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S.W.A.T. Auto Transport shipped its first car in 1992. Back then the climate of the industry was very different. Every company charged a deposit up front and brokers made sure their subcontractors were insured. In order for carriers to even request loads from the National Load Board they had to provide three industry references prior to gaining membership and the site would constantly verify their insurance policy’s validity and DOT violations even banning members who would violate their terms. There was little to no animosity between brokers and carriers because they worked closely with each other on a regular basis.

Then things took a huge semi-truck turn for the worst. The main site where every broker and carrier posted and accepted customers shipments was purchased by a large well known corporation for $74 million dollars. Shortly after the acquisition, the new owners decided to hike up everyone’s membership fees by more than 20 times what they used to be. If that was not bad enough, they intentionally removed their only tangible protective measures (like requiring companies to provide validated references) and started allowing anyone willing to pay their monthly fees to have active carrier accounts regardless of whether they were insured or not!

These short sited decisions enacted solely for the purpose of maximizing profits while ignoring their own responsibilities as the main market place for an entire industry created a very troublesome domino effect which eventually resulted in thousands of unlicensed and uninsured brokers and carriers being given complete free reign to do anything they wanted. The auto shipping industry literally became a breeding ground for scammers and criminals to cheat and con unsuspecting customers expecting a real service but instead being charged but their vehicles never getting picked up.

After waves of complaints started pouring in to the US Department of Transportation’s offices they decided, in typical bureaucratic fashion, not to request that the only load board in the country actually start doing a better job screening applicants but instead the caring folks in Washington DC passed a federal mandate raising the price of all brokers bond’s from $10,000 to $75,000. The site which was supposed to make sure that its members actually have those bonds, licenses and insurance was never penalized or asked to change its destructive practices which caused the mess in the first place.

Unfortunately many honest small brokerage firms and carrier companies went out of business because they could not afford the new bond price and could not compete with fraudulent companies who would literally do and say anything just to make a buck knowing there was almost no negative consequence for this sort of behavior. We watched many long standing brokers and carriers close shop over the years and some of some of them were our good friends and business partners.

How have we endured these turbulent times and remained a trustworthy name in such a dubious industry? The answer is simple. We always believed in and stuck to our core principles which are fairness, productivity and doing everything possible to satisfy both the customer and the driver shipping their vehicle. The logic is simple, if you keep the two most important players happy, they will compensate you for your work and remain loyal and supportive. We genuinely pride ourselves on catering to each customer’s needs as much as we can. This is why we have established a good reputation and remained a major player in an ever evolving and very competitive industry.