uShip

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
uShip Inc.
Type Private
Founded 2003 (2003)
Headquarters Austin, Texas, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Slogan(s)

"Ship Anything, Anywhere, Anytime."

"The world's first and largest online shipping marketplace."

Website www.uship.com
Type of site Online services auction
Registration Required to list, bid and transport items
Available in Multilingual

uShip, Inc. is an Austin, Texas based Internet company that operates uShip.com, a global online marketplace for shipping services. Individuals and businesses post items they need shipped in a variety of categories, including auto transport, boat shipping, home and office moving (removal) services, and the transport of heavy industrial equipment.

Transportation service providers on uShip place competing bids for the right to haul a customer's shipment. For some categories, including boats, autos and less-than-truckload (LTL) freight, customers can select an upfront quote for transport services or enter an acceptable price to be matched with a transporter. Customers can book a shipment immediately from these quotes or opt to wait for auction bids, similar to eBay’s ‘buy it now’ feature.[1]

The company uses a feedback rating system for service providers and customers, similar to the eBay feedback system. Transport companies on uShip maintain company profiles[2] that feature past customer feedback (in several service categories), equipment photos, videos, cargo insurance data, and information about U.S. Department of Transportation licensing, operating authority, and licensing verification.

The site's reverse auction format aims to reduce the cost of shipping by enabling service providers to find shipments along their routes and fill empty cargo space.[3]

History[edit]

In 2002, CEO and founder Matthew Chasen developed the idea for uShip while moving from Washington to Texas. Chasen planned to rent a small truck for his move, but found the limited selection of rental trucks to be far larger in size than necessary. Chasen also recalled that his mother was unable to find an affordable way to ship an antique dresser from Ohio to Texas in the previous year. While driving a virtually empty 20-foot truck to Texas, Chasen wondered how many other trucks traversed the country partially empty.[4]

Chasen developed the business plan for uShip while enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business with co-founders Jay Manickam and Mickey Millsap. In 2004, the uShip team competed in several business competitions, winning first prize at the University of North Texas, and runner-up at the Venture Labs Investment Competition (formerly the US MOOT Corp Competition) in 2004.[5] Shortly thereafter, uShip.com was launched in the United States and received funding from Benchmark Capital in 2005 [6]

Since 2009, uShip has expanded internationally, launching versions of the site for Canada, the European Union, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Australia and India. In 2010, uShip established its first international office in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.[7]

In 2012, uShip became the subject of a reality television series aired by A&E known as Shipping Wars, which follows a group of independent shippers who compete to bid on and deliver shipments through uShip. uShip's CEO Matt Chasen hoped that the exposure the site would receive through the series would help uShip become a household name.[8]

Products[edit]

uShip Mobile – The uShip Mobile application allows mobile users to access many features of the site. Service providers can use the app to find and bid on loads (using GPS tools), ask and answer questions about shipments and receive online payments from customers. Shipping customers can compare bids, communicate with service providers and release payment for their shipments.[9]

uShip Pro – uShip Pro is a customized, private version of the uShip platform that allows frequent shippers, brokers and 3PL organizations to manage freight. uShip Pro clients build approved carrier networks to manage shipments, post new loads and automatically track the performance and compliance of carriers.[10]

uShip Payments - uShip Payments allows independent trucker owner-operators, carriers and brokers to accept full payment for transportation services online.[11]

Find Shipments - A web-based, realtime Find Shipments tool allows independent truckers and freight brokers to locate, map and bid on freight all over the world.[12]

uShip Tracking - Transporters can use uShip to automatically update or periodically submit their location using SMS, GPS or US mobile networks so shipping customers can more easily track their shipments.[13]

uShip API[edit]

uShip's marketplace format lends itself to a variety of proprietary industry data, including an exceptionally large amount of historical and current pricing information for the regional and international transport of large goods. uShip makes some of this data accessible with a Shipping Price Estimator tool, featured on uShip and many partner sites, including eBay Motors and Cars.com.

