Working at Flexport | Glassdoor

Flexport Overview

San Francisco, CA
1001 to 5000 employees
2013
Company - Private
Logistics & Supply Chain
$500 million to $1 billion (USD) per year
Flexport is the Modern Freight Forwarder.

We're building an operating system for global trade that gives people across the globe the ability to trade freely without regard to boundaries or borders.

Flexport is both a ... Read more

Mission: Making global trade easy for everyone.

Company Updates

  • Big news!

    Freight Startup Flexport Hits $3.2 Billion Valuation After $1 Billion Investment Led By SoftBank

    His startup operates its own 747 aircraft and employs 1,066 people across 11 offices and four warehouses. He's tackling a market he calls "as ancient as mankind." So when Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen decided to raise venture capital to pour more rocket fuel on his freight-forwarding company's growth, it's no surprise he turned to the fund best-known in Silicon Valley for writing massive checks: SoftBank.

  • Windy City, we’re here to stay! We're excited to announce that we're opening up our second engineering office in Chicago.

    Flexport's Second Engineering Office: Trucking in Chicago

    This week, Flexport is relocating its trucking headquarters from San Francisco to Chicago, including engineering and product teams. My colleagues and I will join the existing (and growing!) operations and sales teams who opened the office last March. We are excited to expand Flexport's footprint in a city with a thriving tech scene and deep trucking logistics expertise.

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Flexport – Why Work For Us?


Flexport is the modern freight forwarder. We started Flexport with the belief that trade is a force for good, and that intuitive software and a new approach to service could change the trillion dollar industry of international shipping. Our team brings together industry veterans and newcomers alike, aligned in our commitment to solving hard problems and creating great client experiences.

We’re backed by Founders Fund, GV, Y Combinator, Bloomberg BETA, First Round, and other top VCs.


At Flexport, we are lifelong learners, entrepreneurs, decision makers, hard workers, and committed teammates. We are making drastic improvements to the supply chain networks that power global commerce.

As a Maker at Flexport, you will be trusted to build products that solve the toughest problems in global logistics and supply chain management.


Fast-paced environment

We are growing very quickly.

In the past year, Flexport opened international offices in Atlanta, Chicago and Hamburg. Shipment volume grew so much that we purchased huge warehouses in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Shenzhen. We also leased our own Boeing 747.

We did this with just 50 engineers.

At Flexport, product is built in three phases. In the first phase, the business blazes ahead, pursuing new business and doing things that don't scale - working with manual tools such as email, excel and paper. Once they get a feel for what works and what does not, product, design and engineering makers get involved to productize the workflow. As our products mature, we gradually bake in automation and cross-product intelligence.

When you join Flexport, you will ship code on your first day. You will be building a lot of product and designing flexible, high-quality solutions. To help you understand the broad scope of our mission, you will participate in a week-long crash course on the fundamentals of global trade. Your onboarding class will be flying in from offices around the world, and will consist of members in operations, sales, marketing, product, design, etc. We encourage you to regularly tap into the collective knowledge of your starting cohort to help you make the best decisions.


Product-driven

Global trade is more complex than you can imagine.

Our competitors were all formed before 1994. They took over the industry through human operational efficiencies. We plan to win with technology and automation. To digitize global trade, we have teams working on ocean and air shipping, trucking, warehousing, consolidation, customs, and other solutions. Unlike many startups, we found product market fit early.

We believe to build the best product in the most effective manner, engineering, design and product need to work closely with business early on in a product's lifecycle. As a result, engineers frequently have the opportunity to travel to improve product. Our trucking team meets customers across the US once a quarter. Our air team recently spent a week in Hong Kong to help load our plane. Our infrastructure team spent a week in China making sure our site was snappy.

Work/life balance

We play the long game. Your best work happens when you are refreshed.

We believe that to do your best work, you must feel good.

We have an unlimited vacation policy so that you are adequately rested.

We keep the office full of love by having Flexpups (Flexport puppies) around.

We have board game night every other Wednesday to add a healthy dose of competition.

We go on camping, biking, hiking, and rafting trips together.

We have a surprising number of roommates working here.


Open communication

Practice candor. Bias towards over communication. We practice a bottom-up culture.

We believe that open communication is key to success. To remain nimble, everyone is encouraged to speak with candor and action toward continuously improving. We hire driven people over industry experts because we believe that with open communication, we can learn, innovate and adapt quicker. The decision makers are those closest to the problems.

In the spirit of full transparency, Ryan, our CEO, holds an all-hands meeting once every two weeks to share global company updates. He actively encourages everyone with a thought or idea to Slack him directly.

In engineering, managers and reports have weekly 1:1s. Skip level meetings are also scheduled on a monthly cadence. We believe that maintaining an open communication channel enables individuals to comfortably voice their thoughts and receive the thoughtful attention required to maximize career growth.


Wears many hats

Fill the gap. We are growing quickly, so wear as many hats as you want.

Want to learn more about operations and the business side of Flexport? Phenomenal. Do it. Learn about their pain points and go build product to solve them.

Kevin built our permission policy system and single handedly ran our infrastructure for over a year. He flew to our Shenzhen office to improve site performance behind the Great Firewall.

Chase, an engineer who recently transitioned into an engineering manager, led our customs team for a year. He spoke with our operations squads and customs brokers on a daily basis. He created the product specs, coded solutions, and assembled the engineering team.


Promotes from within

People are taken care of.

Flexport is great because of its people. Most ideas and initiatives are driven from the ground up by incredible stars, who also help their teammates execute and grow. We regularly promote and empower those who exemplify our values.

