Just exactly what is meant by the phrase "seasonal fluctuations in auto transport"? Everybody talks about it but hardly anybody explains it. The auto shipping business just assumes that the phrase is self explanatory, and to a degree it is. Obviously, as the seasons change there are ebbs and flows in the car transport industry that change with it. But what does that really mean for the customer? How does that play out in real life? And why should a customer give it any concern? Here on this page we will attempt to answer those questions, because inquiring minds want to know.
In the auto transport industry there exists a specific type of customer that, while quite specific, is actually quite crucial to the success (or failure) of many auto transport company – and that specific customer is known as a snowbird. Simply put, a snowbird is a person who transports their vehicle from the northeast down to the Gulf Coast, primarily Florida. These customers routinely ship down during or just before onset of the fall months (though the season does go into early winter), and they will ship their vehicles back up usually about six months later, to escape the brutal Gulf Coast summers.
These customers are so crucial to the industry because they represent several different types of customers. For one, they are routine shippers, which brings repeat business into an industry where repeat business counts for just 5% of total sales for most companies. Not only that, but they’re reliable – there are always snowbirds, which in turn gives carriers a lot of options in terms of where they want to run their routes during the winter months. Many areas of the country become inaccessible to carriers for stretches at a time during the winter, particularly the northern states; by running snowbird routes in the winter months, carriers can ensure that they have a steady stream of customers and jobs lined up while still running plenty of routes and making plenty of money during the slower winter shipping season.