By the Numbers
reduction in landed costs
A direct-to-consumer luggage company, Arlo Skye needed a trade financing solution that could adapt to the seasonality of their industry while lowering landed costs. But despite strong growth, the three-year-old business had difficulty finding flexible options for working capital.
Working with Flexport Capital, the company was able to secure trade financing that works with the ebbs and flows of their business, in turn allowing for investments in product innovation and lowering costs.
"For us, the ability to work with the Flexport Capital group to build our financing options around our business seasonality was key."
A three-year-old, direct-to-consumer luggage brand, Arlo Skye began with a singular goal — to offer travelers well-designed, functional luggage pieces at more competitive prices than traditional luxury luggage brands. Based out of New York City, Arlo Skye was founded by Mayur Bhatnagar and co-founder Mauricio Issa Llano. The brand has won several design awards, launched collaborations with Audi and Sight Unseen, and has been featured in Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times, Hypebeast, and Vogue.
As a small business, one of the aspects Issa Llano and Bhatnagar have come to value most in their strategic partnerships is simplicity. The pair has found that wearing many hats in a small, growing business leaves precious little time to manage relationships with suppliers, factories, financing solutions, and freight forwarders. And simplicity is precisely what led Arlo Skye to Flexport.
“It was our pursuit of simplicity that first introduced us to Flexport’s freight forwarding services,” explains Bhatnagar. “Before Flexport, our freight vendors were a disaster. We would work with five different shippers for five different shipments, and we had no transparency. After we switched, everything was smoother, we were being charged fair prices, and we realized several key benefits — including lower landed costs.”
Expanding the Business
Freight forwarding proved to be just the first step in Arlo Skye’s partnership with Flexport. As the business continues to grow, Bhatnagar and Issa Llano have realized that running a lean business also presents challenges. Most notably, securing trade financing has proved difficult despite Arlo Skye’s growth.
“When you work with physical products, there are frequent capital outlays,” says Bhatnagar. “The most obvious option for securing working capital is a loan from a traditional bank. For us, however, we had trouble finding terms that worked for our business, despite showing strong growth. Large banks just didn’t quite understand the speed at which we operate and our need for financial flexibility.”
Working alongside the Flexport Capital team, Arlo Skye was able to quickly and easily secure the capital necessary to increase order sizes, save money, and accommodate the seasonal ebbs and flows of their business.
“For us, the ability to work with the Flexport Capital group to build our financing options around our business seasonality was key,” adds Bhatnagar. “We have a big boom in summer when travel season is at its peak and again at Christmas. However, because of long production cycles, we have to plan and order enormous amounts of stock in the slow periods. Working alongside Flexport Capital, we can tailor our financial terms at the purchase order level because they understand the ebbs and flows of our supply chain.”
The Sky’s the Limit
Working with Flexport Capital, Arlo Skye has been able to reduce landed costs by 5% by placing larger orders made possible by easier access to capital. The business is poised for 70% year-over-year growth despite tariff increases and continued uncertainty.
“Having Flexport and Flexport Capital as partners allows us to think more strategically and holistically about long term growth,” explains Bhatnagar. “We can make larger buys and find more competitive prices, as well as open new markets and sales channels because we are no longer stock constrained. It’s refreshing to work with a partner like Flexport that is investing in helping us grow so we can both mutually benefit.”
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