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uShip Continues Growth – Austin Startup

uShip, the global online shipping marketplace, today announced it has surpassed $125M in business transacted in just five years, two-thirds of which has occurred during the recession. In 2009, uShip’s revenues doubled versus 2008 and the company also enhanced local settings for customers in the UK, EU, Canada, and Australia. uShip turned profitable in 2008, and at the 2010 SXSW Interactive conference, this will be a topic of discussion. While the shipping business may not sound exciting, Matt Chasen has built a strong business and a great company success story.

In 2002, Matt Chasen sat frustrated in the back of a nearly-empty 20-foot moving truck in Seattle. The 9-foot rental van he ordered was sold out, meaning he was about to drive his relatively small set of belongings in a virtually empty truck all the way to Texas. Then lightning struck. Chasen imagined filling the extra space with people’s items headed in the same direction. But how could he find them? His inspiration (and question) would eventually become uShip.

Launched in 2004, Chasen is now CEO of the 50-person company, which has stayed true to his original vision: connect people with transporters to make shipping more efficient and affordable. Feedback-rated transport companies, often with excess capacity or already making a similar trip, place competing bids to win business and ship customers’ cars, freight, household goods, horses, boats, pets, heavy equipment and more. As a transactional business model, uShip earns a fee from every completed shipment on its marketplace.

“Moving hard-to-ship things like cars, boats, households, equipment and freight is typically the source of frustration, not inspiration,” said Chasen. “I was fortunate to recognize that eureka moment over seven years ago, but, in some ways, we feel we’re just getting started with an increasing number of opportunities to grow and diversify uShip.”

Some interesting uShip facts:

  • Over $125M in business has transacted on uShip since 2004
  • Two-thirds (about $82M) of uShip’s transaction volume has occurred during the recession
  • uShip’s revenues doubled in 2009 vs. 2008
  • eBay item shipments on uShip have topped $30 million
  • Compared to 2008, non-U.S. shipments are up 500 percent globally and 272 percent in the UK
  • 900,000 shipments have been listed on uShip since launching in 2004
  • Over 20,000 customer stories have been left on uShip, thousands more on Facebook
  • At any given time, $8-$10 million in shipping jobs are available to transporters on uShip

Read the story on AustinStartup