Flexport is committed to bringing the business of international cargo shipment into the digital age. Billed as the “world’s first licensed customs brokerage built around a modern Web application,” the San Francisco company has raised more than $28 million in venture capital to make it faster, easier and less expensive for companies to ship freight around the world.
In 2016, to serve its growing customer base, the company expanded operations to New York, Hong Kong and the Netherlands, where it now maintains European headquarters in Amsterdam.
“It was very clear that Amsterdam was the place for us,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of Flexport. Watch the video on why Flexport chose to invest in Holland:
According to Sanne Manders, Chief Operating Officer of Flexport, the Netherlands stood out against other European locations, including Germany and the UK, for a number of reasons.
“First of all, the Netherlands is a distribution country – the logistics infrastructure here is very good,” said Manders. “Holland also offers VAT deferment – which doesn’t exist in many other countries – and a number of other advantages for global trade operations.”
“On top of that, Holland has an attractive business climate in terms of its tax system,” Manders continued. “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.”
According to Manders, Flexport’s European expansion was greatly facilitated by assistance from the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), StartupDelta and other government entities.
“The Dutch government has been extremely helpful in getting us set up,” he said. “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.”
Following its successful international expansion, Flexport expects to see its growth continue. In the next year, the company plans to increase its Amsterdam staff to around 25 employees.
“In the long term, we will make global trade significantly easier for companies,” Manders said in closing. “And Holland has always been an extremely important nation for global trade. We definitely see growing our European operations here.”
Learn more about Flexport’s global expansion on their blog.