From Amsterdam to the world

Flexport is bringing the business of international cargo shipment into the digital age. The San Francisco-based company has raised more than $28-million in venture capital to help make it faster, easier and less expensive for companies to ship freight around the world.

To serve its ever-growing customer base, the company expanded its operations to New York, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands in 2016, and it now maintains its European headquarters in Amsterdam. Over the next year, the company plans to increase its Amsterdam staff to around 25 employees.

As the scale-up company explains, its choice for Amsterdam was an easy one. Amsterdam is close to Europe’s largest ocean port in Rotterdam, and it has the third-largest cargo airport in Europe, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Likewise, the Port of Amsterdam itself is in one of the world’s main logistics hubs. In addition, Amsterdam is ideally located as a distribution hub: 80% of the EU’s spending power can be accessed in under 24 hours by truck. It is the strategic location within Europe that ensures excellent connections to all major European markets., with cargo transhipment of more than 95 million tonnes per year (PDF). Working in the same region and time zone as their European clients was also an important consideration for Flexport.

Easy to set up shop in Amsterdam

According to Flexport COO, Sanne Manders, the Netherlands stood out for a number of reasons. “First of all, the Netherlands is a distribution country; the logistics infrastructure here is very good,” he said. “It’s also a great place to recruit European talent. That, and the fact that everyone here speaks English means we can serve our entire European customer base from here in Amsterdam.”

“The Dutch government has been extremely helpful in getting us set up,” Manders continued. “They cut away a lot of red tape and made it very easy for us to transfer our foreign employees to the Netherlands. Both the NFIA and StartupDelta have been very proactive in paving the way for us to do business here.”