There are a lot of articles circulating in reference to Flexports entry to the UK market, admittedly the same rumours were rife a year ago but could now really see the US digital freight giant enter the UK market and if so, how and when will this happen?
Unlike other financially backed companies in the industry, Flexport has opted to enter new markets without acquiring an established business, they have opted to hire a leader and then grow organically, this appears to have worked particularly well in northern Europe with a headcount of 140 grown from a single employee in 2016.
We are expecting the UK entry to be based on the same strategy and after all why wouldn’t Flexport opt for this based on the success in Europe?
Flexport has had a mix of talent joining from industry, non-related technology companies and financial institutions, the UK has talent in all of these areas and with the expectation Flexport is creating the future of shipping we suggest, there will be a great deal of interest in openings at the firm.
Initially, we believe an off-piste hire will form the leadership in the UK, perhaps from a consulting or management firm with knowledge of the freight sector but who is not entrenched in the status quo.
Now for when, this is possible the most unknown and the chatter in the industry makes for an interesting review, could Brexit be a determining factor? The European VP Jan van Casteren has suggested this is not a factor for consideration as Flexport will ship directly to the UK instead of transhipping and instead has hinted that hiring a UK Country Manager has been the focus of the firm and its planning for the UK.
We suggest a launch in Q2 of 2020 is realistic, it allows for time to hire a leader and it also allows for the dust to settle come what may from the current political situation in the UK.
Here at Midas, we are certainly interested to see the UK launch and the effects it brings (if any) to the UK sector.