For a carrier to be considered preferred we have strict criteria. Obviously these carriers possess all the correct paper work and insurance, have moved cars for us in the past, and are experienced in addition to these other qualities.
The most influential factor (to us) is communication. An abundance of circumstances can cause issues for a truck driver, it is impossible to be perfect, but with proper communication everything can be resolved. We require phone calls to be answered or returned promptly during business hours. If we have trouble reaching the company that is commonly an indicator that the rest of the work is poor too. Pick up your phones people!
Vehicle damage is close in significance to communication. Even the minor mishaps are a hassle to deal with. If a carrier has a known history of neglect we will not use them, there is always another (better) option. But even the best drivers can have an accident, one instance of a light bump will be forgiven provided it was reimbursed quickly. 2 strikes will land a carrier on our unusable list, though the volume of cars shipped can change this a little. Auto transport is supposed to be a safe process; 2 strikes and you are out.
Punctuality is the third criterion. The nature of the truck driver’s profession makes it unreasonable to expect them on time everywhere. Though they schedule to the best of their abilities, chances are they won’t be exactly on time. How late they are, how problematic their tardiness is, and how well they communicate are all factors. I’ve heard of companies being days late and not letting anyone know, we would excommunicate that carrier.
If the company is late they have to let everyone know and at the very least they have to get the car there safely. If a company repeatedly does the opposite of what I’ve mentioned here they will get put on the black list and carriers do not come back from there. We demand dependability.