It is obvious that a hotshot trucker depends on loads to make a profit. Load boards are commonly used among hotshot truckers. The load boards are online bidding sites where companies can post listings of hauls, and hotshot truckers can bid on them. One of the most popular load boards is uShip.
What is uShip?
uShip is a website that has created an entire shipping marketplace. uShip has been around since 2003, but the show Shipping Wars made it grow in popularity. uShip works by connecting shipping customers with freight providers who give quotes or bids on your shipment listing. The goal is to optimize truck space and keep shipping prices down.
For example, a shipping customer creates a listing, and it becomes available to thousands of service providers to see. If a service provider is in the area, they start bidding so they can haul the load. Shipping customers can easily book a shipment by accepting their bid of choice, and they pay through uShip’s secure online system.
What is the Cost?
It is free to join and get started on uShip. uShip does have fees, but they are upfront about them. uShip is essentially free for service providers if the match fee is calculated into your bid price. You do only pay for what you haul.
Service providers are charged a base transaction fee for shipments that are booked and completed through uShip. You must include your uShip fees in your total bid price as part of your shipping costs. When the shipment is booked, uShip collects all uShip fees directly from the shipping customer and your fee amount is credited to your account, offsetting your uShip transaction fees that are due to uShip.
Unlike most load boards, there are no monthly fees with uShip. So, if you do not use the site for a few months, you are not still paying fees when you are not using.
The Prep Work
While it is tempting to start a uShip account, and then start bidding, but it is suggested you have done your prep work. Make sure you have obtained the proper licenses and permits for your vehicle and shipments. That way you are hauling each load safely and legally, and it takes the stress and confusion away.
Once you have your correct paperwork and permits, you can create a uShip account, and start finding loads to haul.
How Payment Works
All shipping customers book through uShip by making a payment through uShip’s secure payments system. They either use uShip Payments or Booking Deposits. While uShip Payments is typically required, there are instances when a deposit will be the only available option.
uShip Payments is the safest way for customers to pay entirely through the site. This option is available and sometimes required, on bids that are $2,750 or less. If required, it will be the only payment option under the payment terms of your bid. At booking, the customer will pay a deposit to uShip and will pay the remaining balance to you directly. Booking Deposits is used for all bids above $2,750.
How uShip Payments Work:
The customer pays for the shipping in full at booking.
The trucker will receive a booking confirmation email confirming this type of payment.
Upon delivery, the customer can release payment to you through the uShip app or website. If neither of those options is available, they may pay you by releasing a payment code, and that will be available in their booking conformation email.
Once the payment has been released, the funds will be available in your uShip account balance.
Then you can withdraw funds from your uShip account to your prefered withdrawal method.
How Booking Deposits Work:
Within the payment terms of your bid, you will select the payment methods (cash, credit card, check, PayPal, etc.) you accept as well as you when you would like to be paid. It is important to remember uShip does not allow you to request payment via non-bank point-to-point cash transfer services like Moneygram or Western Union.
Upon booking, the customer will be prompted to pay a booking deposit.
The customer will then pay the net amount directly to you, dependent upon the payment method you have selected.
Rules & Regulations
uShip wants to create a positive online marketplace for everyone involved. To ensure pages remain professional and safe, it is important that everyone adheres to our policies when posting to the site. Violation of the following rules is grounds for content removal and account suspension. Determination of all violations is at the sole discretion of uShip.
Members are not allowed to:
Post contant information such as phone numbers, emails, websites, etc.
Violate local, state, national, or international law.
Refuse to follow the instructions of uShip staff.
Use profainity, hostile language, or disruptive comments.
Stalk or harass any other uShip member.
Instigate illegal activities or violations of the uShip User Agreement.
Post content (graphic or text) that is offensive in nature or violates the uShip ser Agreement.
Attempt to impersonate a member of our site or uShip staff.
Make legal claims or statements against other members, uShip employees, uShip partners, or the uShip marketplace.
Post instance of member violations or fraud. If you need to report suspected violations or fraud, follow the procedures in the uShip User Agreement.
Use false registration information or create multiple accounts. This may result in permaent suspension of all associated user accounts.
Participate in the uShip Community Discussion Forums if you are under the age of 18.
Tips for Using uShip
Perfecting Your Profile. The way you present yourself is important as a uShip service provider. Your profile is your own personal ad space to sell yourself! Add a good, clear photo to your profile. Be thorough about your experience, and include anything that shows you are a capable, honest, and all-around decent human being.
Set Expectations. Let your shipping customers know exactly what to expect, from timelines to deposits. Answer any questions they may have promptly. Good communication helps you get reoccurring customers, good reviews, and a strong customer base.
Share Your Location. By sharing your location, it can help uShip push new or potential business towards your way. It can also act as a status update to help reduce calls, texts, and emails from shipping customers wanting to know where you are.
Use a Smartphone. Having a smartphone can be very beneficial when you are on the road. You can be in constant communication. uShip does have a mobile app for both Apple, Andriod, and GooglePlay mobile devices. In the unfortunate event, your load gets canceled, you can bid on a new one to avoid deadheading.
Get Notifications. You can get notified via email, app notification, text message, or the Message Center, as there is a load in your general proximity, or someone is trying to outbid you. You can turn on your notifications in your smartphone’s settings.
Use a Navigation System or App. It is important that you have accurate directions and mileage calculations you can get. A hotshot trucker wastes time if they are lost, and they cannot find their way. Also, hotshot truckers typically charge by the mile, and it is crucial their mileage is exact.
To learn more about uShip, visit their website. Let us know what you think about uShip in the coments below.