September 24, 2018
Socks on a mission: how Bombas reaches its goals with Flexport
Bombas is a New York City-based sock company on a mission to create the world’s best everyday socks. In addition to pushing the limits on what makes a great sock, Bombas has a greater mission: for each pair sold, one pair of socks is donated to communities in need across the United States.
As a fast-growing brand, Bombas faced hurdles in scaling its operations to meet demand. From launching new products to managing distribution for its core and donation business, Bombas was in need of a logistics partner who could help them optimize their supply chain operations for growth.
In Flexport, Bombas found a total forwarding solution. With a digital platform that provides visibility into shipment status and a consultative account team that advises on operational strategy, Bombas saves time and money on their way to reaching the milestone of 10 million socks donated.
“For a growing company, I can’t stress how important it is to launch products quickly and without delays; working with Flexport as our forwarder has been so instrumental in helping us do just that.”
‒ Andrew Heath, COO of Bombas
- 30% time saved on reviewing and booking shipments since switching to Flexport
- 60 days saved in a special project enabling the donation of 1.2 million socks
- 90% reduction in email exchange regarding freight since working on the Flexport platform
When Bombas co-founders Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg heard that socks were the most-requested item at homeless shelters, they resolved to do something about it. Two years and many design iterations later, they created the first Bombas sock with a promise of one pair donated for each sold.
“We really started at ground zero,” says Andrew Heath, COO of Bombas. “Initially we were managing our shipments on a whiteboard; when we ran out of space, we switched to a spreadsheet. We quickly found that sending spreadsheets back and forth with our forwarder wasn’t going to work long-term.”
With a growing demand for their product came a growing quantity of shipments to manage. “We knew it wasn’t scalable to hire additional teammates just to track our shipments as the business grew,” says Heath. “We thought technology could help solve this problem ‒ that’s where Flexport came in.”
Platform plus people
One of the key factors in choosing Flexport was its digital platform. “No matter who your forwarder is, there are certain things out of your control, like weather delays,” says Drew Morrison, Director of Operations. “The real-time notifications and transparency provided by the Flexport platform have been game changers. We no longer have to guess what’s happening with our shipments — we always know what’s going on.”
With the launch of new products, Bombas looked to their forwarder to advise on logistics strategy. “We worked with our Flexport team to devise a plan for moving our distribution from New Jersey to California, reducing ocean shipment transit time from 28 to 18 days,” says Morrison. “For a growing company, I can’t stress how important it is to launch products quickly and without delays,” adds Heath. “Working with Flexport as our forwarder to cut down on shipment transit time has been so instrumental in helping us do just that.”
Bombas has also worked with Flexport to move their donations more strategically. “Flexport helped us move 1.2 million socks directly from our factory to our donation partners. They advised on where to consolidate shipments to save on cost and time, ultimately getting those socks to our donation partners 60 days earlier than anticipated,” says Morrison.
10 million and beyond
Having almost reached the milestone of 10 million pairs of socks donated, Bombas is just getting started. In 2018, they expanded into wholesale partnerships with Nordstrom and Dick’s Sporting Goods and are now working on launching performance hiking and running socks, as well as expanding into other product categories.
“Our Flexport team was just advising us this morning on which HTS code to use for our new products,” says Morrison. “Having a team at Flexport who is with us every step of the way makes a huge difference.”
For more information as to how to get started with Flexport, contact us here or at (855) FLEX-123.