Flexport, a freight forwarder that says its homegrown technology to automate supply chain processes and enhance customer experience provides an advantage over traditional rivals, on Thursday announced the launch of a tool on Shopify aimed at helping smaller companies navigate international ocean trade.
The app is the first large product launch resulting from the strategic relationship formed a year ago when the e-commerce platform participated in a $935 million funding round for Flexport. The companies say they are working together to build Shopify’s logistics network and provide a common user experience for business with products sourced overseas.
Small and medium-size businesses that use Shopify as their storefront can easily quote, book and track less-than-container load and full container load services through the portal, with Flexport managing all the logistics and customs clearance on the back end. Merchants will also have access to cargo insurance, real-time cost estimates, and high-level reporting and analytics, according to Flexport.
The app is the first of many products Flexport says it intends to specially design for small and midsize businesses as it pivots from focusing on enterprise shippers.
“Shopify and Flexport share a joint vision of breaking down global supply chain barriers for businesses of all sizes. [The new app] enables any merchant to connect their supply chain to Shop Promise, without requiring any supply chain expertise,” said Aaron Brown, CEO of Shopify Logistics.
Currently, Flexport provides technology and freight services to many fast-growing businesses, such as Bombas, Parade and Cotopaxi. In December, Flexport appointed Parisa Sadrzadeh as senior vice president of SMB product and technology to lead a business organization building FreightTech products that can simplify trade for small shippers.
Flexport and Shopify have made large cuts to their respective workforces in recent months as trade and e-commerce sales slowed from pandemic highs.