Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Uship: pouring gas on the fire?

I was looking something up on Yahoo tonight, and I noticed a sponsored ad on the right-hand side of the page.

# Become a Car Hauler
Make money as an independent hauler. Join and bid for free. Sign-up today. seems to be setting itself up as the ebay of moving and auto transport. I have heard a few things from auto transport companies about this site, and the consensus seems to be that is having an impact on auto transport in this country.

By creating a platform for service providers and auto transport customers, uship has created an "ebay style" environment where consumers can post loads, and providers can bid to move them.

The main difference between and traditional load boards like (at least as it has been explained to me by auto transport carriers I have spoken with) is that the traditional load boards require documentation of motor vehicle authority before carriers may subscribe.

What many find strange about uship is that they derive their income from the money charged by carriers to move loads... yet they are not considered brokers.

Is uship really operating a brokerage?

Probably not. But I think what they are doing is more than advertising.

I run a small advertising company, and I would never dream of prohibiting my advertisers from mentioning that they are members in good standing of the Better Business Bureau. Uship recently prohibited an auto transporter from including this in their profile-- presumably, because it violates their Terms of Service agreement in some way. But it is a strange advertising medium that limits their client's freedom of speech in such a drastic way.

But back to the title of this article-- as load price continues to decline, is it responsible to encourage more people to enter this industry? Is it fair to them? Is it fair to their current user base? Something to think about.

Kentucky Trailer buys Nashville dealer - Business First of Louisville:

Kentucky Trailer buys Nashville dealer - Business First of Louisville:: "R.C. Tway Co. which does business as Kentucky Trailer, has acquired Volunteer Trailer, a Nashville-based trailer servicing company"