Take for example a recent shipment, it seemed simple enough a 2 car pick-up from a dealer going to a major auction site. At MAT before any driver travels to a pick-up our dispatch department calls the location and verifies the load. Load verification calls eliminate many potential problems like vehicle release issues for storage or non-payment. On this day everything checked out, and a 2 car dealer pick-up seemed routine. The driver arrived at the dealership and connected with the manager authorized to release the car. After a few moments in the dealership "key room" the manger emerged to inform our driver that one of the two units had apparently been already picked up. Let the drama and chaos begin!
Is it possible that in the two hours between the verification of the load and the arrival of our driver that someone else picked up the car? Sure it's possible, but not likely. What's likely is the dealer doesn't know where the car is on their lot, or can't find the keys... And rather than work at finding the car they simply tell the driver its gone.
Brokers, dealers and auto shippers have zero invested in the cost of actually picking up and moving a car. So when things go wrong, it's the carrier who is on the hook for fuel, equipment and driver pay. It costs a dealer, or a broker zero dollars to just wait for the next carrier to show up after a misplaced vehicle has been located.
So now we are confronted with a 2 car order and only being able to pick up one car. This has numerous potential future problems, and at this point as a company we are better off not even taking the one available unit, so we don't get blamed for loosing the other missing unit. Our driver is instructed to get a copy of the Bill of Landing from the carrier that picked up the missing unit on the order, so we can charge the broker a "no-show" fee for dispatching us on a 2 unit load, when only 1 is available.
This causes a bit of trouble for the manager who now is forced to account for a $30,000 vehicle. After a period of time, which seems like the manger has possibly entered a federal witness protection program, he emerges to tell our driver the car is still at the dealership, and they cannot find it.
Eventually they find the car and our driver loads up and rolls, after burning an hour and 30 minutes at the dealership. Who pays for the extra loading time at the dealership? Do we bill the dealer for misplacing the car? Do we fire our load verification caller? Neither of these choices are appropriate. The only strategy that will work over time is to "work the problem" by having the resources and experience to support a driver facing the frustration of a chaotic pick up.