This Company Will Pay You to Haul People’s Stuff Around in Your Truck

A teal truck drives in traffic.
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Have you got a nice big truck, pickup or van? Do you need extra money?

Succeeding in the moving and shipping business can be tough when you’re competing with Bob & Jim’s Movers down the street, and with Three Brothers Moving Company across town. Not to mention those huge national outfits like United Van Lines.

The question is, how can you connect with more clients? Maybe through word of mouth? Handwritten signs stapled to telephone poles? An ad in the Yellow Pages?

Get with the 21st century and do it the digital way. Hook up with uShip. It’s an online shipping marketplace that makes it easy for consumers and businesses to book transport for just about anything.

CNBC calls it “the eBay of shipping.” The Wall Street Journal calls it “an upstart looking to bring new technology to the tradition-bound shipping business.”

Once you sign up as a carrier on uShip, you can digitally search for jobs that suit you and start placing bids on customers’ shipments.

Haulers on uShip drive semis, box trucks and personal vehicles like pickups, vans and station wagons. Some rent a box truck for a day to haul multiple loads.

It doesn’t matter whether you ship boxes of stuff, furniture, vehicles, commercial freight, boats, motorcycles or whatever. New shipments are posted every 30 seconds, and the company has 3.5 million shipping customers, so there’s no shortage of opportunities available.

When you’re looking for new clients, you can sort them using 15 different search parameters — region, category, rates and more. You can also use uShip’s digital platform to ask potential customers specific questions about their shipments.

Since you’re a busy person, you can also set up “shipment alerts” to notify you when a new job has popped up in a particular location or region, or along a particular route.

This Austin, Texas-based startup keeps growing, so it’s looking for more transporters to participate. Bottom line: It’s trying to make this as easy as possible for you.

Here’s one carrot they’re offering: uShip doesn’t charge transporters any kind of subscription fee or annual fee. Instead, you only pay a fee when you get paid for completing a shipment.

Fees are based on a shipment’s origin and destination, and what kind of commodity it is.

When you’re bidding on a job, you can decide how much profit you’ll need to make on that job. Then you can automatically add uShip’s transaction fee on top of that, so you can be sure you won’t lose money on the deal.

Get With the Times

Most of the shipping industry is still stuck back in the 20th century.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Companies that book freight on trucks, trains and ships still conduct much of their business by phone, relying on armies of brokers to connect shippers with tens of thousands of transportation providers. But uShip and dozens of other technology firms have launched online platforms… they say will make arranging transportation more efficient.”

After raising $50 million from investors, uShip has emerged as an industry leader, bypassing the traditional freight forwarding business.

It’s also been featured on TV — on the A&E reality show ”Shipping Wars”, which followed independent truck drivers hauling everything from llamas to defunct Disneyland ride cars to “a 90-pound life-sized evil doll.”

As the company says: “No truck left unfilled.”

Mike Brassfield ([email protected]) is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. He has seen an episode of “Shipping Wars.”