Most Innovative Companies: U-Haul Honored for U-Box Load Share Program

May 20, 2024

U-Box® Load Share, the latest green initiative from U-Haul® to support today’s gig economy, is a 2024 Champions of Change honoree.

U-Haul was among 10 finalists recognized as the “Most Innovative” companies on May 16 at the DoubleTree Resort in Paradise Valley, thanks to its implementation of the groundbreaking Load Share program.

The Champions of Change awards are hosted by Az Business Magazine, an AZ Big Media publication, to celebrate dynamic innovators and trailblazers, visionary thinkers and philanthropists, and business and nonprofit leaders across Arizona.

“Being named a Champion of Change is a great honor, and it’s further affirmation that U-Box Load Share is needed in today’s economy,” said Sam Shoen, U-Box Program Director. “The environmental impact of Load Share is very real, and our customers appreciate that along with the many other benefits. We are providing a safe, collaborative way to engage in smarter and greener moving solutions.”

This is the latest in a line of commendations for U-Box Load Share. In December, it was named the 2023 Best in Biz Awards gold winner for Most Environmentally Friendly Service of the Year. It also earned silver awards for Most Innovative Service of the Year and Consumer Service of the Year.

That comes on the heels of winning 2022 Sustainability Service of the Year from The Business Intelligence Group and being named a 2022 Social Impact Awards finalist by PR News.

How does U-Box Load Share work?

A Load Share occurs when a family moving its belongings in a U-Haul truck agrees to tow a trailer loaded with another family’s U-Box portable moving container to the same destination city. Each transaction is monitored and managed by centralized U-Haul personnel. A vetting process is used to pre-select potential candidates, with priority on those customers with previous rental truck and towing experience.

When a Load Share is performed, the cost savings from not needing to contract a freight tractor-trailer for the U-Box shipment is allocated in three ways:

  • A discount to the U-Haul truck rental customer’s rate
  • Lower one-way rates charged to all U-Box customers
  • Funding newer and safer equipment, and retrofitting existing equipment with improved safety and convenience features

The unique thing about U-Box Load Share is that it is not intended nor designed to make U-Haul a profit. It was created to facilitate people helping people and benefit the environment. To date, more than 35,000 Load Shares have been completed.

Shared Use, Shared Responsibility

Allan Yang, U-Haul Chief Sustainability Officer and Scientist, noted that awards for U-Box Load Share underline the Company’s commitment to sustainability, decarbonization and industry-defining innovation.

“U-Haul is a shared-use business,” Yang stated. “Our shared-use products and services not only address the challenges of resource efficiency, but also cultivate a sense of community among our sustainability stakeholders. By pooling resources and optimizing the towing capacity of trucks, U-Box Load Share brings forth a paradigm shift towards sustainable and shared mobility.”

Beyond U-Box Load Share, U-Haul environmentally friendly initiatives include the Company’s core model of having communities share a moving truck or trailer rather than individuals needing to own trucks and large-capacity vehicles to transport their belongings; U-Haul Adaptive Reuse, a program for preserving and repurposing existing buildings for new stores rather than engaging in teardowns and ground-up projects with each acquisition, thus reducing carbon emissions and the need for new-building materials (about 70% of U-Haul-owned facilities are the result of Adaptive Reuse); U-Haul truck modifications to incorporate a low profile, rounded corners and advanced chassis skirts to reduce wind drag and improve fuel economy up to 20% (in addition to fuel economy gauges in every new-production U-Haul truck); and green products like plastic U-Haul Ready-To-Go Boxes® that get shared hundreds of times before being recycled.

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