Long distances and the subsequent shipping costs often prevent us from acquiring pieces we really want for our homes. Whether you find the perfect antique dresser while on vacation (far from home) or your parents finally decide to give you the couch you’ve been pining over since adolescence, you’re left with one question… How the *@%& are you going get this furniture across the country? And without spending more than the value of furniture itself?
Meet uShip, the service that is about to solve all of your shipping woes. It simply connects users who are trying to get large objects from point A to point B with truck drivers and companies who can make that happen. Basically, drivers with empty space in their trucks or trailers can pick up your oversized furniture and deliver it to your door at a discounted price. It’s really that simple (and inexpensive).
We spoke with Dean Jutilla, Director of Marketing Communications at uShip, to get our questions answered. Beginning with, who are these drivers picking up uShip deliveries?
He says, “uShip is an open online shipping marketplace, so we attract all and every type of transport and delivery company. National companies. Small fleets. Single-truck owners. And even people on road trips.”
If you, like me, tend to worry about trusting strangers with your precious furniture, there are two reasons you shouldn’t. First, shippers are rated by past customers, so you can see how many jobs they’ve completed and customer reviews. Second, there are different types of deliveries. Jutilla says most people shipping furniture opt for the White Glove service, where customers get their shipments packed, unpacked, and carried to their home or apartment. Even reassembly can be requested!
Once you create a free login, you can list the item (or items!) you want to ship, when you want your delivery picked up, and dropped off. You can set your own price or let transporters bid on your shipment. Weight, height, and the type of object is required and uploading photos is helpful. You don’t technically have to be at either the pickup or dropoff location, but it’s important to have a point person in each place who is expecting the delivery. All payments are taken care of online (or in app) and completed upon delivery.
My favorite features are the instant free quote you receive automatically after filling out the listing information and your ability to track your shipment. The instant quote shows the average, lowest, and highest price paid for a shipment similar to your own, which means you can see an estimate of how much shipping will cost before you even purchase an item online or at the store. Tracking is equally as convenient. You will be able to see—and get alerted—when your furniture is picked up, how many miles is left on its journey, and what time it will arrive to you.
I have a few friends who successfully used—and loved—the service. It only cost them one to two hundred dollars to get moderately large pieces of furniture halfway across the country, with very little effort on their end. uShip has an endless amount of impressive testimonials if you don’t believe me.
Of course, furniture isn’t the only thing you can ship. You can use uShip for moving the contents of your five bedroom home, getting oversized parcels across the pond to Europe, shipping an eBay purchase, and even larger items, like vehicles, airplanes, and a bunch of other crazy things. Chances are, if it’s oversized, it’s been shipped through uShip before.
Like most marketplaces on the Internet (think Airbnb, Uber, TaskRabbit), uShip aims to solve more than one problem with their service.
Jutilla says, “With uShip, everyone wins. Customers save money. Transporters maximize profits. Mother Earth catches a break from excess pollution. And yes, uShip makes some money in the process.”
When it comes to shipping, our focus is often on the high cost, not the ineffective process and pollution.
Thankfully, Jutilla informed us, “Today, in the U.S., 1 in 4 trucks drivers around empty, resulting in $188 billion in economic waste. But transporters on our site are often filling their excess space, and can offer it at a discount. This also means instead of trucks belching CO2 unnecessarily, they are kept off the road. Only full/fuller trucks are on the road.”
So essentially, you can feel good about saving money and getting your dream furniture delivered right to your front door!
For more information on the Austin-based company founded in 2003, visit uShip.com.