The New Way Forward

Silicon Valley-based modern freight forwarder Flexport set foot in Hong Kong to fulfil its global expansion plan.

Backed by some of the top investors in the world such as Founders Fund, DST Global, Cherubic Ventures, Susa Ventures and SF Express, plus the recent investment from Softbank Vision Fund, Flexport brings together technology, infrastructure and expertise in  delivering a more modern, dramatically better freight forwarding experience that enables businesses of all kinds to import and export globally.
In Flexport’s terms, they are here to “redefine how companies manage their global supply chain”.
“The service we offer is freight forwarding, but the added-value that we offer is much more than that,” said Henry Ko, Managing Director of Asia, “we use technology, infrastructure and expertise to solve pain points in the complex logistics process and deliver real-time visibility and control. This is a far better freight forwarding experience with an ultimate goal to upgrade the industry.” 
Flexport is a technology-driven with a strategic operating model for modern businesses that powers more transparent, agile, efficient and profitable global supply chains. At the core of its logistics solution is a purpose-built cloud software that streamlines workflow and facilitate resources management. From a shipper’s point of view, it is a one-stop dashboard that shows real-time data from freight tracking to billing to analytics. 
Flexport set up its office in Hong Kong in 2016 with a team of 25 and is expanding quickly in the city with a plan to increase to 250 staff by the end of 2019. Henry appreciated the support provided by InvestHK, especially in identifying office spaces, networking, work visa advice as well as media exposure.
“The Hong Kong office not only serves local clients, it also covers Mainland China and South East Asia region,” Ko said, “we need a team that stations in the right time zone so as to ensure service quality and timeliness.”
Ko agreed that the talent pool in Hong Kong is crucial for Flexport’s development in the region. “Hong Kong provides a rich talent pool where you can find an abundant supply of individuals with international background as well as a global vision. With the company’s pioneering business model, we need to hire people who are extremely open-minded and hungry for knowledge, and Hong Kong is never short of such talent,” he added. 
In Ko’s views, Hong Kong’s location and professional advantages can facilitate the Greater Bay Area initiative. “The development of the Greater Bay Area will boost cargo growth, which will help accelerate Hong Kong’s air freight infrastructure, further strengthening the status of Hong Kong as an international logistics hub. To prepare for the rising cargo volume, it is in Flexport’s plan to expand the capacity of our warehouse close to the airport, add scheduled freighter offerings on key trade lanes, or signing more airline carriage contracts to increase service offerings.” he remarked.
“The sophisticated professional services that Hong Kong offers such as finance, accounting and compliance also further strengthen its position in international trade,” Ko concluded.


Fast Facts

  • Founded in San Francisco, California in 2013, set up its office in Hong Kong in April 2016
  • Flexport today has 15 offices and warehouses to serve more than 10,000 clients and suppliers across 109 countries, offering a full range of technology driven freight forwarding services
  • With currently over 150 employees, Flexport plans to expand the Hong Kong office to 250 employees by the end of 2019

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