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Flexport bets on Canada with Vancouver office

U.S. freight forwarder expands north of the border, tapping into growing volumes of trans-Pacific trade from the Port of Vancouver.

San Francisco-based freight-forwarder Flexport chose Vancouver for its first Canadian office. Photo: Flexport

Flexport has opened its first office in Canada, setting up shop in the country’s largest international trade hub, Vancouver.

The San Francisco-based freight forwarder announced the expansion in a blog post on Nov. 19. The office positions Flexport to tap into the high volumes of Asian trade coming through the Port of Vancouver, Canada’s largest and busiest. 

“Canada is critical to North American trade and Flexport’s growth strategy, especially today amidst ever-changing international trade relationships,” said Anders Schulze, vice president and general manager of Flexport Northwest.

The office is already staffed with trade and licensed customs experts. Flexport said customers involved in the trade to and from Canada will benefit from the staff’s expertise in compliance and customs issues. 

Flexport is betting on the resilience of the Canadian economy, which has endured trade disputes in 2019, although there are fears that a slowdown is underway following a spate of disappointing economic reports.

The Port of Vancouver handled a record volume of cargo during the first half of 2019, following a record 2018. But underneath the port’s growth, the effects of global trade turbulence have hit individual types of cargo.   

Flexport also could be looking to leverage the trade uncertainty to its advance, offering up its recently revamped platform as a solution to help navigate the challenging environment for shippers.  

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].