Flexport’s ship has come in. The digital freight forwarder last week landed a $1 billion investment from a group led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund. The round values San Francisco-based Flexport at $3.2 billion, according to Forbes.com, citing people familiar with the matter. SoftBank’s big bet on Flexport caps a two-year off-and-on courtship that heated up after Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen (pictured above) read SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son’s 300-year plan unveiled in 2017, Forbes wrote. “The audacity to have a 300-year vision, it just resonated with me,” Petersen told Forbes. “We are an ancient industry; global trade is as ancient as mankind. All great industries are based on trade – and civilizations fall apart when they turn to plunder. We want to advance trade forward for the next few hundred years.”
Did you know:
That researchers at the University of Illinois found that a carbon tax helped reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and compelled shippers to ship by more efficient means. The carbon tax model could help cut emissions by 24 percent, the researchers said.
“We’re building high-speed rail. This is CA’s money, allocated by Congress for this project. We’re not giving it back,” California Gov. Gavin Newsome tweeting in response to the Trump administration’s demands that the state return $3.5 billion in federal money for the now-defunct project.
In other news:
Is Washington state ready for a massive transportation package?
A state representative said a gas tax increase and a carbon fee could cover $16.6 billion of projects. (HeraldNet-Everett, Wash.)
Logistics I.T. demand to soar in APAC
Asia-Pacific demand for Freight Management Systems will expand exponentially through 2025 as the demands of e-commerce fulfillment demands require greater use of technology that helps businesses more efficiently manage their shipping services. (MarketSizeForecasters)
Tote that barge!
The global barge transport market is forecast to reach USD$140 billion by 2026, a 3.3 percent compound annual growth rate. Growth will be fueled by demand for crude oil, petrochemicals, and food processing commodities. (Oilandgas360)
Building a larger truck driver tent
Truckers are opening up to women, minorities, and LGBTQ folks to beef up the ranks. But more work needs to be done to bring them in. (NPR)
Irish truckers will seek aid if Brexit hurts their business
The Irish road haulage industry will seek state and EU financial support if a hard Brexit leads to delays and damages business for lorry drivers and transport companies, the industry’s representatives said. (Irish Times)
The freakout continues over escalating trucking costs. At last week’s Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, Procter & Gamble Co. said it expects its U.S. trucking costs to rise 25 percent year-over-year through the first half of the year (the company’s fiscal year ends June 30). Meanwhile, Church & Dwight, the maker of Arm & Hammer baking soda among other products, called trucking costs “headwinds” that need to be overcome. How does that get done exactly? By nothing short of a total re-engineer of the U.S. freight-moving network that puts an unprecedented focus on intermodal and scales back, to the most practicable extent, the involvement of truckers.
Hammer down everyone!