The Flexport Business Model – How Does Flexport Make Money? The Role of Community and How It Should Be in the Curator Economy


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 23, 2023

4 min read


The Flexport Business Model – How Does Flexport Make Money? The Role of Community and How It Should Be in the Curator Economy

In today's interconnected world, businesses face numerous challenges when it comes to transporting and storing goods across the globe. This is where digital freight forwarders like Flexport come into play. Flexport has built a business model that revolves around various services related to the shipment of goods.

One of the main sources of income for Flexport is the fees they charge for transporting goods. This includes shipments via ocean, air, and truck. While smaller packages can be sent without much hassle, bigger shipments incur greater complexity. Companies need to ensure proper customs handling, comply with local regulations, and transport goods on time without damaging them. Traditionally, freight forwarders have taken over these duties, relying on frequent communication through emails, fax, telephone, and spreadsheets.

Flexport saw an opportunity to revolutionize the freight forwarding industry by building a set of software solutions that allow companies to manage and track their logistics activities. Their platform offers features like tracking ongoing orders, communicating with suppliers, receiving insights on business-critical metrics, and storing relevant documents. By digitizing supply chain processes, Flexport aims to eliminate transparency issues that have plagued the industry for centuries.

In addition to transportation services, Flexport also generates revenue through other supply chain services. They offer customs brokerage, warehousing, shipment insurance, and trade financing. By providing these additional services, Flexport aims to be a one-stop solution for businesses' logistics needs.

Flexport's success can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, they have leveraged their software solutions to streamline the logistics process, making it more efficient and transparent. This has resonated with businesses looking for a modern and technology-driven approach to freight forwarding.

Secondly, Flexport has capitalized on market trends and disruptions. For example, they responded to the ongoing trade wars between China and the United States by building more warehouses to speed up the movement of cargo. They also introduced a feature that allowed customers to reroute their shipments to avoid paying tariffs. By adapting to changing market conditions, Flexport has positioned itself as a flexible and innovative player in the industry.

Lastly, Flexport has built a strong community of customers and partners. They have cultivated relationships with importers, exporters, and other stakeholders in the supply chain. This community not only helps Flexport acquire new customers but also provides valuable feedback and insights for continuous improvement.

The importance of community extends beyond just the logistics industry. In the curator economy, where people are learning about the power of curation, community plays a vital role. Curators are becoming as valuable as content creators, as they help filter and select the most relevant and valuable content for their audience.

A good curator goes beyond simply reposting images or articles. They conduct research, write, and edit to provide a curated experience that adds value. Micro-influencers are increasingly favored over traditional celebrities because they are more connected with their community and therefore more relatable.

In the oversaturated world of content, the value lies not just in having content distilled and distributed, but in having it done so through the judgment of an expert. Curators add their own unique perspective and insights, making the curated content more meaningful and valuable.

However, not all curators are created equal. Some have monetized sloppy work and called it curation, tarnishing the reputation of true curators. It is up to the knowledge-obsessed community to rescue the meaning of true curation. Curators should be driven by a genuine desire to inform and select, rather than a lack of creativity and a hunger for money.

As a community, we have the power to teach one another what is worth focusing on in this oversaturated world. By supporting ethical and diligent curators, we can ensure that the curated content we consume is of high quality and adds value to our lives.

In conclusion, both Flexport and the curator economy highlight the importance of community. Flexport has built a community of customers and partners that has contributed to its success. On the other hand, the curator economy relies on a knowledge-obsessed community to distinguish between true curation and sloppy monetization.

To thrive in these industries, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace technology: Just like Flexport has leveraged software solutions to streamline the logistics process, embrace technology in your own industry. Look for opportunities to digitize processes and enhance efficiency.
  • 2. Build a strong community: Cultivate relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders. Engage with your community and seek their feedback. A strong community can contribute to your success and provide valuable insights for improvement.
  • 3. Focus on quality and value: Whether you are a freight forwarder or a curator, prioritize quality and value. Ensure that the services you provide or the content you curate is of high quality and adds value to the lives of your customers or audience.

By following these actionable advice, you can position yourself for success in the evolving landscape of logistics and curation.

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