Compiled ByTravis Hessman ChemConnect Inc., operator of the World Chemical Exchange, has announced its sixth consecutive quarter of increased transaction volume on the World Chemical Exchange since fourth-quarter 1999. The Exchange moved close to $2.4 billion in annualized transaction volume in direct raw materials in first-quarter -- a 33% increase over fourth-quarter 2000. The San Francisco-based operator of the chemical and plastic online marketplace says its success stems from its e-commerce services, which include corporate trading rooms and exchange and commodity floors. "We're thrilled to kick off the first-quarter with another milestone of success," says John Robinson, CEO of ChemConnect. "With the economy shifting, industries across the board are seeking creative ways to conduct business efficiently and get the best market prices. ChemConnect offers buyers and sellers of chemicals and plastics a fast track to e-commerce. " The announcement comes in line with Forrester Research's March report estimating that companies will spend $5.4 million to $22.9 million each to integrate into online markets over the next five years.