Flexport launches OceanMatch to Lower Freight Shipping Costs through Intelligent Cargo Matching

Freight forwarder Flexport launches OceanMatch to identify and match available container space on compatible shipments

A Flexport review of all ocean freight imported into the US in 2018 found that Full Container Load (FCL) containers were on average only 65% utilized, amounting to more than one-third of the available U.S.-bound container space moving across the ocean without cargo.

Aiming to push up utilisation rates Felxport has launched a new service so that shippers can access move freight without needing to fill or pay for a whole container.

The system runs off of Flexport's Operating System for Global Trade.

OceanMatch users can pay for the part of the container they use instead of the entire container. With OceanMatch, Flexport matches a maximum of three shipments of complementary cargo with the same point of origin, final destination and type of commodity to a container, reducing time spent loading and unloading individual shipments.

Flexport claims that in an OceanMatch pilot in Q4 2018, they saved shippers moving freight on the Transpacific Eastbound trade lane five days compared to traditional LCL transit times. All cargo moving within an OceanMatch shipment comes from existing Flexport customers, who have undergone extensive compliance and onboarding processes, minimizing the odds of regulatory holds during transit.

"The most important goal of Flexport's technology-first approach to freight is that we unlock new opportunities for our customers," said Ryan Petersen, CEO and founder of Flexport. "That's why we are making meaningful investments in technology, infrastructure and expertise. The launch of OceanMatch is a key example of our Operating System for Global Trade coming to life. Where other freight forwarders see shipments as just a twenty or forty foot container, our data tells us this is a thousand pairs of shoes and that's a hundred mountain bikes. It's that insight that lets us do more for our clients' shipments and supply chain priorities."

Ram Siddarth, Vice President of Ocean Consolidations at Flexport, added: "Shippers have always had to choose between shipping cadence and container utilization. If you chose to purchase in smaller quantities or if your factory couldn't produce enough inventory on time to fill up a container, you had no choice but to sacrifice container utilization and ship a partly empty container, or risk disrupting your supply chain. OceanMatch lets Flexport customers optimize for both speed and efficiency, all powered by data."

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