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Consumer Goods

How MiiR Increased Shipping Volume to Meet Demand and Offset 822 Tons of Carbon

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Impact By The Numbers

822

tons of carbon offset via Flexport.org

146%

increase in ocean volume from 2019 to 2022 (YTD)

MiiR, an impact-driven drinkware company, offers premium stainless steel cups and containers that deliver an unmatched drink experience. With a mission centered around sustainability and impact, MiiR puts people first in everything they do, from initiatives focused on reducing their environmental footprint to user-centric product design practices. Through their partnership with Flexport, they’re able to meet demand and delight customers, all while actively supporting a better future for the planet.

With numerous suppliers and vendors, MiiR sources its products from experienced suppliers with aligned company values and strong ethical and sustainable programs. Broadly shipping from Ningbo and Shanghai, China into Washington state, MiiR’s supplier network can be broken up into two primary segments—overseas and domestic. As MiiR’s drinkware are highly specialized, they predominantly source their drinkware from a region of China, which is responsible for roughly 90%+ of all vacuum-ventilated bottles globally.

Once the products are shipped into the United States, many end up at various domestic print vendors that enable the high degree of customization MiiR offers their customers.

It’s through this combination of a broad domestic vendor base and a highly specialized set of suppliers that MiiR can partner with household names like Patagonia, REI, Starbucks and Blue Bottle, as well as the local coffee shop or record store down the block.

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A Single Platform To Ship Containers and Locate Critical Data

In 2019, MiiR needed less than 50 containers for the year. Fast forward three years later, that number has grown to hundreds. This exponential demand was stymied by the record-breaking supply chain congestion, surging ocean rates, and chaos brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly MiiR found themselves in a similar position as many companies—securing containers to move their goods and keep up with a spike in demand.

With Flexport as their freight forwarder, MiiR has been able to continuously secure mission-critical containers and keep their eager customer base happy with highly-anticipated new product launches and on time deliveries. In a market where every container matters, Flexport allowed MiiR to meet demand at critical sale periods when supply is limited, including Lunar New Year.

It’s always a struggle to get product out right before Chinese New Year. With the most recent Chinese New Year, we were able to get every container that we planned for–due to the combination of being flexible and working with Flexport.

  • Per Miller, Director of Procurement & Logistics, MiiR

Flexport’s system has allowed Per Miller, MiiR’s Director of Procurement & Logistics, to manage MiiR’s containers through a single platform, streamlining the facilitation of inbound customs and delivery. With Flexport, Miir is able to consolidate communications from as many as ten partners into one platform. This single chain of communications helped Per manage MiiR’s growth without investing in additional headcount.

Valuable Insights To Unlock Business & Social Impact Opportunities

Beyond the biweekly calls with his domestic Flexport team, Per can easily connect with a member of the Flexport origin team based in Ningbo and Shanghai. This level of availability can make all the difference when securing a container, even when the ocean freight market is impacted by port strikes or Covid-19 outbreaks.

Flexport’s regular communication coupled with the monthly Freight Market Update webinars arms Per with a better understanding of how their supply chain will be impacted by external factors and events. Internally Per is able to take this information to his team at MiiR, increasing his own stakeholder management.

The critical data and information provided through the tech platform has unlocked vast opportunities for Per. As Per explains, “As Flexport is a tech-forward company in a very old industry, it’s fascinating to see what data we have on-hand to make better decisions.”

Flexport’s high-degree of accuracy when it comes to expected costs and lead times has an indirect impact on MiiR’s forecasting for both customer satisfaction and final costs. By working with Flexport, they can confidently secure the needed containers and meet demand from customers in a timely manner.

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The ability to access this data and information impacts a number of day-to-day operations for Per, from the monthly freight accrual processes with MiiR’s accounting team, to customs import checks. MiiR also recently partnered with Flexport.org to advance their climate-neutral and climate-positive goals, and are now able to unlock key data around sustainability, like cubic meters of carbon they’ve offset—all within the Flexport platform.

For MiiR, Business Is About More Than Just the Numbers

At a time when destructive climate change-related disasters are imacting people and our planet, MiiR has doubled down on their commitment to sustainability. In 2021, the company expanded their definition of impact beyond their longstanding grantmaking to incorporate a multi-step approach to advancing sustainability within their supply chain. Across their product, packaging, and partnerships with suppliers, MiiR set out to reduce their environmental footprint and have identified ambitious goals around measurement, carbon offsets, and reduced reliance on air freight.

More recently, Flexport.org has been a key partner for establishing this baseline data and measuring their carbon footprint. Since the start of the partnership, MiiR has offset 822 tons of carbon, which is the same footprint as carbon sequestered by 966 acres of US forests in a year.

MiiR has also allocated products to donation programs within the Flexport.org arm, providing drinkware & food containers to nonprofits including FEMA and Northwest Harvest to support organizations across the United States. MiiR continues to aim high with their promise to people and to the planet, and with Flexport, they are able to deliver on both.

Key Takeaways

1.

With suppliers in both China and the U.S., MiiR offers highly customizable products that are ethically-sourced and sustainable.

2.

Despite pandemic-induced supply chain disruptions, MiiR met massive growth in demand by securing mission-critical containers they needed via Flexport.

3.

Flexport.org helps MiiR meet ambitious carbon reduction targets and donate products to nonprofits like FEMA and Northwest Harvest.

  • It’s been interesting to see how much better freight forwarding can be with better data, better access to that data, and better communication of the insights from this data.

    Per Miller
    Director of Procurement & Logistics, MiiR

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