Flexport, the San Francisco-based online forwarder, has focused mostly on moving seafreight since it’s launch in 2013, but its portfolio may soon be expanding significantly into the air sector following last week’s announcement of a US$100 million investment in the company by China’s express carrier SF Express.
Flexport told Air Cargo World that it would use the funds to “grow its core business” operations in China and develop its Asia-North America trade lane. “The capital allows us to keep investing in delivering the best user experience, collaboration tools, and supply chain analytics for growing brands,” said Parker Ward, Flexport’s director of content marketing and communications.
In a Flexport statement, CEO and founder Ryan Petersen said the company’s mission is “to make global trade easy for everyone,” adding that “the investment by SF Express, one of the world’s top couriers, will let us create more value for businesses shipping freight internationally.”
This year, Flexport said it planned to double its global warehousing footprint and open new offices in Hamburg, Chicago, Taiwan and Shanghai. Last year, the company greatly expanded its revenues while opening new offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Shenzhen.
Last fall, the forwarder has launched its own airfreight operation between Hong Kong and Los Angeles through a deal with Western Global. “As for the HK-LAX air cargo route, we’ve gotten great feedback from clients so far, and will expand the flight from twice a week up to three times a week as we approach peak season later this year,” Ward told Air Cargo World.
Other investors in Flexport include First Round Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Founders Fund, DST and Y Combinator.
The company added that in the past year, it has shipped $3.8 billion worth of merchandise to 97 countries for various clients, including Warby Parker, Peloton, Ring, Bridgestone and Georgia Pacific.