SAN DIEGO — CentralDispatch (www.CentralDispatch.com), announced that vehicle transportation costs have dropped significantly over the past six months.
The national average price to ship a standard sized vehicle decreased by $195 between June and December of 2008, based on the nearly 500,000 vehicle listings on CentralDispatch.com. The trend correlates with the decrease in the price of diesel, which peaked this summer and has continued to decline since then, and the traditional slower winter season.
The average cost to ship a vehicle in the U.S. dropped from $714 in June to $519 in December, a decrease of 27.3 percent. Diesel prices are now down almost 50 percent from their height last summer, and 5 percent below their January 2008 levels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Despite the decreases, however, dealers and auctions reduced the number of vehicles moved both locally and nationally between June and December of 2008.
"Many dealers stopped sourcing inventory from auctions outside their immediate area when the price of fuel increased so dramatically. And some smaller vehicle carriers were forced to park their trucks because they couldn't afford to operate," commented Joe Steinberger, vice president of Product and Business Development for CentralDispatch.com. "We expect to see more vehicles posted and moved on CentralDispatch as the diesel price decreases become a reality to dealers and more carriers come back online, giving access to even more competitive pricing. The decrease in average vehicle transportation cost is great news for dealers who now have better access to vehicles around the country, allowing them to source the best inventory mix as increased demand for used vehicles continues."
Between regions, the only significant rise in volume of vehicles shipped was from the Northeast to the Southeast, up 19 percent between June and December 2008. The only increase in price, in part due to the increased volume of vehicles moving, was for vehicles moving from the Northeast to the Southeast, where the average cost to ship a vehicle rose from $499 to $516, a 3.4 percent increase. Across all other regions, shipping prices were down.