How To Handle Car Shipping Delays During Military Moves

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Navigating the complexities of military moves can be a daunting task, especially when it involves the shipping of personal vehicles. Delays in car shipping are not just inconveniences; they can significantly disrupt the meticulous planning that goes into a military relocation. Understanding how to handle these delays effectively is crucial for a smooth transition to your new posting.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of managing car shipping delays during military moves. From preemptive planning to on-the-spot solutions, we cover all the bases to ensure that your vehicle’s transportation is as seamless as your move.

Whether you’re a seasoned service member or new to the armed forces, this article will equip you with the knowledge and tools to navigate car shipping delays with confidence, ensuring that your move is as stress-free as possible.

Preparing for Potential Delays

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When it comes to military car shipping, anticipating and preparing for potential delays is crucial. Understanding the intricacies of this process helps service members ensure a smooth transition to their new duty station.

1. Understanding the Shipping Process

The journey of privately owned vehicles (POVs) begins long before they reach the destination vehicle processing center. Familiarizing yourself with the defense personal property system can provide clarity and peace of mind. It’s essential to know how car shipping companies operate, including their policies on shipping multiple cars and handling different types of vehicles.

Another critical aspect is understanding the timelines. Knowing the required delivery date and how it aligns with your move to the new duty station can help in planning and reducing stress. This knowledge is particularly beneficial for military families who might need to transport multiple vehicles.

2. Choosing the Right Shipping Company

Selecting a reliable military car shipping service is a pivotal step. Look for companies with a strong track record of working with military personnel and understand the unique needs of defense personal property program participants. A good shipping company should offer transparent services and have experience in handling both domestic and international moves.

It’s also wise to compare different companies, focusing on their ability to ship vehicles to various military bases and their policies regarding rental cars if your vehicle is delayed. Customer reviews and ratings can be a valuable resource in making this decision.

3. Essential Documentation for Smooth Shipping

Proper documentation is the backbone of a hassle-free shipping experience. This includes ensuring all paperwork for the transportation office is complete and accurate. Documentation often involves proof of ownership, insurance, and any necessary customs forms, especially for international moves.

For military members, it’s also crucial to have orders and any other military-specific documents readily available. These documents facilitate smoother interactions with the shipping company and the destination vehicle processing center.

4. Pre-shipment Vehicle Preparation

Preparing your vehicle for shipment is more than just a physical task; it’s about ensuring that your privately owned vehicle is ready for the journey ahead. This includes a thorough check-up, ensuring the car is in good working condition, and removing personal items.

Additionally, it’s advisable to document the vehicle’s condition before shipment. Taking photos and noting any existing damage can be crucial for insurance purposes and in case of disputes upon arrival at the new duty station.

5. Setting Realistic Timelines and Expectations

Understanding that delays can happen is part of setting realistic expectations. Military families should be prepared for scenarios where the vehicle might not arrive exactly on the planned date. This involves having a backup plan, such as a rental car, and being flexible with your schedule.

Communicating with the shipping company to get regular updates and understanding their policies regarding delays can also help in managing expectations and planning accordingly.

Read More: Understanding the Military Car Shipping Process

Identifying and Addressing Common Shipping Delays

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When it comes to military car shipping, understanding and managing potential delays is crucial. Military members often face unique challenges that can affect the timing and efficiency of vehicle shipping. This section explores common issues and provides practical solutions.

1. Weather-Related Delays and How to Manage Them

Weather can play a significant role in delaying the shipping of privately owned vehicles. Unpredictable conditions like storms or heavy snow can halt transportation, affecting service members relocating to a new duty station.

To manage these delays, it’s essential to stay in constant communication with the shipping company. They can provide updates and alternative plans. Additionally, considering a flexible schedule can help accommodate unexpected weather-related changes.

In cases where severe weather is anticipated, military car shipping services often have contingency plans. These might include rerouting shipments or using different modes of transport. Service members should inquire about these plans beforehand to ensure a smoother transition, even in the face of adverse weather conditions.

2. Dealing With Logistical Challenges

Logistical challenges are common in the process of shipping vehicles for military personnel. Issues can arise from the complexity of routes, the availability of transport vehicles, or even bureaucratic hurdles. To tackle these, it’s vital to choose experienced car shipping companies familiar with military moves. They can navigate these complexities more efficiently.

Proactive planning is also key. Service members should coordinate closely with their transportation office and the shipping company to understand all logistical aspects. This includes discussing the route, expected transit times, and any potential roadblocks that might arise during the transport of their privately owned vehicle.

