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Eventual Autonomous Shipping Faces Considerable Hurdles 

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Eventual Autonomous Shipping Faces Considerable Hurdles 

Autonomous transport technologies first began with driving and flying. Drones have worked exceptionally well while driving continues to improve. Autonomous shipping is similar in terms of technology and mechanics, but building trust among regulators and freight owners has proven to be a significant stumbling block to widespread adoption. 

Read also: World’s First Official Test Bed for Autonomous Shipping Opens in Norway

AUTOSHIP (Autonomous Shipping Initiative for European Waters) is an EU-funded initiative that triumphantly operated an autonomous ship from the coast of Norway last year for a nearly 13-hour journey. The expedition itself was a success, but there wasn’t cargo or much else at risk. South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industry (SHI) performed a similar feat in 2020 when the Samsung T-8 vessel performed an autonomous journey at Geoje Island, much of it guided via sensor and radar technology. 

Like autonomous driving, the International Maritime Organization has defined four levels of maritime autonomy. Level 1 still involves seafarers on board to control and operate ship functions, while some minor operations can be automated. Eventually, the ship moves to Level 4, with no seafarers on board and no remote control. At Level 4, the vessel makes decisions and determines actions on its own. 

Context is by far the biggest challenge for machines. Once vessels enter busier waters or are closer to land, other vessels, infrastructure such as offshore wind farms, and similar obstacles emerge. Even at sea, there are a host of hidden hazards that humans are adept at navigating, but it is still unknown whether a machine can successfully avoid collisions. 

The 13-hour AUTOSHIP voyage was a success, but learning in real-time with real cargo can be dangerous and costly. Another timely issue in the current geopolitical context is piracy. While freight owners would undoubtedly prefer a crew-less ship in the event of a pirate attack, they would likely not risk their cargo being commandeered in the first place through risky waters without humans onboard to oversee the voyage. 

Tech players who are common in the autonomous driving sector have a difficult time competing with larger firms like Kongsberg Maritime (a partner with AUTOSHIP) and Samsung Heavy Industry in the maritime sector. Most of the maritime technological breakthroughs are occurring in improving port infrastructure through automation and digitization. Freight owners and operators are rightly concerned about how quickly ports can get containers off the vessels and onto truck beds instead of navigating sea lanes without human intervention. 

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Top 8 Auto Shipping Tips for A Positive Experience

There are various reasons why you may want to move your car with an auto shipping company. Auto-shipping companies are highly reliable and convenient to use. The main challenge for people looking for auto shipping solutions is finding a company that will give them a positive shipping experience.

A car is a significant investment that needs careful handling. It helps to take your time in picking the best shipping company from the wide variety of available options. We have compiled some essential tips that will help you ensure everything goes as planned during your next move.

Here are some tips to keep in mind.

Do your Research

The first and most vital thing to do when planning a move is research. As mentioned earlier, there are so many auto-shipping companies available today. The only challenge is that the market has many rogue movers who may not deliver the kind of service genuine auto shippers provide.

It is possible to find genuine companies if you do your research well. Such companies are reliable and will deliver your car to your home at a reasonable cost. They also must be holders of valid auto shipping licenses. Choosing a company with these features will help you avoid inconveniences.

Consider the Location

The picking and dropping points are essential to consider before choosing an auto shipping company. It would help if you thought about how accessible it is, primarily because auto movers use large trucks. Check how far the two points are from the main highway and the condition of the access roads.

Most auto shipping companies provide their services on a door-to-door delivery basis. This service mainly adds convenience to the move, but it sometimes may be daunting if the locations aren’t accessible. You can organize alternative picking and dropping points with the auto mover in case of such issues. 

Talk to a Representative

You must be sure about the terms of a move before committing yourself. Head on to the company’s website, then read and understand its terms and conditions. Do not shy off from seeking clarification on things that don’t seem clear on the website.

On sites like Karrycar, there is a live chat system. This feature helps you get clarification on whatever queries you have instantly. This minimizes the time you spend on sending an email and waiting for them to respond. You can also request tracking information from them directly.

Every genuine company provides a call center number on its website. Ask them to clarify their terms and also ask any questions about their quote if you have already received it. Do not proceed if the representative that picks your calls doesn’t answer your questions satisfactorily, as that may cost you in case of any issues during the move. 

Be Wary of Low Quotes

Moving a car from one place to another can be costly. You may feel excited if a company quotes a lower price than others, especially if you are working with a strict budget. The reality is that cheap can sometimes become expensive. Take your time to decide if a surprisingly low quote is genuine or not.

You should first know the standard rates of auto shipping in your area. Quotes that are too low to be genuine could reflect the shoddy service you are about to pay for. It is better to pay a higher cost than have your car arrive at the destination in an unpleasant condition.

Never Pay the Entire Price Upfront

As mentioned earlier, not every auto moving company is genuine out there. There are fake auto shipping companies that collect money upfront before vanishing into thin air. Most genuine companies collect deposits before offering their services, but then unreasonably high sums should worry you.

To be precise, the deposit should not exceed 50% of the total shipping cost. It is also vital to ask what happens with the deposit if you decide to cancel the move. Being sure about these conditions will help you have a great experience when moving your car.

Check Insurance Coverage

Insurance is another vital thing to check before working with an auto shipping company. You should check a company’s insurance policy whether you think it is genuine or not. Accidents occur whether you are moving your car with a genuine company or not.

It would be best if you were sure of the insurance coverage of the company you choose. Do not hesitate to launch a claim if you notice any defects. This way, the auto shipping company will cover part if not all of the repair costs.

Inspect the Car Before Pick-Up

An auto shipping company can only be liable for damages that happen during the move. That is why you need to start by inspecting your car before handing it over to the mover. Both you and the mover need to thoroughly inspect it to be sure of its condition before starting the move.

You also need to inspect the car on arrival at its destination. You should check its condition against what you recorded before starting the move. One tip you can use when inspecting the car is to take pictures that show its initial condition.

Book in Advance

It is vital to book your move with an auto shipping company early enough. This is because these companies have to drop several cars along the way before reaching their last destination. They may assign your car to a truck that will take a longer route if you book late.

This means that you will have to wait longer before receiving your car. It also exposes the car to various risks such as getting damaged. Therefore, you should talk to the shipping company early enough and pay the required amount of money in time.

Conclusion

Finding the right auto shipping company isn’t easy. Many factors can determine how successful it turns out, including how well you prepare for the move. The amount of preparation you put into preparing for the move can determine the kind of experience you get from it.

You need to research deeply and consider different auto shippers before picking one. It is also vital to check for insurance to ensure your investment will be safe if anything happens. Above all, inspect the car before and after the move to be sure that everything is intact.