Flexport News & Analysis

Founded in 2015, San Francisco-based Flexport was one of the first companies to offer a cloud software and data analytics platform. By 2019 Flexport was serving more than 10,000 companies in 200 countries, offering them a full range of services for ocean, air, truck, rail freight, drayage and cartage, warehousing, customs brokerage, financing and insurance powered by Flexport’s own software platform.

Flexport’s Operating System for Global Trade is a strategic operating model for global freight forwarding that combines technology and analytics, logistics infrastructure, and hands-on supply chain expertise. The Flexport system brings together every category of global trade stakeholder – importers, exporters, ocean carriers, airlines, warehouses, trucking companies, and customs brokerages – on a single, secure cloud-based platform that structures all the data they need to conduct global trade. Flexport says that the platform provides deep visibility and control from origin to destination, fast and reliable transit times, and low and predictable supply chain costs.

Flexport also asserts that it enables its customers to carbon-offset all of their shipments. In 2019, Flexport’s customers then included such shippers as Georgia Pacific, Timbuk2, Klean Kanteen, Bombas, Molecule, Aden + Anais, Gerber [plumbing fixtures], Zalora, American Metalcraft, EcoSense, Santa Cruz Bicycles,

26 Sep 2022
A surge in shipper demand for NVO capacity in 2021 did little to open up long-term relationships opportunities with trans-Pacific intermediaries.
28 Jul 2022
End-to-end visibility of the freight flowing across oceans and moving across the US is the goal of the partnership between Flexport and Nolan Transportation Group, giving shippers more control over modal choices and costs.
08 Jun 2022
Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen will hand over the reins to Amazon logistics vet Dave Clark, a move that shows the forwarder’s lure for heavyweight talent — and possibly an acknowledgement of slower-than-expected market share gains.
07 Feb 2022
High profile forwarder Flexport has landed more than $900 million in new venture capital to fuel its growth, an amount sure to fuel debate about whether it is fundamentally reshaping the nature of global logistics.
29 Jun 2021
High-profile digital intermediaries Flexport and Convoy are partnering to provide shippers an integrated ocean and truckload service by connecting their respective technology platforms.
16 Feb 2021
Flexport has developed its own spin on an age-old forwarding solution, the purchase order management system, by focusing on messaging between importers and suppliers.
22 Sep 2020
Despite the decline in forwarder market share, more than half of the top 25 non-vessel-operating common carriers (NVOs) in the eastbound trans-Pacific trade handled more volume in the first eight months of 2020, with six recording double-digit percentage increases.
14 Aug 2020
Technology has the potential to solve long-running financing tensions between suppliers and importers, and logistics networks and service providers are likely to be the focal point for these solutions.
11 Jun 2020
The forwarder Flexport is edging toward a broader imprint on the shipping industry through the development of customizable interfaces for its customers and increased access to its systems for agent partners.
01 Jun 2020
London-based digital 3PL Beacon lands a $15 million venture capital investment by focusing on supply chain finance, as the digital forwarder model continues to attract growth funding.
15 Apr 2020
Logistics startups are facing a new reality in which funding rounds are likely to be smaller, recurring revenue expectations will be higher and valuations will be greater for subscription-based software than for digital brokers and forwarders.
19 Mar 2020
A trio of prominent logistics technology CEOs told shippers that navigating the coronavirus crisis comes down to decentralizing inventory and avoiding investment in fixed assets.
Flexport lays off 50 in organizational restructuring
04 Feb 2020
The heavily-funded forwarder told JOC.com Tuesday the layoffs are aimed at redirecting resources away from “over-invested” existing process areas into ones that “help us serve clients efficiently.”
Flexport dominated maritime startup investment in 2019
14 Jan 2020
A roundup of investment into international logistics and maritime technology has found that, outside of a $1 billion investment into the forwarder Flexport, total venture funding into startups fell from 2018 to 2019.
