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New CEO of Shipping Software Maker uShip Eyes Mobile, International

by David Holley, National Correspondent, Xconomy  /  AUSTIN—Shipping logistics software developer uShip has hired a new CEO, Mike Williams, two months after co-founder and CEO Matt Chasen announced he was resigning from the Austin, TX, company to pursue other early stage startup work.

Williams was previously the general manager of corporate real estate services at Accruent, another Austin company that sells software for managing various aspects of real estate, such as leasing or operating buildings. At uShip, Williams says he hopes to push forward the company’s work with large, multinational businesses like DB Schenker, a German logistics company that coordinates large shipping needs for businesses.

Schenker announced in July that it signed a five-year deal to use uShip’s software to match freight carriers with shippers in Europe, a partnership the German company says is worth “tens of millions of dollars.” Schenker didn’t disclose the exact terms.

“That type of business process is something I’m comfortable with,” Williams said in an interview before the news was publicly released. “When you look at the market potential, that’s where you can see some company growth coming from: larger enterprise multinationals.”

UShip will still keep developing its core business of connecting individuals and smaller businesses that want to ship something large or inconvenient to move—anything from a piano to a boat to heavy equipment—with trucking companies and other shipping carriers who want to fill unused space in their freights, Williams said. Some improvements will come to uShip’s mobile products, he said, such as making it easy for a truck driver to quickly find a something to refill the truck with for a return trip after dropping off a haul.

Transportation companies have used uShip’s software, which provides estimates on shipping costs and algorithmically matches potential shippers with carriers, to sell almost $1 billion in shipping services, Chasen wrote in a December blog post. The company, which has raised $25 million in venture capital since it was founded in 2004, has relationships with the five largest freight carriers, including UPS and FedEx. UShip got a big boost after A&E created a reality show that featured the company called “Shipping Wars,” which ran from 2012 to 2015.

Chasen didn’t say what kind of startups he plans to work on when he announced his departure. Another co-founder, Jay Manickam, has also moved on to new startups, including Everfest, an online site and mobile app for finding festivals.

Jim Martell, who served as uShip’s interim CEO since Chasen left in December, was named the executive chairman of the company’s board. Martell has worked in management at FedEx, UPS, and UTi Worldwide, and joined uShip’s board last year. Chasen is keeping a seat on the board, and Williams is gaining one, too.

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