After a few years of using uShip, I’ve come to a conclusion that it is not the best source of auto loads for direct car transporters. Uship.com is an online transport marketplace. The idea is similar to that of Ebay, where consumers post their shipments for service providers to bid on. The idea seems great, yet for a direct auto carrier it does not work. And here is what I mean: The consumers who are requesting the bids do not understand that carriers have a schedule to follow. Transporters can’t sit around for days while the consumer is making up their mind or waiting for more bids (this happens a lot). In other words, the loads are simply unreliable. Yes, from time to time you might win a bid or two, but rarely will you sit down, place bids and book a truck load. I have never seen that happened.
Secondly, the uShip marketplace is dominated by large auto transport brokers. Here’s an example of bids on a vehicle going from Portland, OR to Carson, CA.
Let’s go through the list:
- Affordable Auto Transportation – Broker.
- Allied Auto Transportation – Broker / Carrier (with only one truck)
- Montway – Broker / Carrier (most of their bids are brokered out)
- Initial Logistics – Broker
- So on…
What does that mean for a direct carrier? Practically impossible to book a load in a TIMELY fashion. These brokers do not have time deadlines. What usually happens after they win a bid is they turn around and post it on a load board, usually Central Dispatch. If the customer is not ready one day, the brokers simply change the advertised date and look for another driver. In fact, this morning my driver delivered a brokered uShip order in Augusta, GA.
Thirdly, the competition on the marketplace if fierce. Too many unrated companies will post low-ball bids well below what others are offering and essentially taking the price so low that the order becomes not worth pursuing.
Fourthly, uShip charges huge broker fees. I have estimated it to be about 16%. Don’t forget to factor that into your bid! Your bid of $500 becomes $420 (what you actually get paid). If you actually want to get paid $500, then your bid needs to be $580.
I’ve been on uShip since 2010 and have learned that to make the best of the marketplace, you need to buy software that will post automatic bids to hundreds of shipments and hopefully you’ll land a few orders. Doing it manually will only eat up your precious time with little to no results.
Well, there you have it, a few of my thought on uShip. If you have anything to add, feel free to comment or email me.