July 27, 2016
Flexport Goes Global: Expansion to Amsterdam, Hong Kong, New York City
Flexport is the first technology-driven freight forwarder: we use software to improve the user experience and reduce the transaction costs of global freight, and as a result our growth is exploding. In the past year we’ve grown headcount by 5X, revenue by 10X, and onboarded more than 700 active clients.
We are excited to announce that Flexport is opening three new offices to offer our clients better service, lower rates, and stronger partnerships with asset owners. Read on to find out more about the offices we’re opening, why we chose these locations, and what our clients can look forward to as a result.
Flexport’s European offices will be established in Amsterdam. We’ve chosen Amsterdam for several reasons:
A hub for both technology and logistics. Last year we were visited by Neelie Kroes, the former European Commissioner for Digital Agenda and active Board member of global companies such as Salesforce.com. Ms. Kroes convinced us that Amsterdam is an ideal site for expansion; Flexport joins companies like Uber and Optimizely in choosing the city as headquarters for European operations.
Amsterdam is also close to Europe’s largest ocean port, and third largest cargo airport. In addition, it’s ideally situated as a distribution hub to the rest of Europe; 80% of the EU’s spending power can be reached in under 24 hours by truck.
Proximity to our European clients. Working in the same region and time zone as our European clients allows us to provide better customer service more timely communication.
Local expertise. Importing to the EU requires an additional domain of regulatory expertise (e.g., EORI, VAT, IOR). Our Amsterdam team’s regional expertise is essential to our clients’ success.
Our COO is from Amsterdam! Flexport COO Sanne Manders is an Amsterdam native and currently serves on the technology advisory board of the nearby Port of Rotterdam.
Jan van Casteren has been leading the Amsterdam team since January 2016. Jan was most recently a project leader for the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with the boards of large logistics and transportation companies. He earned an MBA from INSEAD in Singapore and a MSc in Information Science from Tilburg University. In addition to bringing better freight forwarding to more clients, Jan will help Flexport build a greater network of logistics partners in Europe.
(Jan van Casteren, leading our Amsterdam office.)
Flexport Hong Kong
We chose to locate an office in Hong Kong for the following reasons:
A center of global trade. Hong Kong is served by two of the largest ocean ports in the world: the Port of Hong Kong and the Port of Shenzhen. It also hosts the world’s busiest cargo airport: air cargo from Shenzhen and southern China moves mostly out of HKG airport, which has many more international air connections than airports in Guangdong Province.
It’s a five-hour flight away from Asia’s largest cities, including Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, and Singapore. Hong Kong’s status as a free trade port and its abundance of import-export companies make it the natural headquarters of Flexport Asia.
Proximity to our partners. Working in the same region and time zone as our partners allows the Hong Kong team to build closer relationships and more easily resolve urgent issues at the point of origin.
Henry Ko leads our Hong Kong office. Henry has held senior positions at DHL and SF Express, and was previously General Manager at Li & Fung, the sourcing, production, and logistics company. Among his numerous accomplishments, Henry was the youngest person to be made General Manager in the firm’s history. He earned a JD and an EMBA from the City University of Hong Kong. Henry will lead Flexport’s efforts to work with Chinese brands to move shipments from Greater China and Southeast Asia to the United States and Europe.
(Henry Ko, leading our Hong Kong office.)
Flexport New York City
We chose to locate an office in New York for the following reasons:
The headquarters of U.S. commerce. New York has one of the world’s densest concentrations of great brands, including many of our best clients. Local presence in the region allows us to provide East Coast clients with a higher standard of service.
**Gateway to the U.S. East Coast. The Port of New York and New Jersey is the largest port on the East Coast, and the third-largest in the nation. Over $200 billion USD of cargo was handled through this port.
With the recent Panama Canal expansion, we expect additional cost effective routing options for Flexport clients that are based on the Gulf and East Coast.**
Justin Schafer leads our New York office. An early employee and a leader on our sales team, Justin understands what businesses need in an end-to-end logistics partner. He already manages some of our biggest client relationships on the East Coast, and will lead our growing New York team to help even more clients gain supply chain visibility with Flexport.
(Justin Schafer, leading our New York City office.)
Flexport is a freight forwarder for the Internet age. At each of these new offices, we’re looking for talented people who care about creating a better experience for global trade.
Take a look at our open positions to join a growing team!