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Web facilitator brings together movers, shippers — San Jose Mercury News

By Matt Nauman
Mercury News

Jeanne Davis-Blair soon will leave the Bay Area to operate a bed-and-breakfast she bought in small-town Georgia, about 90 miles from Atlanta.

But, during these bicoastal days between her official retirement from BART and her move to Washington, Ga., she has been spending “a tremendous amount” to rent a car every time she makes a visit to her Southern Elegance Bed and Breakfast.

Figuring she’d better ship one of her two cars from California to Georgia, she turned to the Web. “I have been an Internet shopper almost from the minute the Internet became available,” Davis-Blair said.

And that’s where she found uShip, where everyone from moving companies to cargo haulers to people with a truck and a trailer bid for shipping jobs.

UShip, based in Austin, matches people who need something shipped — usually large items such as cars or furniture — with people who carry cargo. Or, in Davis-Blair’s case, with someone willing to drive her “baby,” a 1997 BMW 740 with less than 100,000 miles on the odometer, across the United States.

“For me, it was the best possible thing that could happen,” she said. “My car was driven and taken very good care of. It didn’t get shaken up on a truck going cross-country.”

After 2,576 miles, her car was delivered on time and in good shape. The driver even had the oil changed and replaced a bad tire along the way…