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Flexport names Uber Freight chief to lead digital truck unit


Cross-border logistics provider Flexport is developing a truck brokerage business to take care of the domestic transportation leg for imports in one supply chain ecosystem after acquiring the e-commerce fulfillment and final-mile delivery assets of Shopify.

The company has hired Bill Driegert, a former Amazon executive who previously headed Uber Freight, to develop Flexport’s trucking product, new CEO Dave Clark said in an internal memo to employees on Thursday that the company shared with FreightWaves.

Existing staff members involved in trucking technology and procurement will be folded into the new business unit.

“In this role Bill and his team will own the P&L for a free-standing trucking business along with product, tech, pricing, and procurement for our global trucking services,” Clark wrote.

He foreshadowed the latest development in an interview earlier this month to explain the Shopify (NYSE: SHOP) investment in which he said Flexport would establish a trucking service this summer. 

The Wall Street Journal was first to report Driegert’s appointment and the buildout of a truck offering. 

Driegert helped launch Amazon’s brokerage division and held a senior position at Coyote Logistics, a digital freight broker now owned by UPS. Uber Freight is a digital platform that automatically matches shippers’ loads with available truck capacity. 

Clark, the architect of Amazon’s logistics network who left as head of its worldwide consumer group last year, said Driegert brings technical innovation with operational excellence.

“He led the way digitizing freight with industry-first innovations like API pricing, instant booking, and the first carrier self-tracking app,” he said. 

Flexport’s vision is creating a multimodal supply chain platform that “democratizes” freight transportation by giving small companies, especially those engaged in e-commerce, more affordable access to the same tools and analytics that multinational companies use. The freight forwarder says it can generate scale and granular insights by pooling data and consolidating ocean and air shipments. The brokerage unit will then arrange truck moves to customers’ warehouses.

San Francisco-based Flexport currently has an arrangement with Coyote but now will take over that role itself.

Flexport generated gross revenue of $5 billion last year, according to published accounts, after reporting $3.3 billion in revenue in 2021. Revenue is expected to be lower this year because of the ongoing freight recession. Flexport early this year cut 20% of its staff.

The logistics provider was valued last year at $8 billion as part of a $935 million fundraising round. 

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.

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RECOMMENDED READING:

Shopify sells fulfillment business to Flexport, slashes 20% of staff

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