There’s no real smooth way to ease into a topic like this, so I’ll jump right in. Today, uShip is announcing we are laying off 65 people, a significant number of our Austin headquarters workforce.
Like any sensitive “family matter,” we are keeping severance terms private, other than to say that each employee impacted by the layoff will be getting a package that strives to protect their income during this most immediate phase of COVID and economic uncertainty. And naturally, we are offering numerous resources, support, and guidance to each and every outgoing employee.
What makes this the single most difficult and heart-wrenching decision of my 20-year-career is that the team in place is doing everything we as a management team and as a company have asked them to do. The strategy. The priorities. The focus. All the right things as we’ve moved toward a shipping technology solution that serves high-volume, repeat business shippers in addition to our consumer shippers.
But as a company, we were among a large number in the shipping and logistics industry that faced stiff headwinds coming into 2020. It’s a challenge our team has been focused on overcoming since the year began.
And now, no thanks to sudden and prolonged uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we can’t continue to confront those headwinds with every employee on board. Despite evaluating all possible strategies to avoid it, we are parting ways with many talented, conscientious people who have put their heart and soul into this company.
Going forward, we remain focused on our business strategy and financial goals – to be in a self-sustaining long-term financially strong position – even if it’s unknown how these unprecedented times will shake out.
I remain incredibly optimistic about uShip and its future prospects. I wouldn’t have taken this chief executive role in 2019 if I wasn’t. This outlook is especially true for repeat car shippers, online furniture sellers, motorcycle dealers, and heavy equipment auctions – and all those owner-operators, fleet owners, and drivers who haul those shipments.
While today’s announcement was a painful one for many, I know it will allow us to weather the storm, come what may. Once the smoke clears and we slowly emerge from our houses, apartments, and condos, we’ll be in a position to get through long-term macroeconomic uncertainty while operating in a strong financial position to tackle opportunities ahead.