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uShip: The eBay of Shipping –

Published: Tuesday, 5 Jul 2011 | 6:06 PM ET | Jessica Golden

There’s a high-tech shipping alternative that is offering a unique new way to move your stuff across the country as more than 20 million Americans prepare to move this summer. Business is booming for an Austin, Texas based company called uShip, an online shipping marketplace that connects people needing goods moved with transporters who have extra room in their trucks.

“We have really seen in the last couple of years a perfect storm in transportation,” says Matt Chasen, CEO of uShip. “Record high diesel prices, reduced capacity due to truckers going out of business in the recession has reduced supply and caused moving prices to spike upwards.” Chasen says that as fuel and moving prices go up, so has uShip’s business “We see more people interested in trying to save money…they use our site to get competitive quotes from movers that want to fill partial trucks.” His business has grown internationally with offices now throughout the US & Canada, Europe and Australia.

UShip provides a forum for people with something to move to earn competitive bids for their business. Instead of calling moving companies to get quotes, you simply post your move and bidders with extra room in their truck bid on your business. “On average you end up saving 50% relative to traditional moving companies” says Chasen, who founded the business in 2004 as a 27-year old business student. This model generates savings not only for the 1.2 million uShip users on the site but also the more than 200,000 service providers who will have made a quarter of a billion dollars using uShip. At any given time between $10-13 million in transport jobs are available on the site.

Newly retired Ronnie and Barbara Laudenbach recently downsized, relocating from their 2-bedroom home Shreveport, Louisiana to an apartment in Austin, Texas. They were deterred by traditional movers, receiving quotes as high as $2,500 for their move. Turned off by these prices, the Laudenbach’s decided to give uShip a try. Less than 24 hours later, King Moving Company’s Erin Thomas bid on their move for $850, which the Laudenbach’s immediately accepted. Thomas was able to offer such a competitive price because he was doubling up on a move with a couch he was transporting for another client. “uShip has helped my business tremendously” says Thomas. “It’s really taken my moving career off” he says.

UShip transporters move everything from household items to harder-to-ship items like cars, motorcycles, boats—even livestock. Anna Pelletier had her car shipped from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas. “Looking at how much it would cost me to drive the car from Los Angeles to Austin and it came out to be the same amount of money to ship it and not have to deal with the driving,” she says. Pelletier got ten bids to move her car and ultimately narrowed it down by previous users’ feedback and reviews. “They have a pretty detailed database so you can feel comfortable or not with a certain company that places a bid,” she says. She choose the bidder with the most reviews and a 99 percent positive feedback which happened to be the lowest bid.

Chasen warns when looking for bidders don’t always go with the lowest bid. Read their feedback carefully to find the best mover for you.

”Movers that know that they are being reviewed tend to do a better job we found.”

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