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Marketplace Best Practices: A guide to responsible citizenship in the uShip community

Marketplace Best Practices: How every uShip user can contribute to a healthy, productive marketplace community.

In our new world – the one so intrinsically linked with technology – most of us are still just beginning to understand how to navigate the balance between digital life and real life. So many parts of our daily lives that were only recently dependent on human interaction have now become fully digitalized, resulting in interactions that can feel cold and impersonal.

With this polar shift comes a mindset of anonymity that makes it far too easy to forget that the people we connect with online are just that – people. We’ve all been guilty of it in some respect, but if we acknowledge and work to improve the issue, we can all do our part to make a more respectful environment in the digital world.

Within the uShip marketplace, we’re proud to foster a respectful, professional community that serves all its users. To help us all become more responsible citizens of the marketplace we frequent, we’ve identified some best practices to help every uShip interaction stay positive and productive.

Understanding Other Marketplace Users

The uShip site serves three types of users:

  • Shipping customers (consumers)
  • Carriers (the people who perform the transport service – sometimes this is the driver who’ll perform the service, sometimes it’s a representative on their behalf)
  • Brokers (professionals who specialize in assigning freight to carriers)
    Carriers and brokers together are sometimes referred to simply as “service providers.”

While each group inherently has different needs and expectations, it’s important to remember that our marketplace, like any, works only when we all work cooperatively. Here’s how you can do your part to keep the community operating smoothly.

Shipping customers 
As a shipping customer, you’re in control of most of the process when it comes to listing and booking on uShip. You can do your part by creating a listing that’s accurate, honest and straightforward. Your listing should include all the pertinent information you can provide. The more clear your listing, the faster and more accurately TSPs and brokers can provide quotes.

Service Providers
As a TSP, you’re the heart of what makes uShip, uShip. Shippers come to us as a way to find you. It’s both good business and common sense that being honest and upfront with potential customers will lead to more successful transactions. Keep this in mind as you submit quotes, answer questions and complete shipments.

Brokers
The role of brokers on uShip is similar to that of TSPs, since both are actively working to gain the business of shipping customers. While rules for Broker accounts differ from the ones for TSPs quoting directly, it’s important to follow the same general guidelines with regard to professionalism and respect.

Marketplace Best Practices:

1. The Basics

  • Timeliness
    In general, you should strive to respond to communications on the marketplace as promptly as possible, or at least within 24 hours. No matter which side of the transaction you’re on, the other person’s plans likely depend on a response from you, so be considerate and proactive.
  • Respect
    It may seem like a no-brainer, but occasionally, people do leave their manners at the door when they go online. Keep in mind, you’re in a professional setting while using uShip, and the more respectful you can be, the more likely you are to have a successful experience.

    • As a shipping customer, respond to quotes respectfully, even those you don’t accept.
    • As a service provider, be sure to answer shipping customer questions promptly and respectfully, keeping in mind that most customers don’t have the kind of industry knowledge you might.
  • Rules + Requirements 
    When you create a uShip account, you’re acknowledging and agreeing to abide by our User Agreement. This means that you’re accountable for following these requirements, and that you understand what they mean. These rules are in place to keep everyone protected. Sidestepping rules or ignoring them altogether can be risky, and disqualifies users from our Ship with Confidence Guarantee.

2. When Something Goes Wrong

As much as we’d like every shipment to go smoothly, logistics are an imperfect science. Mistakes and accidents do occasionally happen. While these situations are frustrating, they don’t have to be disastrous. Following a few guidelines can help minimize the effects of these issues.

  • Understand that mistakes happen. However unfortunate, problems do crop up from time to time. Sometimes, they’re caused by elements out of our control, such as inclement weather. Sometimes, they’re caused by human error. While we’re all on the hook to do our best to avoid them, no one is immune from making a mistake. If you happen to be on the receiving end of an unpleasant situation because of someone else’s actions, try to give the other party the benefit of the doubt before becoming angry or difficult to work with.
  • No matter what the cause of the problem, uShip support is here to help. With more than nine million listings so far – a support team with the experience to match – you can rest assured knowing that we’ll do everything we can to effectively moderate the situation.
  • Another layer of protection comes with the purchase cargo insurance. Some carriers are required to hold liability insurance, but regardless of their coverage, we always recommend purchasing cargo insurance for shipments of any size. You can purchase this coverage right within the uShip checkout process, knowing we provide great rates from a well-established underwriter, Lloyd’s of London.Finally, you can feel good knowing that our Ship with Confidence Guarantee* is also available, which can protect you in extenuating circumstances, up to $500.
  • Mistake mitigation
    Avoiding mistakes is much easier than fixing them. As you navigate the uShip marketplace, pay close attention to detail as you’re performing crucial actions like creating listings, submitting quotes, and communicating with customers or carriers. Most mistakes can be avoided by implementing a rule of double-checking at each stage before moving forward.
  • When to contact support: Our support team is here to help with any issue, large or small. You can contact us at any time with questions, concerns or issues. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t wait to contact us. We can help with virtually any issue you’ve got with a shipment.

    Our support team’s phone hours are:
    7am-7pm CST, Monday-Thursday
    7am-5pm CST, Friday
    10am – 4pm CST, Saturday

    Outside of these hours, we’re available for email support at any time.
    Reach us at: 800-698-7447 or [email protected]

uShip’s Role

Our Ship with Confidence Guarantee means you’re protected on every shipment. We’re committing to doing everything we can to remedy issues or complications. Because we’re a neutral third-party, our goal is always to arrange a solution between the two parties involved.

uShip isn’t a transportation company. Service providers don’t work for us, so we’re not able to solve every problem, especially the ones directly involving a service provider. While we’re not the ones doing the driving, we do take our responsibility as a marketplace seriously, and will continue our commitment to creating the best possible experience for every user in our community, no matter their role.

Ratings + Reviews

Rating your experience on uShip is crucial to maintaining and growing our network of shipping customers, TSPs and brokers. Giving honest ratings is helpful for all involved, and is a crucial pillar to engaging in common marketplace best practices.

For shipping customers, leaving feedback for your TSP or broker is important because it helps future customers get a clear idea of how the TSP operates and what to expect from them. 

For service providers, leaving feedback about your shipping customers can help other service providers to accept shipments from the kinds of customers they seek. 

For uShip, ratings of all users help us identify exemplary users, while helping us identify those who don’t meet customer expectations. consistently cause problems. 

Ratings and reviews aren’t required, but they’re highly encouraged because of their invaluable contribution. Here are some tips to provide the most useful feedback:

  • Keep it professional – even if the shipment was less than perfect, the more respectful and professional your review, the more weight it will hold.Don’t include personal or unnecessary details about customers or service providers.
  • Don’t only review bad experiences! As humans, we sometimes tend to dwell on negative experiences more than positive ones. Because of this, ratings and reviews can trend more negatively than they should. If you have a neutral or exceptionally good experience, please share it with the community.
  • Be honest – if your experience was unpleasant, be sure to be honest with your feedback. While delivering negative feedback can sometimes feel unpleasant, your honesty will be appreciated by future potential customers.

Looking for more marketplace best practices? Head to our Help Center for guidance on using uShip responsibly.