Flexport Uber Of The Oceans?

flexRyan Petersen came up with a quality-control feint when he was working in China for his brother’s import business. During a factory tour he’d excuse himself to go to the bathroom, to see if there was tap water or flush toilets.

No? He’d scratch the plant from his list of potential manufacturers, because it lacked sufficient industrial finesse. Petersen says he learned a lot of similar tricks in the two years he lived in Shanghai and Kunming. He also picked up Mandarin, and a serious frustration with what he views as the unnecessarily hassle-heavy business of freight forwarding.

Nine years, an MBA and one successful business later, Petersen, 34, is chief executive officer of Flexport Inc. His billboard description: It’s the world’s first licensed customs brokerage built around a modern Web application.

Flexport Inc. Chief Executive Officer And Co-Founder Ryan Petersen Interview

Ryan Petersen, CEO and founder of Flexport, right, speaks with Sanne Manders, COO, at the company’s office in San Francisco.

“The world wants software to manage their business,” Petersen said. “They’re used to using software to do everything and then all of a sudden they’ve got to move their freight.”

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