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Coronavirus Update: Working Remotely and Ready to Support Our Customers

Updated April 13, 2020, 2:27 PM CT – uShip is aware that different city and state governments are actively regulating non-essential deliveries, which may have an impact on shipments. If you are unable to deliver a shipment, or if you have an active shipment that you are having difficulty delivering, please reach out to us anytime at [email protected] or by calling 1-800-698-7447 during our updated business hours. For more frequently asked questions, please refer to our FAQ section at the bottom of this page. 

With the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) now being felt across so many aspects of everyday life – including logistics supply chains around the world – the well-being of uShip shipping customers, carriers, and employees continues to be our top priority today.

To ensure the health and safety of our community, the uShip staff is currently conducting all business functions remotely. We know that many people rely on our platform to make a living and keep their businesses afloat, which is why we will continue to support those logistical needs however we can.

As this is an ever-changing and fast-evolving situation, we’re closely monitoring operations and proactively communicating should we see any potential developments that may impact pickup and delivery for both shippers and service providers. Rest assured, though we may be working from home offices and couches, our team is here and ready to provide the same level of support our users have come to expect.

A Reminder for Shippers and Service Providers

While we may be an online marketplace that virtually connects shippers with transporters, we feel a responsibility to remind both parties who may have person-to-person contact (such as a handshake) of the importance of health and safety measures.

Given that a transporter can be in physical contact with multiple customers in a given day — often in entirely different cities and states – there’s a heightened potential for both parties to share, pass, or contract COVID-19. As a result, we strongly recommend the following actions:

*Please note that a limited number of states have implemented checkpoints to screen the health of drivers. Although commercial activity is permitted at this time, please be sure to check federal, state, and local restrictions for specific entry and delivery requirements. We recommend carriers travel with a copy of their BOL to ensure proof of work.

DO NOT SHAKE HANDS. It may feel awkward rejecting a customary handshake but for everyone’s safety, please avoid it. Medical professionals say shaking hands is the easiest way to spread the virus.

PROVIDE THRESHOLD SERVICE ONLY. At this time, we are advising carriers who service our business shippers to refrain from making room-of-choice deliveries. To ensure everyone’s safety, transporters should only be offering threshold service.

PROMOTE HEALTH ETIQUETTE. If the situation allows, provide your driver with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or a place to wash their hands – or accommodate their request for it. They’ve likely been on the road and may not have had a recent chance to wash up.

PRACTICE PATIENCE. If either party faces extenuating circumstances related to the virus, show some understanding. We’re all in this together.

See our guide for more carrier resources on keeping yourself and others safe during the coronavirus outbreak. We also encourage everyone to follow health and safety guidelines recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local health agencies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Delivery

Should drivers continue to deliver to people’s homes?

As a carrier, please use your best judgment and pay close attention to CDC, state, and local guidelines when bidding on and completing residential shipments. If you would prefer to not enter the pickup or delivery location, please proactively communicate your plans with the customer before bidding or picking up the shipment. If you already have the shipment in your possession, please communicate your preferred method of delivery with the customer as soon as possible.

As a customer, please exercise patience and understanding should a driver seek delivery alternatives and please let your carrier know if you prefer a “no contact” delivery.

What is a “no contact” delivery?

A “no contact” delivery is completed when the driver drops your items on a porch, outside a garage, or at some other location that does not require them to enter your home.

Is uShip providing a “no contact” delivery option?

We have no plans to create a new delivery type through our product at this time. We’re asking that carriers and customers take appropriate precautions based on government regulations and guidelines.

Is uShip planning to lower or suspend fees?

There is no plan to decrease uShip fees at this time as customers and transportation service providers continue to be able to do business through our site as they normally would. Fortunately, we haven’t seen the outbreak cause major disruption in pickup and delivery operations for shipments booked through the uShip platform and our entire staff is working as normal from home.

