UShip launches spot market for LTL carriers

UShip, well known for its “starring role” in the popular A&E series, Shipping Wars, has launched a new service specifically for LTL carriers. The LTL spot-rate market is designed to give carriers the opportunity to publish real-time rates for shippers that are posting freight on the uShip marketplace.

According to Jim Bramlett, general manager LTL freight for the company, it may well be the first ever such marketplace in the industry. “This is a true marketplace. You decide what capacity you want to expose,” Bramlett told Fleet Owner. “One of our goals is to allow asset providers to quote instant rates, to price dynamically. We will use our technology to push that information out [to potential shippers who meet the carrier’s requirements].

“Today’s technology is so radically different than it was in the past,” he noted. “You can really match up buyers and sellers very efficiently and everybody wins.”

“We brought on R&L Carriers to test the product, which is now live on the site,” added Dean Jutilla, senior director, marketing communications.  “We’re also adding within the coming days Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Averitt Express, and Pitt Ohio-- a regional LTL carrier serving the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.  Others are jumping on board too.”

uShip, which did about $100 million in shipping volume in 2012 and has moved some three million loads since its launch in 2004, is not new to commercial shipping, by any means. Over 1,000 shippers and brokers are currently using uShip PRO and, according to Jutilla, over 35% of the company’s business was already commercial freight even before the launch of the new LTL marketplace.

Historically, LTL shippers could use uShip to handle shipments two ways, Bramlett says. They could name a price or do a reverse auction. The system worked well for consumers who had the time for the process, but shippers need faster turns for commercial freight.  “We are going after customers that can be hard for LTL carriers to reach,” he said. “We can help LTL carriers to balance their networks.”

The new service is suitable for private fleets looking for backhauls as well as for-hire LTL carriers. 

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