Flexport is closing in on a $1 billion valuation, and reports that it almost tripled its ocean volume in 2017. The digital forwarder, that launched four years ago, handled 80,000 TEU in 2017, a significant increase from 30,000 TEU in 2016.
Since launching, Flexport has attracted substantially higher levels levels of investment than most other tech-enabled companies. Most notable was Flexport’s $110 million Series C funding round in late 2017. The forwarder and customs broker recently opened its eighth global office in Hamburg, Germany. The downside for Flexport is that it faces strong investor expectations on returns in a historically low-margin, fragmented business, in which their volume is a fraction of those they are targeting.
Flexport now dominates a widening group of technology-driven service providers, that are changing the container transport business. The company's solutions range from big data analytics to trade management to rate marketplaces and automated documentation.