishing $50 billion in damages.

8. Hurricane Camille (1969):

Camille’s wrath was felt along the Gulf Coast as a Category 5 hurricane, with gusts up to 190 mph and overwhelmingly destructive storm surges. The unfortunate result of this natural disaster was 259 casualties and an estimated $1.4 billion in damages.

9. Hurricane Hugo (1989):

The devastating effects of Category 4 Hurricane Hugo were felt all across the East Coast when it brutally hit South Carolina, leaving in its wake 61 dead and approximately $10 billion worth of destruction.

10. Hurricane Michael (2018):

Arriving in Florida with winds up to 160 mph, Michael was a Category 5 storm. Its path of destruction caused an estimate 74 deaths and $25 billion in damages.

Ten hurricanes have scarred American history with the intensity and devastation of their forces. From Katrina, whose destruction was unparalleled, to Harvey’s massive flooding, such natural disasters strain our communities, emergency responders and governments to the limits. In this era of ever-greater climate change implications, it is essential that we remember and prepare for future hazards by remembering past storms.

Ultimate Impacts of Hurricanes and Floods

Hurricanes affect car shipping services and cost in two primary ways:

Increased Car Shipping Cost

During times of predicted severe weather, the car shipping cost for transporting vehicles may go up. It is dependent on the particular route and locations in question. Should a carrier be forced to alter their prearranged itinerary due to inclement weather, it can have an effect not only on the pricing but also on the delivery times for every automobile being carted around.


The protection of vehicles when extreme weather strikes is paramount. Yet, in the case of hazardous conditions on the roads, accidents become more likely. As a consequence, drivers may opt to either slow down their speed or postpone their journey in order to avoid similar risks – this could then result in possible deferrals for both pick-up and delivery times.

What Can You Do?

No matter the weather, there are measures you can take to streamline your car shipping experience. To ensure a hitch-free process, there are a few steps that should be taken into consideration to mitigate how hurricanes affect car shipping services and cost.

Research the Climate

When considering the relocation of your vehicle to a different area, it is important to investigate the climate and weather patterns in that location. This will help you determine when would be the most suitable time for car shipping, allowing you to plan accordingly.

Choose Between Open and Enclosed Car Shipping

When deciding which car shipping method to use, a few factors must be taken into account. These should include the type of vehicle being shipped, as well as the time of year. Enclosed auto transport is usually recommended for premium vehicles such as classic cars, sports models, custom builds, luxury automobiles and antiques due to its protective qualities against wind, rain and other weather-related hazards. Open car shipping offers a more cost-effective option but does not provide the same level of safety for your vehicle.

Prepare Your Vehicle

In order to transport your vehicle safely, it is important to take the time and prepare it ahead of time. This involves examining fluid levels, taking out any personal objects, and making sure that no components are not tightly in place. Doing this can help reduce the odds of harm during shipping.

Select a Reputable Auto Transport Service

When selecting an auto transport service, it is essential to pick one that has extensive knowledge in dealing with extreme weather scenarios. These types of companies will likely have well-developed strategies in place and place a heavy emphasis on securing the car during the entire shipping process.

Plan Ahead and Be Flexible

It is important to plan ahead and give yourself room for the unexpected when arranging for auto transport. Be aware of any potential weather delays you may encounter, and make sure to stay in contact with your transport provider so you are always informed on their ETA. Allowing extra time in your schedule will help ensure a smooth trip.

Final Thoughts About Hurricanes & Car Shipping

Navigating car shipping amidst adverse weather conditions can be a tricky endeavor, yet taking proactive measures can make the process run much more smoothly. To minimize the effect of any extreme weather events, planning ahead and conducting proper research is essential. Start by investigating the local climate and selecting an appropriate shipping method for your vehicle. Preparing your car in advance and choosing a dependable auto transport service are also key components to ensure success. With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have a stress-free car shipping journey!

The Original Car Shipping Quote Calculator

Direct Express Auto Transport originated the instant car shipping quote calculator in 2004. It is still the best, most sophisticated, reliable tool available anywhere online. We offer three options that we call tiers of car shipping estimates. The standard rate is the cheapest car shipping quote, but it may take longer. Use it if you are patient. The expedited car shipping rate is most recommended, and we have countless satisfied customers because the shipping process tends to go quicker. The rush rate is our highest level of car shipping service, and we have many customers who are glad they went with that method. If you are buying a car from an auto auction, shipping it with us is a smart move.

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