RealTime IT News

Stamps.com sheds iShip

Internet postage firm Stamps.com Inc. said it is selling its iShip multi-carrier shipping service assets to United Parcel Service Inc.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Stamps.com said the move is part of a strategy announced last month to focus the company's attention on its core mailing and shipping services for small businesses and home offices. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.

iShip is a Web-based shipping solution that allows companies to centrally manage shipping activities across multiple carriers using only a Web browser.

"In order to solidify and strengthen our leadership position it is critical that the company be focused on marketing, developing, and supporting our Internet postage service offerings," said Stamps.com Chief Executive Officer Bruce Coleman.

Stamps.com said it has more than 300,000 customers for its Internet- based postage service, and has "launched an aggressive campaign to build on that base." The company went head to head with rival E-Stamp Corp. and won when E-Stamp decided last November to exit the Internet postage business.

E-Stamp , its stock trading below $1 a share, said last month it was moving to jettison its transportation management solutions business and cash in on the potential of the corporate e-learning market through a merger with learning services provider Learn2.com.

E-Stamp also is selling a portfolio of 31 predominantly Internet postage-related patents and trademarks and other intellectual property rights as well as the E-Stamp name and E-Stamp.com domain to Stamps.com.

Still, Stamps.com faces competition from mailing giant Pitney Bowes Inc., which also has online solutions, including one for small businesses.

Formed in 1994, E-Stamp was the first company to receive USPS approval to offer postage over the Internet, but was never able to make much money doing it.