Yan joined Flexport as a junior engineer on the Network team, whose goal is to construct the social graph of global trade. Her initial project included de-duplicating addresses across all the locations that our clients move cargo through, which resulted in cleaner data and smoother operations. She later designed and implemented the ability to "promote" a Flexport client's entered connections into proper companies in the system so that new clients could onboard more easily. As she continued to deliver, the complexity of her projects grew. Most recently, she built an enterprise-grade rule-based subscription engine that lets users define custom rules to subscribe to only shipment events that they care about. Yan was soon promoted and recognized for her great work.

When Will joined the engineering team in January 2016, he saw that despite all the cargo we were moving around the world, we had no carbon offset program. Together with Susy, he drove Flexport's partnership with the Carbonfund.org Foundation, built carbon emissions reporting, and provided a way for our customers to sign up. Right after that, he made it possible for Flexport to model and coordinate the allocation of cargo onto carrier ships. Along the way, he wrote detailed design docs, mentored his teammates, and acted as the glue between product, business and engineering. Since then, he has been promoted to staff engineer and is tech lead for the ocean automation team.


Light meetings

We are firm believers in Deep Work.

In order to perform cognitively complex tasks, we believe you need a distraction-free environment. Our engineering and product managers carry the burden of extraneous or tangential meetings so that you can focus and experience the true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. Meetings have a clear agenda and result in clearly owned action items. We like efficiency.

Engineering teams have the freedom to independently adopt their own practices. It's up to you and your teammates to decide the environment you want. If you enjoy pair programming, bring it up. If you like having more structure - daily standups, retrospectives, sprints, etc., try it out with your team.


Impressive team members

Our leaders come from impressive backgrounds. They have deep domain knowledge, have founded multi-million dollar startups in the past, and/or have managed teams handling hundreds of millions of dollars in assets. We have the logistics jedis necessary to lead us down the right path.

Our engineers come from a variety of backgrounds, and we take special pride in that. We have seasoned engineers from the large, successful tech companies, who bring industry best practices and high standards. At the other end of the spectrum, we also have a lot of product-minded ex-founders who bias towards getting things done. As long as we can maintain a healthy balance, we are optimistic about our future.

Make Global Trade Easy For Everyone.

That's our mission, and it’s an ambitious one. The world of global logistics is dominated by telephones, fax machines, and too many layers of process. Flexport replaces these outdated systems with technology, offering software along with the services of experienced logistics and customs experts. We're working to create a new generation of entrepreneurs who can benefit from global trade.

Flexport is the freight forwarder for modern logistics teams. "What we do at Flexport" explains what we mean.

At Flexport, we invest in our employees from day one. Flexport Academy is a one week intensive onboarding program designed specifically to set every new employee up for success. You'll learn about the freight forwarding industry, culture and values, and have the opportunity to build relationships and collaborate with your fellow incoming global new hires. If you're looking for a company that is committed to investing in you, come join us and do some of the most meaningful work in your life.

We also believe there’s always an opportunity to learn, even after you’re no longer “new.” Order any book you want for your office’s library to read and share (The Box is popular here). Attend one of our “Speaker Series” talks - Emily Chang visited us in 2018. Participate in our Hack-a-thons that bring people from every department together to brainstorm big ideas, implement product and process improvements, and dream up punny team names (like What the Truck?).

Flexport Reviews

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Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen
Ryan Petersen
66 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (4)

    "A place to make a big impact"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Data Scientist in San Francisco, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Flexport full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    * One of the rare tech companies doing something concrete in the real physical world
    *High growth means lots of easy, high impact projects
    * Great work-life balance (kids and dogs in the office, unlimited PTO)

    Cons

    * International freight is very complicated, and it can be overwhelming to try to understand it all--give yourself six months

    Advice to Management

    * Go harder after new markets (e,g,. S. America)
    * Grow the data science team faster!
    * I wish management would push us to work on harder, longer-term projects

See All 102 Reviews

Flexport Photos

Flexport photo of: Our booth at CES
Flexport photo of: Pull request culture
Flexport photo of: Beanie Babies - Halloween 2018
Flexport photo of: Engineering at Women Who Code 2018
Flexport photo of: New Warehouse Opening! SHZ FlexHouse
Flexport photo of: Flexport Week of Action: Making Amsterdam Clean Again
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Flexport Interviews

Experience

Experience
44%
24%
32%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
61%
19%
12%
5
1
1
1

Difficulty

2.8
Average

Difficulty

Hard
Average
Easy
  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (10)  

    Data Operations Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied online. I interviewed at Flexport.

    Interview

    Initial informational call, then a two hour case-based interview with three team members, then a 30 min interview with the head of Data Operations. Only spoke with actual members of the Data Operations team rather than HR personnel which was refreshing. Didn't require extensive research, just basic knowledge of the shipping industry.

    Interview Questions

    • What work environment do you thrive in?   1 Answer
    • What are the biggest upcoming challenges you see for Flexport?   1 Answer
See All 241 Interviews

Flexport Awards & Accolades

  • 10 Fastest-Growing Companies in America, Inc. 5000, 2018
  • The 50 Most Sought-After Startups In The U.S., LinkedIn Top Startups, 2018
  • Freight Forwarder Of The Year, Lloyd’s Loading List, 2018
  • Great Companies To Apply To, Breakout List, 2019
  • Top 100 Places To Work In NYC, BuiltIn NYC, 2019
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Pledges & Certifications

Pay Equality Pledge

Committed to paying equitably for equal work & experience

Tech Hiring Commitment

Helping to train, hire and promote more technology workers

Career Advancement Program

Helping employees "upskill" into higher-paying positions

Diversity Commitment

Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

Veteran Hiring Commitment

Committed to helping America's military veterans find work

Pledge to Thrive

Taking steps to prioritize employee well-being

First Job Programs

Maintain entry-level hiring and career development programs to give people career starts

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