As of today, the format of auctions on uShip is changing a bit to address a consistent complaint we hear from service providers regarding customer responsiveness. Historically we have had “open ended” auctions that “expire” after a certain duration. We’ve shown newly listed shipments first, which encourages bidding early in the auction timeline. We have heard consistent feedback from service providers that after placing a bid, they may have waited a long time for the response or resolution of the auction.
We are now giving auctions a definitive end time and showing auctions that are ending soonest as the default sort in Find Loads (although you can still sort by “Newest Shipments”). Book It Now loads will also be shown first in the sort. This should help service providers focus their bidding on customers who are most likely to make a decision soon after the bid is placed – it will lead to a great reduction in the time service providers spend waiting for an unresponsive shipper.
We are also encouraging shippers/brokers to wait until their auction ends to accept a bid, although they can still end their auctions early by accepting a bid at any time. The customer will receive a daily digest of the best bids they have received as well as an “end of auction” email encouraging them to select their winning bid at that time. This will help shipping customers and brokers evaluate their bids and be responsive at the right time – it should also reduce their email clutter, so they can focus on the best bids and make an informed decision. Once the auction ends, the customer will have only 24 hours to select the winning bid – all active bids will expire 24 hours after the end of the auction. We send another reminder email 6 hours before the bids expire to remind the customer of the limited timeframe to take action. Service providers can still place bids that expire before the end of the auction as they do today.
We have also enhanced the functionality of “watched” shipments. As a service provider, if you watch a shipment, you will now get a reminder when the end of the auction nears so you can jump into the action at the right moment.