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Flexport

Customer Success

How Inclusive Underwear Brand Parade Optimized its Supply Chain to Stay Ahead of Demand

Parade Box header

Key Results

85%

of all shipments delivered within the planned timeline

5.82M

total number of units shipped with Flexport

11

global suppliers onboarded to the Flexport Platform

Parade, the high-growth, inclusive underwear brand is shaking up the creative basics industry, optimizing their supply chain to achieve record growth even in the midst of a multi-year supply chain crisis.

While many retailers struggled to anticipate and keep up with demand at the onset of the pandemic, this direct-to-consumer brand has only seen non-stop growth since it was launched in October 2019. Valued at $140 million at the time of their Series B funding (in September 2021), Parade ended last year with threefold revenue growth. Their quick success in a market long-dominated by well-established players was driven by their digitally-savvy Gen-Z customer base, and an unwavering focus on size- and gender-inclusivity, and sustainability.

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Working behind-the-scenes to deliver on this growing demand is a logistics team of one: Shreya Maddireddy, Parade’s Director of Operations & Customer Experience. For Shreya, a highly-optimized supply chain is crucial to meet the surge of consumer demand they've experienced, while navigating the increasing complexity of global supply chains.

COVID-19 has made production and international shipping increasingly challenging and complicated, with delays and shutdowns constantly plaguing the supply chain. It forces us to continuously adapt, and makes for an incredibly fun problem to solve on a daily basis.

  • Shreya Maddireddy, Director of Operations & Customer Experience, Parade

Beyond the recent supply chain disruptions, Parade has had to solve for its own set of product-specific challenges, including seasonality, specific color options, and the sizing of the products. For a brand like Parade, product launches are tied closely to holidays like Valentine’s Day and Black Friday. Meeting these shipment arrival dates requires months of advance planning and coordination. The small size of their products and packaging only adds to this complexity by limiting their shipping options, as they are unable to choose full container load (FCL) ocean freight. While a furniture company might only require two hundred to three hundred chairs to fill a container, for Parade that would likely require be tens of thousands of units.

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At the end of the day, Parade’s main goal is to keep their customers happy with on-time deliveries. With a supply chain that spans multiple countries, including Vietnam, China, Mexico, Turkey, and the US, that goal wasn’t always easy. In Flexport, Parade found a freight-forwarding partner that has both the platform to streamline their supply chain and the expertise to navigate the world of international logistics to pursue that original goal.

One Source of Truth for Collaboration and Business-Critical Data

Shreya speaks to the value of the Flexport platform and the real-time insights it delivers: “I use the Flexport platform on a daily basis and I heavily rely on my Flexport team as an operations partner. It has been extremely helpful to have a one-stop shop to communicate with suppliers, manage shipments, file insurance claims, and even offset carbon emissions. Consolidating all this functionality and more on one platform makes the management of our supply chain seamless and streamlined.”

Beyond this coordination, the Flexport platform arms Shreya with the data that she and her teams need to make informed decisions about their supply chain operations. Flexport also enables Parade to optimize for their business and sustainability goals, while providing insights into metrics like number of units per shipment, cost per unit, and carbon offsets.

Through Flexport, I’m able to give my team important answers. As our supply chain impacts each team at Parade, Flexport is critical not just for me but also for working cross-functionally.

  • Shreya Maddireddy, Director of Operations & Customer Experience, Parade

This level of transparency and end-to-end track and trace data is mission- critical which is why Shreya exports this data on a daily basis and integrates it with her PO and warehouse tracking systems. This results in valuable stakeholder management improvements as it facilitates better collaborates across her team and keeps them up-to-date on the latest supply chain delays and updates.

Extend Parade's Logistics Team With Flexport's Experts

As a one-person logistics team, Shreya’s role at Parade encompasses international freight, warehouse logistics, D2C logistics, retail operations, and customer experience—with follow-up all the way until 30 days after purchase. This has made the support of Flexport’s customer success team that much more critical. Parade’s ability to navigate the surge in sales and continuous supply chain challenges is remarkable. Shreya credits Flexport's the client success team she works with for their valuable advice, creative problem-solving skills, and timely market insights that were all key to the brand's success despite the pandemic.

As a one-person team, it’s hard for me to pay attention to everything. I have had a huge amount of learning from my Flexport support team.

  • Shreya Maddireddy, Director of Operations & Customer Experience, Parade

Flexport's in-house experts have also been helpful in identifying more creative ways for Parade to navigate the supply chain delays that most brands are experiencing.

Walking the Talk on Sustainability

As a brand that prides itself on inclusivity, Parade's logistics team always strives to stay in stock for all sizes they offer, especially plus sizes. In addition to inclusivity, Parade believes there's a massive upside to focusing on sustainability. Shreya explains: "We're in a very scary climate crisis and the more that companies prioritize sustainability in their business, even companies that you wouldn't expect it from, it makes a huge difference."

Parade has already offset 522.56 TCO₂e in carbon emissions by working with Flexport.org.

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For a brand primarily serving millenial and Gen-Z audiences, trends move fast and shipments have to move even faster. Through the insights available via Flexport’s platform and the industry-leading expertise that the Flexport team provides, Shreya, Parade’s logistics team of one, can get ahead of consumer demand and optimize the company’s supply chain for continued growth, year after year.

  • Flexport has been really helpful in identifying creative ways for us to navigate the supply chain delays we're experiencing. International freight is very complex and fraught with problems, and Flexport has been a huge help to us.

    Shreya Maddireddy
    Head of Logistics and Customer Experience, Parade

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