Consumers frequently need to ship large, awkward or fragile cargo, but the service can be expensive. To ensure that they get the best possible deal, they should explore shipping marketplaces like uShip. We’ve included uShip in our Best Car Shipping Companies Buyer’s Guide for being a great shipping marketplace. Consumers can choose their price from service provider bids and compare carriers by reading customer reviews.
- Vast network of service providers to choose from
- Service providers compete for jobs
- Customers can ship almost anything
- Shipment management tools and app available
- Service providers are not vetted
- Fee structure is unclear
uShip is an online marketplace that connects customers, or shippers, with service providers, or carriers, who have available shipping capacity in their rigs. Going through the marketplace, customers can ship just about anything:
- Vehicles such as cars, small trucks, motorcycles, trailers, RVs, etc.
- Farm and construction equipment
- Entire households or offices
- Furniture and appliances
- Freight (full or partial truckloads)
- Animals such as cats, dogs or livestock
uShip makes the shipping process straightforward for customers with these three simple steps:
|1. Create cargo shipment listing||Describe what needs to be shipped|
|2. Review shipping options||Look over bids from service providers||3. Choose service provider||Enter into shipping agreement|
Since every shipment will differ, uShip does not list firm prices on its website. However, shippers can use the company’s estimator tool to get a ballpark figure. The tool uses data from previous, similar shipments to include distance, weight and frequently used trucking routes. uShip also provides a running log of recent shipping listings to give customers an idea of the going rate for their type of cargo. Customers should note, however, that their shipment’s price could change if their cargo is different than previously described in their original listing.
On top of the actual shipping cost, customers can expect to pay uShip a service charge. The charge is based on what the customer is shipping and will be clearly disclosed at the time of checkout. Further, uShip may charge customers an undisclosed shipment listing fee.
In addition, if a customer’s payment does not clear, uShip will charge them a $50 failed ACH withdrawal fee. Further, any account with an unpaid balance could incur a fee of 5% of the balance, or $10, whichever is greater. uShip could also charge up to 1.5% interest on a past-due account.
uShip Cargo Insurance
For an additional cost, customers can opt to purchase cargo insurance. The cost of the insurance is determined by the value of their cargo and the amount of coverage desired. Backed by Lloyd’s of London, the company assures customers that they are getting a good rate on all-risk, full-value coverage. As with any insurance, customers should review the actual policy for more details.
How to Ship with uShip
To ship goods via the uShip marketplace, customers must create a shipment listing on the company’s website. To minimize confusion and ensure accurate pricing, the listing should be as detailed as possible. Customers should provide a full description of their cargo and include dimensions and photos.
Shippers can name the price they wish to pay or they can accept service provider bids on the uShip platform. They also display customer-generated ratings for each service provider to help shippers choose between bids. Customers can also contact service providers directly through the platform to ask questions or get additional information. Once a deal has been reached, both the customer and the carrier should sign a written service agreement in case of a dispute.
Please note: Since uShip does not vet the service providers in the marketplace, customers should independently verify their carrier’s driver’s license, insurance coverage and credentials through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, if applicable, before agreeing to do business with them. If a carrier violates uShip’s terms of service, the company may remove them from the shipping marketplace.
uShip Payment Methods
Depending on the nature of the shipment, uShip offers two payment methods: uShip Payments and Booking Deposits. Shipments under $5,000 typically require the customer to pay via uShip Payment. Here, the customer pays uShip the full balance due when they book their shipment. When their cargo is delivered, they tell uShip to release the funds to their service provider.
If the shipment is in excess of $5,000, the customer pays via Booking Deposit. With this method, a portion of the balance due gets paid to uShip at the time of booking. When the customer’s goods are delivered, they pay the remaining balance owed to their service provider directly.
With a Booking Deposit, it’s up to the customer to work out the final payment method with the carrier. uShip recommends that customers pay by credit card or PayPal so that there is recourse for any disputed transactions. To protect customers against fraud, uShip forbids carriers to ask for payment via an instant cash service like Western Union or MoneyGram.
uShip Shipment Management and Tracking
To help customers manage and track their shipments, uShip offers:
- A dashboard on the company’s website where customers can review shipment details and service provider messaging history.
- An app where customers can communicate with their carrier, stay updated on the whereabouts of their goods and release payment when the shipment is complete. The app is available in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
- Text alerts so shippers can get critical shipment status updates.
- Service provider tracking gives shippers a general sense of their cargo’s location. (Carriers must be willing to turn on the location feature on their cell phone for this to work.)
uShip is A+ rated and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. They are also accredited by ConsumerAffairs. Out of more than 9,400 Trustpilot reviewers, 91% said they had an excellent or great experience with the shipping marketplace.
However, Better Business Bureau reviewers give uShip less than 2 out of 5 stars. Most customer complaints involve shipping delays, lost or damaged items and other problems with service providers — all things the company explicitly states it does not govern. uShip’s proprietary mobile app is poorly rated in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, with users stating that it’s slow and frequently crashes.
How does uShip’s ‘Ship with Confidence’ guarantee work?
If a customer incurs damage or loss during their shipment, uShip will pay them up to $500. To be eligible for this guarantee, the customer must reside in the United States and have followed the terms in the uShip Safe Shipping Guide. The guide is available on the company’s website. Essentially, customers must have vetted their service provider, paid for their service safely and taken other steps to ensure the success of their shipment.
To resolve additional claims of loss or damage, the customer should contact their service provider directly, unless they purchased the additional cargo insurance when booking their shipment. In that case, they should coordinate a resolution with uShip.
What is uShip’s cancellation policy?
uShip permits cancellations after booking but before any service is carried out. The service provider can either accept the cancellation or request a review by uShip. If the cancellation request is accepted, the shipping job can either be permanently deleted or relisted. If the matter goes to a review, uShip will make a final determination regarding cancellation. The company states that cancellation requests should only be made if it’s clear that a shipment isn’t going to take place.
What is uShip’s refund policy?
On cancelled orders where the customer paid via Booking Deposit, uShip will keep the deposit and service charge as a cancellation fee. They may allow the customer to apply that fee to another shipment occurring in the next 365 days. Customers that paid via uShip Payment will get a full refund of the booked service price, including their service charge, if the shipment cancellation was made within 120 days of booking.
What should a customer do if they have a dispute with uShip?
Customers should try to work out their concerns directly with uShip if at all possible. If a resolution cannot be reached, customers must go through the company’s binding arbitration process. Consumers should carefully read uShip’s User Agreement to understand their rights and obligations.
What exactly is uShip’s role in the shipping process?
uShip is a neutral third party shipping marketplace that connects shippers to carriers. They are not a broker or a shipping service provider. As such, they have no control over and are not liable for any service provider’s actions or capabilities. Customers should do their due diligence in selecting a carrier to ensure a smooth shipping experience.
Can customers use uShip for business purposes?
Customers that have an e-commerce business may use the uShip platform to ship their goods. Interested consumers can also apply to become a service provider on the uShip website.
uShip enables consumers to find, sort and select the best shipping option. The company enables customers to get great deals because marketplace service providers compete for their business. uShip’s marketplace connects those who need to move cargo to those who are willing and waiting to do it, without hassle and within budget.