AWS Startups Blog

How Flexport Uses Tracking Data to Guide Shipments Through Weather Disruptions

When most people think about global trade, they usually imagine planes, trains, automobiles, and ships. What they fail to picture are the companies that orchestrate how all those services to work together—companies like the full-service air and ocean freight forwarder Flexport. For example, to get a cargo from China to the US, says Matthew Sprague, a Senior Engineer on the front end infrastructure team at Flexport, there can be as many as 20 people touchng interaction. “Flexport manages all those interactions to make sure they go smoothly,” he says.

Given all the things that can go wrong during a transport—weather delays, containers that fall off of boats, lost goods—Flexport is able to ingest data for all of its vessels and determine ahead of time what flights and ships are going to be affected, says Sprague. For example, when a giant typhoon hit Hong Kong—a major origin points for many of Flexport’s ships routes—in September 2018, the company saw a number of their customers would be affected by shipments arriving late, so they went ahead and notified those customers about the changes to the delivery schedule.

To learn more about how Flexport gets goods where they need to be, and how AWS helps them keep their systems up and moving quickly, watch our interview above.

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung currently works in startup content at AWS and was previously the head of content at Index Ventures. Prior to joining the corporate world, Michelle was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the founding Business Editor at the Huffington Post, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, a columnist for Publisher’s Weekly and a writer at Entertainment Weekly.