One More Pallet helps small shippers get deals

A new Cincinnati company is a banking on a simple idea whose success will all be in the details. One More Pallet aims to link small shippers with truck drivers who have a little space to spare as they're delivering large loads.

It will work like a bit like where small shippers, who need to move just one or two pallets, can enter their shipping information, along with how much they're willing to pay. Through One More Pallet's custom software system, shippers will be matched with carriers willing to accept the shipment. It's a win for the carriers, who can earn a little extra money, and for the the shippers, who can save as much as 50 percent off normal shipping costs.

"We're recruiting trucking firms and customers who are flexible in their delivery schedules," says company president and local entreprenuer Bill Cunningham. He and Sandy Ambrose, of Without A Doubt Warehouse in Fairfield, are the company co-founders. "If you can be flexible, you save a lot of money.

"Sandy came up with the idea. We were talking, and she said, 'I've got some excess capacity on my trucks and one or two more pallets on them would me make more profitable."

Since the conversation that sparked the idea, Cunningham and Ambrose have been working on the business idea, including the software system that links shippers and carriers. The software is currently in the pilot stage, with plans for a regional launch this summer. Those interested can get an invitation to the system through the One More Pallet website.

"We're going through the customer development process to make sure that our customers get a great experience every time," Cunningham says.

The company is getting a lot of interest. It was one of eight chosen for UpTech, a new business informatics incubator launched by several Northern Kentucky institutions, including Northern Kentucky University, Tri-Ed, ezone and Vision 2015. It's an intense, six-month accelerator program that includes $100,000 in funding. Companies selected to participate will also be working with students and faculty at NKU's College of Informatics.

It also was selected by the Kauffman Foundation as a finalist in the Startup Open in 2011 from more than 3,000 entries worldwide.

By Feoshia Henderson
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