The Shipping Price Estimator provides instant estimates for transport services based on a weighted average of similar goods transported over similar distances on the uShip marketplace. Transport estimates are available for many goods, including autos, boats, heavy industrial equipment and home moving services.[14]

Community, Trust & Safety[edit]

Since uShip operates as an open marketplace and a neutral venue, the company does not directly participate in transactions between customers and transportation service providers.[15] Shipping customers on uShip are encouraged to only accept bids for shipping services, or accept direct quotes, after reviewing a service provider's company profile, which includes company information (excluding contact information), prior customer feedback and licensing and motor carrier data verified by Transcore.[16]

uShip's Community, Trust & Safety team works directly with customers and shipping providers to provide customer service and help resolve disputes. The team is also tasked with investigating incidents of fraud and enforcing the company's user agreement.[17]

Partnerships[edit]

In 2007, uShip began working with TerraPass, a provider of carbon offsets, to allow transportation service providers and shipping customers to offset the emissions created by their shipments. As of 2011, TerraPass calculated that uShip service providers and customers have offset 30 million miles.[18] TerraPass invests in energy efficiency and environmental projects around the world.[19]

In 2009, uShip entered a partnership with Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world’s largest auctioneer of heavy equipment, to provide real-time estimates and quotes for transportation of industrial equipment and vehicles being sold at auctions.[20]

In 2011, eBay Motors began incorporating uShip's Shipping Price Estimator as a vehicle shipping option within all of its U.S. auto, motorcycle and power sports listings.[21]

As of 2012, uShip also has similar agreements with, and provides customized shipping solutions for Cars.com, iBoats.com, Rock&Dirt, Motorcycle.com, Equine.com, MachineryTrader, Mobile.de in Germany, Salvage Direct, CrankyApe, John Deere's MachineFinder.com, Boats.com and Public Surplus.[22]

Corporate Citizenship[edit]

Highway to Help - uShip encourages individuals and organizations working for charitable causes to use its marketplace free of charge as part of its Highway to Help program.[23]

Help on Wheels - uShip’s flagship 40-foot, RV-style Help on Wheels cargo vehicle hauls shipments free of charge for non-profits, foundations and charities across the US.[24]

Volunteer Days - uShip also has a tradition of community service. Employees frequently participate in service projects benefitting the community in Austin.[25]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

  • Greater Austin Business Awards - Environment Category Winner (2011)[26]
  • Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies (2010)[27]
  • Location Labs Developer Contest – First Prize (2010) [28]
  • Red Herring’s North America 100 List (2010) [29]
  • Top Workplaces – Austin American Statesman (2010, 2011, 2012) [30]
  • TreeHugger’s best of Green Awards (2010)[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mangalindan, Mylene (2003-03-23). "Consumers Buy Furniture, Even Refrigerators on the Internet". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  2. ^ "Why is it important to fill out my uShip profile?". Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "uShip.com's About page". Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  4. ^ Alsever, Jennifer. "A $6 Million Cargo Cult". Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "The Superbowl (sic) of World Business Plan Competition". 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  6. ^ Giselle, Greenwood (2005-06-24). "Online shipping startup receives funding". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  7. ^ "uShip About Page". 
  8. ^ "Austin’s uShip takes its act to TV". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  9. ^ "uShip Mobile Apps". 
  10. ^ "uShip Pro". 
  11. ^ "uShip Payments". 
  12. ^ "uShip Find Shipments". 
  13. ^ "uShip App Helps Truckers Discover New Business". Truckinginfo.com. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Steiner, Ina. "uShip Launches Shipping Price Estimator". AuctionBites. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Is uShip a Broker?". 
  16. ^ "uShip Adds 'CarrierWatch Verified' to Help Carriers Build Trust with Customers". Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  17. ^ "uShip Fraud Prevention". 
  18. ^ "uShip Green". 
  19. ^ Dunn, Collin (2007-01-17). "TerraPass Partners with uShip to Offer "Carbon Balanced Shipping"". 'TreeHugger'. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  20. ^ "Ritchie Bros. Partners with uShip to Offer Quotes". GX. Forester Media. 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  21. ^ "Shipping Marketplace uShip Is Now Integrated with eBay Motors". AuctionBytes. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "uShip Marketplace Partners". Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "Highway to Help: uShip's Charitable Shipment Program". 
  24. ^ "Help on Wheels". 
  25. ^ "uShip Culture". 
  26. ^ "uShip Takes Home Austin Business Environment Award". 
  27. ^ "uShip Company Profile - Inc. 500". 
  28. ^ "uShip Wins 2010 Location Labs Developer Contest". 
  29. ^ "Red Herring Top 100 North America". 
  30. ^ "Austin Top Workplaces". 
  31. ^ "Green Shipping on uShip".