#22: Sanne Manders COO of Flexport

#22: Sanne Manders COO of Flexport Featured Image

Flexport is one of the fastest-growing 3PL in the world. In just five years Flexport has distinguished itself as the leading software-powered freight forwarder, helping more than 15,000 companies deliver their goods to customers worldwide.

Sanne joined Flexport in 2014, soon after the company’s start. As COO, he is responsible for operations, procurement, and carrier relations across all modes of transportation. Before Flexport, he was at Boston Consulting Group, the global management consulting firm, leading customer relations in logistics and supply chain practice, working across worldwide assignments. He also sits on the advisory board of PortXL, which is the accelerator of the Port of Rotterdam.

Listen to the full discussion here:

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Connect with the Guest:

Sanne Manders: LinkedIn | Twitter | Company Website

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • How did Flexport achieve a 15k client portfolio in 4 years?
  • How did Flexport raise a total of 300 mil USD in venture capital?
  • How do plan to reach the scale of traditional players in the industry?
  • How do you use NPS (net promoter score) as a KPI for growing the business?
  • How much does it help an entrepreneur to have a background in consulting?

Show notes:

  • [01:01] What is the main pain point that Flexport is solving and how are you disrupting the freight and logistics industry?
  • [03:45] With digitization becoming a topic in every company and specifically every supply chain company. How long do you think it will take for traditional players to catch up?
  • [08:04] How do plan to reach the scale of traditional players in the industry?
  • [11:28] As Ryan (CEO Flexport) said in TechCrunch article “There are 25 freight forwarders that each do more than $1 billion in revenue a year,” What will be the USP for Flexport once these companies adopt digital technologies?
  • [15:55] Why did you choose the route of giving your software for free and becoming a 3PL? Instead of focusing on becoming a software company?
  • [18:37] What are your biggest challenges when attracting new clients?
  • [23:34] What and how Flexport is able to assure logistics companies/partners that Flexport is always up to date in terms of complexity of custom regulatory compliance especially in APAC?
  • [25:40] In April 2018 Flexport announced that it secured $110M in funding from SF Express, the leading courier company in China – what will you be using the funds for?
  • [28:05] What were some of the lessons you learned so far as an entrepreneur? Key Takeaways.
  • [32:50] What do you focus on when hiring people at Flexport? What are some of the key attributes you look for in the leadership team?
  • [41:06] How do you use NPS (net promoter score) as a KPI for growing the business?
  • [44:40] You have a very interesting career as you worked for many years at BCG as a consultant for the shipping and logistics industry. How did you end up at Flexport?
  • [47:10] How did your consulting background help you in your career so far?
  • [50:35] What would be the top advice you would share with somebody who wants to join a startup?

Related Episodes:

Episode #06: Bjorn Vang Jensen Global Head of Logistics at Electrolux

Episode #08: Matthias Heutger SVP Marketing and Innovation at DHL

Episode #21: Bijay Singh Global Head Healthcare Business Unit at DKSH

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