Shiply in the news

We’ve been delighted with the coverage Shiply has got over the past six months in the press. Both national and trade press have shown a great deal of interest in the Shiply concept and it has really helped us grow our public profile in a short space of time.

The Sunday Times were the first to spot us and wrote a very nice article in their popular hot clicks section.

The Metro ran a larger article on us back in November – “It’s haul in the name of good sense”. The journalist Sophie Freedman, wrote a very informative article which helped consumers understand the current issues facing the haulage industry and how Shiply fits into the picture.

The Guardian also covered Shiply in November, unfortunately it wasn’t the double-spread feature we were expecting but nevertheless it covered the bases. Under the environmental section, this piece was sure to have caught the eye of those of us most concerned with the green issues of today.

On the afternoon of 25th November I got a call from the Radio 2 Chris Evans show saying that they wanted to do an interview. The business journalist Rebecca Pike (who was very down to earth & friendly) gave a fantastic introduction to Shiply highlighting the current problem with empty-running to 5 million+ listeners. The rest of the interview went well and we got a fantastic response on the web site the next day with visits up by more than 200%.

If you’re not out enjoying yourself on Christmas Eve, or busy spending time with family, tune into Radio 4 at 12.04pm for You and Yours where I am interviewed along with the RHA.

Speaking of the RHA, they ran a fantastic piece on us back in July in their Business Survival Toolkit. It was flattering to receive such attention at such an early stage in the business. It was clear that the industry was looking for new alternatives and solutions for maximising efficiency and Editor Peter Shakespeare seemed impressed with the concept.

We have also been featured in other trade press including, Motor Transport, The British Association of Removers, The Institute of the Motor Industry & Transport News Network amongst others.

I personally have been very pleased with the level of recognition we have received across both national and trade press. We have all worked really hard here at Shiply to make it the success it deserves to be. By gaining such exposure it allows people to see the opportunities here and make good use of the service. We hope that 2009 will bring more coverage and bring Shiply further into the spotlight as the UK’s online transport marketplace.

Levels of haulage firm failures at record high

We all know that times are tough and that the haulage industry has had a particularly bad year, what with the fuel crisis and the spiralling economic downturn. To further dampen spirits, research by Motor Transport has revealed a shocking £82m of revenue has been lost within the industry as a result of company collapses. Most notably Amtrak with £35m and Innovate Group with £19m.

I remember when we were first launching back in May and the statistics were showing us that 13.6% of haulage firms went out of business in 2007. As if this wasn’t bad enough, October and November has seen far worse levels of company failures. In fact, there has been a 47.2% increase compared with the same period last year.

So, now more than ever, it is so vital for haulage companies to keep their efficiency levels high. Obviously that is across all levels of their business but keeping their vehicles full and reducing the number of wasted trips is something with is key to success and indeed sadly for some, survival. Something which I’m proud to say Shiply is committed to helping with.

Communication just got easier on Shiply

Following user feedback, we have redesigned the section where you can ask a service provider a question about a bid. In the past you had to click to open a pop-up (which probably got blocked by your browser) and then click again within that pop-up to finally type in your message and click send.

We understand, that was tedious and also restrictive. We wanted to make sure that everyone was able to communicate quickly and above all easily with each other. So now, all that you need to do is click on the green button of the bid in question and the bid details and any previous correspondence is displayed with no need for pop-ups or page reloads.

Then, it is simply a case of typing your message into the box and hitting “post”. We hope this new functionality will further improve the user experience here at Shiply and we gladly welcome any comments/constructive criticism.

Most Interesting Items on Shiply 2008

We do like to have a good chuckle in the Shiply office when we see some of the stranger and more unusual shipments go live. So with the Christmas period descending, instead of cracking jokes which only the cracker people could be proud of, we’ve decided to share some our favourites with you.

Kaka the bearded dragon – clearly looking to move to warmer climates was trying to get from Carnoustie down to the New Forest in Hampshire. Although, the lister (tiesto08) could not get a good photo of Kaka over to us, here is a “visual representation” of what we reckon he looks like!

Someone was planning what looks like an amazing party back in October when “alcohol for 400 people” was listed to move from Loanhead, Midlothian to Anstruther, Fife. All I have to say is, where was our invite?!

So, clearly, the old saying that a pigeon never forgets his way home is nothing more than a wives tale. One “live pigeon” (I would be more concerned if it was dead) got lost and put himself on Shiply to get himself back to Pinebrook in Suffolk. The question left by a service provider “Can I fly the bird down?”, I must admit did make me laugh.

Mistress, please! I feel sorry for the poor recipient of this bondage bench which was being sent from Falkirk to Middlesbrough. What concerned me the most is the cat bowls inside the contraption! Well, whatever floats your boat I suppose!

We know that times are tough, but this user tried to actually ship himself! He was looking for a lift up to York from Worcester. Clearly, he was just looking for a cheaper alternative to the train. Unfortunately we did have to pull this one as it’s not an area the marketplace is trying to push. But, I know there are a lot lift sharing web sites out there so the concept itself is an interesting one. Spare capacity on trains Mr Branson?