The online freight marketplace uShip has added three top national Less Than Truckload (LTL) carriers, Con-way Freight, Old Dominion Freight Line and YRC Freight, to its shipper-direct LTL spot rate marketplace. With these commitments, uShip’s marketplace will includes 28 national and regional LTL carriers, representing over eighty percent of the annual volume in the $32 billion American LTL market.

Matt Chasen, CEO and founder of uShip, was inspired to start the business while experiencing frustration with the cost of moving from Seattle to Austin. Unable to reserve a nine-foot rental van, he had no choice but to drive 2,500 miles a half-empty 22-foot truck.

Earlier, Chasen’s mother was unable to afford shipping an heirloom dresser from Ohio to Texas. Suppose another half-empty truck had been available for such a trip? And how would a prospective shipping customer find out about the available truck? A solution would save money for both parties, while reducing fossil fuel consumption. Chasen’s answer was uShip.

Incorporated in 2003 and launched in 2004, uShip now includes 250,000 registered business shippers. And while Chasen’s idea may have come about address household needs, over 35 percent of uShip’s total shipping volume is commercial freight.

Millions of small to midsize shipping companies are able to do business through uShip, without being under a freight contract with a single online service. Jim Bramlett, General Manager of uShip LTL Freight, compares the service to those used by hotel chains and airlines, in relation to setting and publishing prices: “(Shippers) can now reach shipping customers directly with rates they control and dynamically adjust with market and seasonal conditions. This optimizes their asset utilization, accelerates growth in their most profitable segment, and maintains strong yield levels while maintaining their 3PL contracts.”

Other LTL shippers in the uShip marketplace include R&L Carriers and Roadrunner Transportation Systems, and regional carriers Midwest Motor Express, Averitt Express, and Pitt Ohio.