First Release of Proprietary uShip Technology to Give Critical, New Perspective on Impact of Oil Prices, Changes in Shipping and Transportation Industries
(Austin, TX – May 7, 2008) Austin-based company uShip announced today the launch of the Transportation Price Index (TPI). The first measurement tool of its kind, the TPI is designed to track important data related to transportation costs which will be released on a monthly basis. uShip will use proprietary, transactional information from the uShip marketplace, which will reveal critical U.S. economic trends specifically related to oil prices and other transportation industry expenditures. The TPI is expressed in terms of US dollars per ton-mile. uShip is the first and largest online marketplace for shipping services.
According to uShip CEO Matt Chasen, the TPI is a statistical tool, which will provide analysts, consumers and media with an entirely new, groundbreaking economic indicator. “Internally, we have been tracking trends in transportation pricing since the beginning of 2007 and recently we decided to share this valuable information with those interested in understanding movements in the economy and our industry,” Chasen said.
In the uShip marketplace, transactions are condensed to measures of price, weight and distance. Beginning this month, uShip will calculate the weighted-average of these prices across many categories of domestic (US) shipments to determine the overall TPI figure. At the end of each month, uShip will release the latest TPI findings.
“While the overall number is useful for looking at macroeconomic trends, it is inherently biased by our changing category mix in the wide variety of commodities that are being shipped-from household goods to cars. Therefore, we allow people to filter the TPI by category to get a more accurate picture of how prices have changed for specific types of goods,” Chasen said.
This first public release of the TPI shows a slight drop in the overall index for the month of April to $2.09, which is a decrease of 4.1% from March but an increase of 3.0% from April of last year. Over the same periods, the price of diesel fuel, a key component of transportation costs, was up 4.5% and 47.7%, respectively. “What’s interesting here is that transportation prices are not keeping pace with dramatic rises in fuel costs, which is making for a very difficult environment for transportation companies. In fact, overall transportation prices have actually declined in 3 of the last 4 months,” says Chasen.
Looking at the category level, Household Goods shipping experienced a significant decline of 6.4% from March to April, but is down only a slight 0.7% from prices paid in April of last year. Several important categories are bucking the downward trend, however. Prices for transporting cars, for example, have risen for 6 straight months. The April index for Cars & Light Trucks is up 5.9% over March and up 12.5% over last April. Less-than-truckload (LTL) Freight rebounded 5.9% in April from a sharp drop in March and is up 10.8% from last year. Prices in this category have increased 7 out of the last 8 months.
For more information about the TPI and a deeper look at its methodology, please visit www.transportationpriceindex.com. To request an interview with Mr. Chasen, please contact Mickey Millsap at 800-698-7447 ext 102. You may also e-mail him at [email protected]. High resolution images are available upon request.
Founded in 2003, uShip is the first and largest online marketplace for shipping services. Members list anything they need shipped, from household goods to vehicles to freight, and receive bids from thousands of feedback-rated service providers, including movers, carriers, transporters, van lines, freight brokers and independent service providers. On any given day, there are thousands of shipments listed on uShip representing millions of dollars of business. It’s totally free for members to list shipments and for service providers to place bids. uShip’s reverse-auction format and patent-pending search technology dramatically reduce shipping costs by allowing service providers to find shipments along their routes and fill empty cargo space. uShip’s feedback system holds service providers accountable for their service and rewards those that perform well. Please visit www.uship.com for more information.