Cancellations

What if a shipment becomes delayed or canceled due to travel restrictions?

At this point in time, we are not seeing and do not expect to see widespread restrictions on travel within the US. It is the responsibility of the carrier to check regional limits on travel or delivery before bidding on or picking up a shipment. You will not be penalized for cancellations related to COVID-19 restrictions. Please reach out to uShip Member Support if you run into any issues.

Will uShip alert users to any travel restrictions that will impact active bids or picked up shipments?

uShip will continue to provide regular updates as the situation evolves. With a constantly changing landscape of city, county, state, and national travel guidelines, it is ultimately the responsibility of the carrier to check regional limits on travel or delivery before bidding on or picking up a shipment.

What if I am in possession of a customer’s shipment and travel restrictions prevent me from making the delivery?

If you believe that newly enacted travel restrictions are preventing you from delivering a shipment that is in your possession, please take the following steps:

  • Immediately contact the shipper to alert them that the delivery will be delayed.
  • If the shipper accepts a delayed delivery and you are able to store the item, please make arrangements to store the item until delivery is possible.
  • If the shipper would like the item returned to its origin or you are not able to store the item, please make a reasonable effort to return the item to the pickup location.

You will not be penalized for cancellations related to COVID-19 restrictions. Please reach out to uShip Member Support if you run into any issues.

What if a TSP is in possession of my shipment and travel restrictions prevent the delivery from taking place?

If you believe newly enacted travel restrictions may close a delivery location or otherwise prevent a scheduled delivery from being successfully completed, please take the following steps:

  • Immediately contact the TSP to alert them that delivery may not be possible.
  • Inform the TSP of your preference for delayed delivery or return of the item to its origin.

Please reach out to uShip Member Support if you run into any issues.

Business Continuity

How is COVID-19 impacting shipments on uShip? 

While the overall market is uncertain at the moment, it appears at this time, the US is open for business to flow for interstate carriers — and uShip continues to be a viable source for shipments by transporters who continue to perform this essential service. In addition, we’re staying in close contact with our high-volume shipping partners as they monitor the impact of COVID-19 on their sales volumes — and therefore on their shipment volumes. The safety of our communities remains uShip’s top focus and we will continue to update this blog post as state and local regulations shift.

Does uShip have a business continuity plan in response to COVID-19?

Yes, uShip has a plan in response to COVID-19 which outlines all business functions/areas of work and appropriate resource and personnel backup. As a part of this plan, all employees are on mandatory work-from-home as of Monday 3/16/2020.

LTL Guidance

How can I make sure my LTL Shipments are successfully picked up or delivered?

Things are changing rapidly with state and local regulations surrounding business closures. Make sure to contact your shipper or receiver of the freight at the location you are moving to ensure that they will be available to release or receive your freight. If you are concerned about a consignee not being available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. it would be wise to add a delivery appointment.

How can I avoid additional charges for LTL Shipments due to COVID-19?

To avoid charges for pickup dry runs, redelivery, and storage it is best to make sure that the pickup and delivery locations are available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. In the event of business closures and freight being returned to terminals for storage, the impact of COVID-19 could delay your shipment being redelivered. Please note that uShip is not liable for any transit delays, shipment refusals, or additional costs due to COVID-19. *If you need to delay an LTL shipment for pickup or delivery please contact LTL Support at 888-579-1240.

Can I still book Guaranteed LTL Rates?

uShip is still offering Guaranteed LTL rates on our platform. However, due to COVID-19, many LTL carriers are not issuing refunds if freight delivers go past the Guaranteed transit time. Freight booked at a Guaranteed rate will still move more quickly than a Standard Rate shipment, however, they may not provide reimbursement if this shipment is delayed. We recommend reaching out to your carrier to confirm their current policy, as the situation is changing rapidly.

As always, you can still contact uShip Member Support if you have any questions or concerns. We thank you for your continued use of uShip and look forward to helping get your shipment on the road!