Choosing the best shipping service can be difficult. I know that every time I ever had to do so, I felt a little clueless as to what company I should choose.
I don’t live in the US anymore, but I know how I would go about this now if I did. An online shipping service I found out about recently looks like it would get you the cheapest and one of the greenest deals out there.
The service brings together thousands of professional movers, truckers and couriers and connects them with people who need something shipped. If you post a potential shipment on the website, the site’s movers, truckers and couriers who have space to pick up a little something extra (or sometimes a lot) and are going in your direction will bid on the shipment until you choose your shipper.
Shipping packages, furniture, cars, appliances, boats, overnight letters, flowers, pets, or other things in a vehicle that is being underutilized helps greatly to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollution and it also helps people to ship stuff at a cheaper price.
The price can be driven down by as much as 75%, the website — CitizenShipper — states.
The site is 100% free and super simple to use. You select (from a list) what you want to ship, enter the pick-up address, delivery address, preferred dates, and how much you are willing to pay. Then, you submit it for bidding. You get all kinds of information on the drivers bidding on your shipment and whenever you are ready, you choose your shipper.
And the website now has nearly 10,000 members.
Details on the Green (Environmental AND Economic) Benefits
Using statistics from The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the US Department of Transportation (DOT), the website states: “29% of trucks on our roads today drive empty. This corresponds to 149 million tons of carbon emitted needlessly into the atmosphere each year.”
“I believe that if enough people utilize this service then we can make a significant impact at reducing the CO2 emissions in the US, while at the same time helping the economy by reducing the amount of fuel that’s wasted,” physicist and company founder Richard Obousy wrote to me.
This is also 15 billion gallons of wasted fuel a year, which comes to a cost of $30 billion a year.
The individual savings can be huge. One lucky user (mentioned on the website) received bids as low as $180 to have everything in her one-bedroom apartment moved from Carlsbad, CA to Escondido, CA.
“Once we reach a critical mass of users, then using the service becomes a win-win situation for everyone who takes part. Drivers can make extra money delivering shipments in an otherwise empty truck, while clients can make significant savings on their shipments,” Obousy wrote.
Safety or Security Concerns?
The company completes professional background checks on verified members. Also, if your shipment is lost, damaged or stolen it is covered by the company’s insurance (if you get the insurance).
Looks like a great service. Consider CitizenShipper next time you need to ship something.
Image Credit: Ryan Holst via flickr/CC license