The transportation and logistics sector is being transformed by the Internet. Roughly $8.3 trillion is spent on logistics every year globally but the industry still relies on faxing papers, spreadsheets, and other means of organizing and keeping track of shipments. However, entrepreneurs have been launching firms meant to “platformize” the shipping industry. In this paper, I analyze a recently formed San Francisco firm, Flexport, a company developing a platform to reinvent global logistics. Flexport is among many other companies in the Silicon Valley and San Francisco area that using new digital technologies to revolutionize the traditional methods of work by providing a web-based platform for their customers. As part of the “platform economy,” Flexport provides a software application to assist its clients in managing the complexity of international trade...
March 18, 2016