In this article we will try to provide all the details you will need to win your first shipment.
Let’s start with the basics.
Edit My Profile
In the top right corner click on the setting icon. In the dropdown menu, you’ll find the edit my profile option.
In this section, you should enter as much useful information about yourself as you can.
Do not forget to add details about your vehicle. Shippers like to know as much as possible about their drivers. It gives them peace of mind when shipping their precious cargo.
The Experience section is maybe the most important for building confidence with shippers. If you have any previous experience in transportation, you should include it. The more experience you have, the easier it will be for you to win a shipment.
If you are just starting out, don’t worry. If you are an animal lover, for example, and are interested in pet transportation, you should point that out.
Example: “I’ve been driving for ten years now and I am a dog owner. I am an animal lover and I understand how pets can get frustrated during transport. That’s why I always stop for breaks every 2 hours when I transport my dog.”
Once you have finished adding all the info you can, click on Update my Profile.
You will be redirected to the My Profile Page.
Now let’s add your photo.
Let’s get back to the Dashboard.
When you are just starting out, you will want to focus on Recommended shipments. Once you have a contract, it will appear in Active & Won Shipments.
In order to get shipments that might be of interest to you, let’s update your Routes section.
Click on the Routes button and enter your desired locations.
In this section, you will be able to add/edit preferred states, cities and routes.
Example: You are living in NY state and you want to explore Ohio or North Carolina. Add it as your desired route and we will show you shipments that match your criteria. Are you frequently driving to another state? Add that state in your Edit State/Province List.
Make sure to add cities and states you are comfortable driving to.
This is your chance to explore as many states as you want, and getting paid to do so.
Take your time adding your routes, and once you’re finished, make sure to change notification settings to suit your business needs. For a walkthrough on how to do this, follow our Change your notification settings article.
Your next step is to double-check your Categories settings. This is important because it impacts the notifications you receive, and the shipments you see on the Recommended tab.
Your profile now has all the information a shipper could ask for. Well, almost all.
When you navigate to your Recommended Shipments you will see a list of shipments that match your criteria.
When you find a shipment you are interested in, you can send a message to the customer. But before that, you will be asked to do a quick security check.
Why is submitting for the security check so important?
We ask all of our new drivers to pass a background screening process before they can submit quotes on any shipments. If the driver passes the screening process, CitizenShipper will mark their profile as "verified." You can find more information about our background screening process here.
Having all of our drivers verified by a third party gives our shipping customers confidence that their cherished possessions and loved pets will be safe and well-cared for on their journey.
This helps build trust between customers and our new drivers.
We suggest you do this before going any further.
Hooray! Now you’re ready for your first bids.
When you navigate to your dashboard, you’ll see some shipments listed. Every shipment has its own unique shipment details.
If you click on a shipment you can see the current bids and price insights. You don’t have to stick to the price range in or insights, but you should use it as a point of reference when placing your bid.
Below this section, you’ll see the stacked shipments option.
The shipment stacking tool lets you quickly locate shipments with pickup and drop-off locations that are near the shipment route you are currently looking at.
The purpose of this tool is to help you stack multiple shipments along your route, allowing you to generate more profit and/or offer the customer a more competitive bid.
Included in the stack shipments tool is an estimate of how much extra cash you can earn from the job, together with the additional miles you'll be driving.
Use this tool wisely, as lower bids can get you shipments and shipments can lead to positive feedback and your first earnings as a CitizenShipper’s driver.
How to talk to customers
We've noticed that the most successful drivers on CitizenShipper are GREAT at communicating with customers.
Often drivers will introduce themselves prior to submitting their first quote - or they'll submit a quote and then follow up with a message or two.
The CONTENT of your first messages to the customer is crucial to winning a shipment.
Imagine you're a customer and you're shipping your pet, for example. You're a little nervous as you've never shipped your puppy and you want to make sure it is in good hands.
You receive TWO messages from two different drivers. The messages read as follows:
I'll be in the area next week. I could do this for 500.
Hey there! My name is Candace and I'm an experienced transportation provider with a perfect safety record, clean license and full coverage insurance. I've been transporting dogs for three years now and LOVE animals. We stay in pet-friendly motels for the trip, and they will be safely secured during the transport in a carrier. I'll make regular rest stops and I'll also send you regular pictures so you can see that your baby is happy and safe. Before I place a quote may I ask if you have a budget in mind?
If you were a customer, which message would you be more likely to respond to?
The customer wants to know that their shipment is in safe hands, so talking to them about your experience is an important step in building that all-important trust.
Everyone has a smartphone, so telling them you'll send them regular picture updates is a great way to increase customer confidence and helps reduce any anxiety they may have.
We think you are ready to go :)
Good luck, and remember: not winning a shipment on your first bid is completely normal. Our most active drivers won their first shipment after placing 10, or sometimes 20 bids. Once you get your first shipment new ones will start pouring in.
If you need any help, you can contact us right away on firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting your question on our CitizenShipper FB page. We are a growing team and there will always be someone who can help you out!