3. Navigating Port Delays and Customs Issues

Port delays and customs issues can significantly impact the timeline of vehicle shipping, especially for military members moving overseas. Understanding the customs process at the destination vehicle processing center is crucial. Service members should ensure all necessary paperwork is completed accurately to avoid delays.

Engaging with a military car shipping service that has expertise in international shipping can be beneficial. They can guide service members through the customs process and help expedite the clearance of their vehicles. Keeping all documents organized and readily available can also streamline this process.

4. Mechanical Issues With Transport Vehicles

Mechanical issues with transport vehicles can cause unexpected delays in shipping. To mitigate this, it’s important to select a reputable military car shipping company with well-maintained fleets. Regular maintenance checks and contingency plans for mechanical failures are signs of a reliable shipping service.

In the event of a mechanical issue, the shipping company should provide timely updates and solutions. This might include transferring the vehicle to another carrier or providing a backup transport option. Service members should inquire about these contingency plans before finalizing their shipping arrangements.

5. Communication Breakdowns and Their Solutions

Effective communication is vital in ensuring a smooth car shipping process for military families. Breakdowns in communication can lead to misunderstandings and delays. Choosing a shipping company with a strong track record of customer service and clear communication is essential.

Service members should establish regular check-ins with the shipping company to stay updated on the status of their vehicle. Additionally, having a single point of contact can simplify communication and provide peace of mind during the shipping process.

During the Delay: Steps to Take

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Delays in shipping can be stressful, but taking proactive steps can help manage the situation effectively. This section covers essential actions to take when facing delays in car shipping.

1. Staying Informed and Updated

Staying informed is crucial during any delay in the shipping process. Service members should maintain regular contact with the shipping company to receive the latest updates. This includes understanding the cause of the delay and the estimated time of resolution.

Utilizing online tracking tools provided by the shipping company can also offer real-time updates on the location and status of the vehicle. This information can be crucial for planning, especially if alternative arrangements need to be made.

2. Alternative Transportation Options

When facing delays, considering alternative transportation options is important. This might include renting a car or using public transportation. Many car shipping companies, especially those catering to military personnel, may have partnerships with rental car agencies, potentially offering discounted rates.

Service members should discuss these options with their transportation office, which might provide additional resources or reimbursements for alternative transportation costs incurred due to shipping delays.

3. Managing Temporary Accommodations

If a delay results in an extended stay at the current location or the new duty station, finding temporary accommodations is necessary. Military families should explore options like on-base lodging or short-term rental properties.

The defense personal property system may offer assistance or reimbursements for expenses related to extended stays due to shipping delays. It’s advisable to keep all receipts and documentation for any accommodations for potential reimbursement.

4. Keeping Track of Expenses

During delays, keeping a detailed record of all expenses is crucial. This includes costs for alternative transportation, accommodations, and any other unforeseen expenses. These records are important for reimbursement purposes under the defense personal property program.

Service members should be aware of the policies regarding expense tracking and reimbursement. Clear communication with the transportation office can provide guidance on what expenses are covered and the process for submitting claims.

5. Utilizing Support Services

Military families have access to various support services that can be invaluable during shipping delays. These services can offer guidance, financial assistance, and emotional support during the stressful period of a delayed move.

Reaching out to military support networks, family readiness groups, or the destination vehicle processing center can provide additional resources and support. These organizations understand the unique challenges faced by military families and can offer tailored assistance.

Read More: How to Schedule Your Military Car Pickup and Delivery

Post-Delay: Ensuring Smooth Continuation

local transportation office, one privately owned vehicle

Once the delay is resolved, taking steps to ensure a smooth continuation of the shipping process is important. This section outlines actions to take post-delay for a seamless experience.

1. Reassessing Delivery Timelines

After a delay, reassessing the delivery timelines is crucial. Service members should communicate with the shipping company to get an updated schedule for the arrival of their vehicle. This helps in planning the remainder of the move, especially if the delay has affected other moving parts.

Adjusting plans and informing relevant parties, such as housing offices or new commands at the duty station, about the updated timelines is also important. This ensures that all aspects of the move are synchronized with the new vehicle’s arrival time.

2. Inspecting the Vehicle Upon Arrival

Upon the vehicle’s arrival, conducting a thorough inspection is essential. This includes checking for any damages that might have occurred during transport. Service members should compare the condition of the vehicle upon arrival with the inspection report provided before shipping.

