In the fall of 2019, just prior to the pandemic, Steve Turner had never heard of uShip.
He was operating his antique radio restoration business out of a 3600sf warehouse in Toledo, Ohio, with upwards of 20,000 transactions on eBay under his belt since the 1990s.
While shipping one of his larger restored radios to a buyer, the transporter making the pickup mentioned uShip as one of his shipping sources. He told Steve there’s a lot of opportunity on the transportation marketplace.
‘Gonna need a bigger truck’
At the time, Steve had an old pickup with 450,000 miles on it, so he thought, “Why not? I’ll give it a try.”
He had a good team running his warehouse so that wasn’t holding him back. He jumped in, quickly filling this truck with restored radios and uShip shipments. As things immediately got busier and business in the January and February of 2020, Steve had a realization.
“I went from not knowing about uShip to knowing I was going to need a bigger truck,” Steve says.
On March 1, 2020 – just weeks before the world went into lock-down mode – he bought a silver RAM Promaster sprinter van.
“Bookings went crazy,” he says. “I never thought it could be like that. It really becomes addicting.”
During his first full year – between March 1, 2020, and March 1, 2021 – Steve drove 204,000 miles, about 558 miles a day, and used 11,732 gallons of gas. He spent 275 nights in hotels, 20 nights with family sprinkled around the country, and just 60 nights in his own bed in Toledo.
Low 5-Figure East-Coast Swing
Each month he makes an east coast-west coast swing, and every other month, he adds in a shot up and down the I-5 corridor between San Diego and Seattle before heading east.
“Some guys do the same 500-1000 miles, but I prefer to go longer distances to make more money. It’s definitely more lucrative,” he says.
So, how lucrative?
“As I got going, I was making 6-8 stops and netting about $1,000 a day. It didn’t take long – that’s really the addiction,” Steve says. “Now I’m bringing in low 5-figures on an east-west coast trip.”
Not bad, Steve. Not bad at all.
He said he likes traveling solo, which means he looks for loads that weigh less than 150lbs so he can handle them himself.
When he recently had a larger shipment opportunity, he called in reinforcements through movinghelp.com, a site that connects you to local people who can lend an extra hand.
Tips & Tricks to Maximizing Revenue
In fact, four additional uShip factors are helping Steve maximize his earnings:
- He’s taking advantage of reduced uShip booking fees on household goods, especially those traveling over 500 miles. Starting last year, uShip has reduced carrier booking fees by 25 percent across all its categories. Check out uShip’s fee promotions page for more details.
- By meeting the qualification requirements of uShip In-Home Delivery partners Chairish and 1stdibs, he’s part of their carrier networks. This gives Steve access to exclusive, fast-booking furniture shipments WITHOUT bidding, saving him valuable time.
- Steve also qualifies for uShip’s In-Home Delivery Rewards Program, a program that rebates hundreds of dollars back into providers’ accounts when certain volume thresholds are reached during the prior month.
- Last, he uses uShip’s electronic Bill of Lading (eBOL) exclusively. While this is more of operation efficiency, by taking photos at pickup and delivery that are stored in a digital PDF, he helps protect himself if a claim is later filed. Plus, it removes paper from cluttering his van.
He says 55 percent of his business comes through uShip, while the rest of his business is through private clients.
Regardless of the source, he can effectively “Tetrus” larger loads (like blanket-wrapped furniture) and smaller shipments (like lamps and art) into his sprinter van so he’s running as full as possible.
While Steve is enjoying the lucrative nature of his transportation business built on uShip, it’s the adventure of it all that’s captured his imagination.
“I drove over 200,000 miles in my first year on uShip – from Bellingham, Wash., (on the Canadian border) to Key West and Portland, Maine, to Calexico, Calif. – making the largest ‘X’ traversing this great land,” he says.
“To me, uShip means adventure. Seeing the true beauty of our great country and meeting wonderful people over the last year has been awesome.”