An international freight forwarder and logistics platform, Flexport, is coming to a former coworking space in Rittenhouse Square. The new office will be Flexport’s fifteenth global location, and is intended to serve the company’s mid-Atlantic customers. According to the company, there is a growing demand for freight services in this region.
The new office will be located at 1430 Walnut Street, right in the midst of Center City’s most populous quarter. The move comes hot on the heels of Flexport opening locations in Atlanta and New York.
So what does “freight forwarder and logistics platform” mean? It confounded me at first, if I’m going to be honest. Flexport works with imports and exports, marrying technology with physical logistics infrastructure like planes and warehouses to assist their worldwide customers move, finance and make decisions about their freight. Conveniently, the RittSquare office will be located about 20 short minutes from the Port of Philadelphia, which has reported a 166 percent increase in shipping containers coming through in the last ten years.
A skeleton crew of just eight people will open the Philadelphia office, but Flexport has announced that, in the next few years, the location could staff around 100 people, adding to the global roster of over 1,100 employees. Kaitlyn Glancy, the general manager, said that most positions will involve sales, account management, and operations and customs. Glancy and senior director of operations Ken Fong will head up the crew. She has experience, having opened the New York office, and states that with the new location’s proximity not just to the port, but to top universities, Flexport will build up its expertise and physical infrastructure.
“With its reach through the Northeast and west to Chicago, PhilaPort’s growing capacity, and a world-class talent pool, the Philadelphia office presents a strategic opportunity that we simply can’t pass up,” Glancy said.
Flexport was born in 2013 in San Francisco and has since blossomed to include eleven worldwide offices and four warehouses. As of this past February, the company had secured $1 billion in funding through SoftBank Vision Fund.