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Flexport

Consumer Goods

Shark Deterrent Technology Leader Sharkbanz Streamlines Global Shipments with Flexport’s Flow Direct

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Impact By The Numbers

$70,000

in extra sales generated

117,727

total units shipped with Flexport

Sharkbanz, co-founded by Nathan Garrison and his father in 2014, provides shark deterrent solutions for all ocean-goers and fishermen dealing with shark attacks.

Their flagship product is the first wearable band that surfers, divers, swimmers, beach-goers, and even Navy SEALS wear on their wrists or ankles to deter sharks. As part of their company mission, Sharkbanz optimizes their technology to help ocean-focused industries grow. One example of this in practice is the fishing industry’s use of Sharkbanz to stop sharks from devouring a catch. This innovative brand constantly pushes the envelope on what their technology can help accomplish.

Rapid Growth Powered by Flow Direct’s End-to-End Freight Solution

As Sharkbanz expanded their e-commerce infrastructure in the U.S. and overseas, they faced challenges with navigating LCL shipments mangled by inefficiencies across the end-to-end freight journey. They dealt with partners with different shipping rules regarding acceptable types of pallets, how tall they could be, etc. These bottlenecks seem small on the surface, but they cause compounding shipping challenges, delays, and higher logistics costs.

The objective for Sharkbanz was to eliminate deconsolidation inefficiencies in LCL shipments across their supply chain. They dealt with pandemic-related shipping challenges like any other e-commerce brand but wanted to make improvements wherever they could. Flexport’s Flow Direct was the answer.

Today, Sharkbanz benefits from transit times that are nearly half that of industry standards.

Flow Direct is our end-to-end global shipping solution designed for e-commerce brands, powered by the Flexport Platform and our growing fulfillment network of 3PLs like ShipBob. Flow Direct helps brands bring inventory to market faster with complete visibility and tracking for every step of the shipment journey.

“The big benefit of Flow Direct is eliminating the deconsolidation process. In our case, ShipBob and Flexport talked to each other from the first day of the shipment creation process. I can say in all of my time moving products that this wasn't happening with other logistics partners. Flexport’s Flow Direct brought us a huge improvement in communication.”

  • Nathan Garrison, Co-Founder, Sharkbanz

Transparent communication and easy collaboration are crucial to success, and Sharkbanz lacked these in their supply chain for a long time. Eliminating inefficiencies is often easier said than done, but the reality is that investing in a data-powered logistics tech stack is vital to compete–and in Sharkbanz’s case, confidently grow their e-commerce sales volume and customer base around the world.

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Getting Ahead With The Right Logistics Partner by Their Side

By partnering with trusted 3PLs like ShipBob through Flow Direct, we offer visibility, which ultimately helps brands move inventory from factory floors to warehouses to customers’ doors more efficiently.

For instance, Flow Directs helps brands see where their shipments are en route, how many days are left in the freight journey, expected delivery dates, etc. This end-to-end visibility offers more peace of mind and efficiency, which can mean everything when newer e-commerce brands compete against big enterprise players.

“Flow Direct allowed us to significantly shorten typical Asia to U.S. ocean freight schedules, which made our inventory available for customers to order more than two weeks ahead of traditional timelines.”

  • Nathan Garrison, Co-Founder, Sharkbanz

Rapidly growing brands need visibility and control over their supply chains as opposed to working with spreadsheets, emails, and phone calls to freight forwarders to ask how a shipment is tracking. On the inventory side, even something as straightforward as understanding how many units are in stock at the SKU level and where those units are located helps brands stay competitive and in stock.

Being able to operate successfully in 2022 and beyond requires clear visibility into your supply chain in order to satisfy customers. With integrations like Flow Direct, Sharkbanz isn’t worried that they will fall behind anymore.

Setting Your Global Business Growth Goals

By working closely with leading 3PL fulfillment providers, we ship dedicated containers all the way from factories in China and other countries directly to fulfillment centers here in the U.S., providing fixed guaranteed sailing schedules for growing brands like Sharkbanz.

As rapidly growing brands like Sharkbanz reach new customers, it’s not uncommon for founders to involve themselves in the entire supply chain process. For Nathan, that meant wanting to understand everything that was involved with moving products from another country. By doing that, he quickly learned that he didn't have the time or bandwidth to manage the supply chain on top of running the entire business. Nathan didn’t want to cause bottlenecks just as much as he didn’t want his supply chain to cause them.

“The more efficiency that someone can create, the better their business will be. Because I could focus my time on sales and marketing instead of shipping operations, Flexport’s Flow Direct was a game-changer even for that reason alone.”

  • Nathan Garrison, Co-Founder, Sharkbanz

In their earlier years, Sharkbanz struggled to balance costs while keeping their inventory moving. But having shipment visibility through Flow Direct helped clarify information like how many units were coming into Los Angeles or what percentage of inventory they should move to Philadelphia. This was especially critical going into this year’s peak season when brands were dealing with new supply chain challenges daily.

“Flow Direct saved me over $15,000 so far both in direct cost savings but also in saved inventory that arrived in time for the holidays last year. We probably made an extra $70,000 in sales last year, which we couldn't have accomplished if we didn’t have products in stock.”

  • Nathan Garrison, Co-Founder, Sharkbanz

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Like With Any Retailer, The Customer is Always Right

As global e-commerce grows, so will opportunities for brands like Sharkbanz to add more shipping lanes and more customers in new markets. Today, Sharkbanz painlessly moves inventory between the U.S., Australia, and China because of the greater visibility and control over specific SKUs that Flexport provides. And as proven above, the growing cost savings generated by Flow Direct leads to steadier business growth in peak seasons.

Sharkbanz believes that at the end of the day, the customer is always right, and brands need to understand the shipping opportunities they have to keep customers happy. Whether someone is at home in Melbourne or Miami, Flow Direct helps brands stay on top of their inventory and resolves freight-related hurdles and headaches for founders like Nathan.

Key Takeaways

1.

Sharkbanz wanted to grow their customer base globally, but they faced freight inefficiencies.

2.

Flexport’s Flow Direct solution eliminated supply chain bottlenecks while freeing up their founder’s bandwidth to focus on growth.

3.

Today, Sharkbanz benefits from transit times that are nearly half that of industry standards.

  • Flexport’s Flow Direct saves us time and money in an area where the costs and timelines have been stagnant for years. I love seeing this innovation.

    Nathan Garrison
    Co-Founder, Sharkbanz

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