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Shipping By Truck Vs. Shipping By Rail

Saturday, Feb 3, 2024 by Professional Car Carriers
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Here at Professional Car Carriers, we ship cars and other vehicles by truck. In our experience, it’s the fastest and most economical way of shipping. We do, however, understand that there are advantages and disadvantages to shipping by truck.

Rail shipping is another viable method of transporting vehicles. In this article, we’re going to compare rail shipping and truck shipping, so you can choose the shipping method that’s right for your needs. 

Benefits of Shipping By Truck

The benefits of shipping by truck are varied—most of our clients find that this method best suits their needs. Here are some of the advantages of shipping by truck:

Door-to-door shipping:

With truck shipping, we can pick up your vehicle at your door, then deliver it directly to your destination. Train shipping, on the other hand, involves dropping off and picking up your vehicle at designated areas.

Faster delivery:

Trains tend to take longer to get to their destination—they have a lot of stops along the way, and they may need to be unloaded at several different inland ports. These downsides don’t exist when shipping by truck.

Greater flexibility:

Trains run on very set schedule and can only go to certain destinations. Shipping your vehicle in a carrier gives you the option to go anywhere—on your schedule.

Lower costs for short distances:

Rail shipping is generally only more cost-effective when you’re going very long distances—shipping within a province or to adjacent provinces or states is usually less expensive by a carrier.

Better tracking:

With modern GPS systems, it’s easy to track your vehicle when you’re shipping by truck. 

Drawbacks of Shipping By Truck

It’s less environmentally friendly:

Rail transport is more fuel efficient—this makes shipping by rail more environmentally friendly. 

Prices tend to fluctuate more:

Fuel prices can have a significant impact on the cost of shipping by truck—rail shipping is less affected by these fluctuations. Booking well in advance can help curb this variance in price.

Benefits of Shipping By Rail

Rail shipping has a number of advantages, especially if you’re shipping multiple vehicles across very long distances.


While shipping by truck is quite safe, rail shipping is marginally safer. There’s no traffic (or traffic congestion), which means there are no concerns about car collisions damaging your vehicle. 

Better in large quantities:

When you have one vehicle to ship, it’s often more economical to go by truck. Rail shipping, on the other hand, is a boon if you have dozens of vehicles you need to ship to a single destination—though this is rarely the case for our customers.

Lower cost for long distances:

Shipping by rail can be more cost-effective over long distances—though once you account for the tight schedule of rail lines and the short-distance transport services that are often needed to make up for the distance between the inland port and the vehicle’s final destination, shipping by truck is still often better for single-vehicle shipments. 

Drawbacks of Shipping By Rail

Scheduling and drop-off constraints:

Trucks can go anywhere, on almost any schedule. Trains cannot—rail shipping is limited by rails and train availability, after all.

Difficulty finding the service:

You can easily find shipping companies that use trucks—companies like ours. Finding rail shipping companies can be a bit more challenging.

The Bottom Line

Shipping by rail is sometimes more cost-effective—but in most cases, shipping by truck is the cheaper, more accessible, faster, and more flexible way to go. That’s why we opt to ship vehicles in our vehicle transport carriers. For car shipping in Canada, call us today! 

If you are interested in shipping your vehicle, you can get an instant quote today!

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