02 Jan 2020
The high-profile financial failings of so-called disruptors like Uber, Lyft, Grubhub, Blue Apron, and WeWork should serve as a warning to investors in the budding digital freight brokerage space.
Logixboard sees SaaS as future of forwarding tech
26 Nov 2019
SaaS tools in the international logistics space have been relatively underfunded compared to other models, like digital freight forwarders and marketplaces, but investment in Seattle-based Logixboard could signal investors are ready for more pure software-based plays.
26 Nov 2019
An array of ocean freight portals, mostly developed by tech startups, have entered the Indian freight landscape in recent years, trumpeting pricing transparency and shipment visibility. But they have much ground to gain to seriously challenge traditional players.
CargoSmart links shipment data, trade finance blockchains
06 Nov 2019
Shipment management software provider CargoSmart has tested a connection between a Hong Kong banking platform and shipment data provided by terminals and container lines to speed approval of trade finance processes and expand the range of shippers who can receive financing services.
Flexport approaches rival forwarders for customs help
30 Oct 2019
In an unusual move, Flexport is gauging interest from competing forwarders about their interest in aiding the company with its “high volume” of customs entries.
29 Oct 2019
The agreement will see Flexport offer full containerload (FCL), air cargo, and final mile services in the United States and EU to SF Express’ Chinese customers. SF Express essentially will act as a channel partner for Flexport.
21 Oct 2019
The recent wobbles of WeWork connect to the forwarder Flexport, which shares the same primary investor, but also might be constrained to grow in the way a pure software provider does.
Flexport adds visibility capabilities with Crux buy
10 Oct 2019
With the acquisition of the software maker Crux Systems, Flexport is becoming a provider of third-party visibility data while also eschewing concerns about M&A expressed in the wake of its $1 billion round of funding in February.
Specialized SaaS visibility supplanting end-to-end approach
11 Jun 2019
Shippers might dream of a single end-to-end visibility system, but providers still specialize in certain areas, so a more realistic approach is figuring out how to stitch deep, but narrow, systems together.
VC funding expanding regional digital forwarder reach
03 May 2019
Venture capital groups worldwide have been pouring money into the digital freight forwarding model, but the regional proliferation of such companies is mirroring traditional forwarder development.
How wary should truck brokers be of Amazon?
29 Apr 2019
Speculation has run rampant over the past three years that the e-commerce giant would eventually compete with the parcel carriers that move its freight, but it turns out Amazon actually has its sights set on the brokerage market.
09 Apr 2019
The e-commerce giant was one of Flexport’s largest customers last year, but the two may eventually compete in the still-nascent “logistics-as-a-service” market.
09 Apr 2019
Research by Ocean Audit estimates Flexport moved more cargo than some of the forwarder’s skeptics assume, but less than the company portrays.
Flexport coloading FCL-LCL shipments
28 Mar 2019
With roughly one-third of an average US inbound FCL container empty, the forwarder has created a product to match compatible LCL and FCL cargo, giving FCL shippers a discount to compensate for additional transit time.
Flexport’s uniqueness rests in its pricing power
25 Mar 2019
Those wondering how the rapidly expanding logistics provider plans to turn a recent $1 billion funding round into profits in the short term may be asking the wrong question.
21 Feb 2019
CEO Ryan Petersen tells JOC.com Flexport will use the new funding to build out its physical infrastructure and scale up its engineering team, not for mergers and acquisitions.
San Francisco.
18 Sep 2018
Tech startup Flexport’s rockstar status in the international logistics sector means it's under the microscope concerning volume, whether it can produce a profitable business model or achieve a profitable exit for its investors, and what it actually does that represents a fundamental break in the forwarding industry.
Flexport now dominates a widening group of technology-driven service providers changing the container transport business.
30 Jan 2018
San Francisco-based digital forwarder Flexport has entered a very competitive sector – one that’s highly fragmented and with low margins.