Any discrepancies or damages should be immediately reported to the shipping company. Keeping photographic evidence and detailed notes can be helpful in case of any claims or disputes.

3. Feedback and Review of the Shipping Process

Providing feedback to the shipping company after the vehicle’s arrival is a valuable step. This includes sharing experiences regarding the handling of delays and the overall service quality. Honest reviews can help the shipping company improve its services for future military moves.

Service members can also share their experiences with their peers or on military forums. This can help other military members make informed decisions when choosing a car shipping service.

4. Learning From the Experience for Future Moves

Every shipping experience, especially those involving delays, offers valuable lessons. Reflecting on what worked well and what could be improved can help in planning future moves. This might include choosing a different shipping company, adjusting timelines, or preparing for potential delays in advance.

Service members should document these insights and share them with their family or colleagues. This collective knowledge can be beneficial for the entire military community in managing future vehicle shipments.

5. Legal Recourse and Compensation for Delays

Understanding the legal aspects and compensation options for shipping delays is important. If a delay causes significant inconvenience or financial loss, exploring legal recourse might be necessary. This includes understanding the terms and conditions of the shipping contract and any insurance coverage.

Service members should consult with their legal office or the transportation office for guidance on pursuing compensation or legal action. Keeping detailed records of the delay and its impact can support any claims made.

Why Choose Our Services at Military Car Shipping?

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Military Car Shipping is dedicated to providing exceptional service to those who serve our country. We understand the unique challenges faced by military personnel and their families during relocation. Our services are tailored to meet the specific needs of military moves, ensuring a smooth and stress-free experience.

Comprehensive Vehicle Shipping Solutions

  • Expert Handling of Privately Owned Vehicles: We specialize in the transport of privately owned vehicles, ensuring they are handled with the utmost care and professionalism.
  • Extensive Network for Global Reach: Our services are not limited to the continental U.S. We have the capability to ship vehicles to and from overseas locations, including Alaska, Hawaii, and international bases.
  • Customized Shipping Plans: Understanding that every military move is different, we offer personalized shipping plans to meet the diverse needs of service members and their families.

Support Throughout the Shipping Process

  • Regular Communication and Updates: We keep you informed every step of the way, providing regular updates on the status of your vehicle shipment.
  • Assistance with Documentation and Clearance: Our team assists with all necessary paperwork and customs clearance, making the process as seamless as possible.
  • Dedicated Customer Service: Our experienced customer service team is always available to answer questions and provide support throughout the shipping process.

Additional Services for a Complete Moving Solution

  • General Moving Services: Beyond car shipping, we offer comprehensive moving services to transport your household goods.
  • Flexible and Affordable Options: We provide a range of options to suit different budgets and requirements, ensuring affordability without compromising on quality.
  • Special Discounts for Military Members: In appreciation of your service, we offer special discounts to active duty military personnel and veterans.


Military Car Shipping is committed to easing the burden of relocation for our military members and their families. We pride ourselves on our expertise, reliability, and dedication to providing a stress-free moving experience. Whether you’re facing a new deployment or transitioning to civilian life, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Suppose you’re planning your next move and need a trusted partner to transport your vehicle, look no further than Military Car Shipping. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help make your next move a smooth journey.


What types of vehicles can Military Car Shipping transport?

Military Car Shipping can handle a wide range of vehicles, including cars, trucks, SUVs, and motorcycles. We specialize in shipping privately owned vehicles for military members, ensuring each vehicle is transported safely and efficiently.

How does Military Car Shipping ensure the safety of my vehicle during transport?

We prioritize the safety of your vehicle throughout the transport process. Our carriers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology to secure and protect your vehicle. Additionally, we conduct thorough inspections before and after transport and provide comprehensive insurance coverage.

Can Military Car Shipping accommodate overseas vehicle shipments?

Yes, we offer international vehicle shipping services. We can transport your vehicle to and from overseas locations, including military bases in Europe, Asia, and beyond. Our team will assist with customs clearance and all necessary documentation for international shipments.

Are there any discounts available for military personnel?

Absolutely! We offer special discounts to active duty military members and veterans as a token of our appreciation for their service. These discounts apply to both vehicle shipping and general moving services.

How do I get a quote for shipping my vehicle with Military Car Shipping?

Getting a quote is easy and straightforward. You can contact us directly through our website or by phone. Our customer service team will gather some basic information about your shipping needs and provide you with a detailed and competitive quote.