uShip - good to know

-- Last Updated: May-26-11 12:28 PM EST --

Just wanted to share my recent experience transporting a kayak. Maybe others can find that useful.

Had to ship my current kayak to someone who bought it out of state from me and to transport my yet to be purchased "new" kayak from out of state...

KAS Transport did nothing for me. After some e-mails I got no response. Even after calling and speaking with them I did not even get a quote...

Based on a hint from jerrysmith about uShip I looked there for an alternative.

I got quotes in the $250-$300 range that were reasonable enough.

However, whoever bought my kayak decided to just drive over here and get it in person so I no longer needed to ship out.

And since I found my "next" kayak in FL, I was really worried about buying it without so much as looking at it and without even knowing the seller.

The deal would be good if it was a local sale. But with the distance and added costs of transportation it was nothing special. So decided to drive there to pick it up but wanted to recoup some of my transportation costs.

It is a long overnight trip (16 hours one way) that would cost me about $170 in gas plus about $30-$60 for a cheap hotel along the way should I decide to have a bed instead of a car seat under me at night. Gas alone would cost a small fortune for a 2,000 miles round-trip, but luckily my Honda Insight managed 45mpg average (50 mpg on the way there with nothing on the roof, 40-45 mpg on the way back with the kayak on top).

Hoping to recoup some of my cost I went to uShip and looked for things that I could transport. Luckily, found 2 shipments I could take that originated and were to be delivered right off my route. So on my way back I shared the car with a small dog and a pair of bunnies! Since I was going there anyway my bids were low but still covered my full costs for the trip with a few $$$ in change left over.

I suppose there is a lot of shipping going on along the I-95 corridor so that helped me find "stuff". And if you got a larger vehicle or a trailer there are lots of boats, motorcycles and more to move ...

But after this trip I can tell you that driving for the better part of 3 days and 2 nights will not be something I'd be looking to do again. Would have been great though, if I had the time to make this a week-long trip and combine with some sight-seeing and paddling along the way.

Thanks for posting!
I’d never heard of uship, and it looks very interesting to me, since I travel the I-4, I-95 route frequently between Orlando and Charleston. Thinking about longer road trips, it would be fun to transport dogs or bunnies—not sure any amount of money would be enough for a road trip with cats, even my own. Especially my own.

Works like eBay, but …

– Last Updated: May-28-11 4:55 PM EST –

uShip works sort of like eBay where folks post what they need transported and others can under-bid each other until the sender is happy with a particular offer (not just price but the kind of service and the dates).

So uShip worked well for this.

But the bunnies, contrary to what I thought, were more trouble than expected. First off, they were so scared when I picked them up that I was worried if they would make it without a heart attack. They would not eat or drink for the first several hours. But they settled down after that and ate and drank and did what they do after they eat and drink ... a lot.

Then, their water bottle was leaking in the cage and I had to stop to refill it more often than I would have stopped otherwise. I had a small dish under it to collect the drips, but the bunnies kept tipping it over. So after some hours all was wet inside and I can tell you it did not smell good at all! I had to stop and change the bedding a few hours before delivery since the stench was too much at that point.

Lastly, I had to keep the A/C and car running at stops for these bunnies since I did not want to take the cage out, plus it was 90+ degrees out and I was told these bunnies were not very happy in hot conditions.

The dog on the other hand got out with me at rest stops, did its things, then jumped right back in the hatch back area. No trouble at all, plus slept all night, unlike the bunnies that seemed to be more active at night and would make all sorts of noises. But they were very cute -;) the kind with long hair and even longer floppy years that they would step on if not careful...

Well, maybe not bunnies, then,
but it was sure nice of you to take such good care of them. I had not considered the stench.

I think I’d hold out for house-broken friendly dogs under 50 pounds. Or small kittens, because they’re clueless when they’re young and don’t get histrionic like grown cats do.