Flexport Lays Off 165 Employees

Layoffs Are Part of Broad Job Cuts That Will Impact 20% of the Workforce
Flexport truck
(Flexport via YouTube)

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Freight logistics company Flexport has laid off 165 employees from its Bellevue, Wash., office, part of broad job cuts that will impact 20% of the workforce.

Flexport, based in San Francisco, is a global logistics platform that helps buyers, sellers and their partners with technology and other services, including ocean and airfreight, ground transportation and global trade. Flexport had about 3,500 employees before the layoffs, according to PitchBook. The company filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with Washington’s Employment Security Department on Oct. 16 detailing the local effects.

CEO Ryan Petersen told employees in a note Oct. 12 that the company would start the layoff process Oct. 13 and continue into this week.

“Today is a tough day, but we are a resilient, purpose-driven team that will overcome this setback and deliver on the promise of our mission of making global commerce so easy that there will be more of it,” he wrote.

Ryan Petersen


Petersen, who founded Flexport in 2013, is in his first month back as CEO after a tumultuous few weeks for the company.

In 2022, Petersen transitioned from CEO to executive chairman and handed the reins to Dave Clark, a former Amazon executive. Clark, who was at Amazon for 23 years and served as CEO of the company’s worldwide consumer business, worked at Flexport for just over a year.

Clark announced in September he was resigning from Flexport after discussions with Petersen during which the former CEO said he wanted to return to “focusing on growth in the core freight business,” according to a statement Clark posted on the social media platform X.

“Founders have the right to change their mind,” Clark wrote.

After Clark’s departure, Flexport’s chief financial officer and its human resources chief also left the company, according to CNBC.

Petersen said he spent the past month evaluating “every role in the company and its relationship to solving important supply chain problems for our customers,” according to his note to employees.

Following the layoffs, Petersen predicted Flexport would return to profitability as soon as the end of 2024.

Flexport is a privately held company. In 2022, it raised $935 million in venture capital, led by VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and including an investment from Shopify. That brought its valuation to over $8 billion, according to a company press release from September.

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Flexport declined to share how many employees were working in the Bellevue office before this month’s layoffs. A spokesperson said the office will remain one of the company’s “main technology and product development hubs.”

U.S.-based employees impacted by the layoffs will receive immigration support, nine weeks of severance and two months of extended health care, according to Petersen’s note to workers.

Petersen said Flexport is also working with 300 companies that have expressed interest in hiring departing “Flexporters.”

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