September 27, 2023

Flexe conducts 2nd round of layoffs in 14 months


Seattle-based logistics provider Flexe, which hit a $1 billion valuation last year, has laid off a third of its workforce.

A Flexe spokesperson confirmed Wednesday via email to FreightWaves that the company had made “the difficult decision to part ways with 33% of staff. We are sincerely saddened to lose such great talent. Our team remains focused on serving our enterprise customers.”

She declined to share how many total workers Flexe has, though the company’s LinkedIn page puts the number at more than 400. The spokesperson also did not say how many people were affected by the latest round of cuts or which departments were affected.

Flexe officials told the Puget Sound Business Journal that layoffs were necessary “to stay ahead of the changing economic environment that most logistics businesses are experiencing.”

Founded in 2013, Flexe provides logistics warehousing, transportation and fulfillment services for both online and physical retailers. The asset-light provider doesn’t own or manage any of the facilities used by its customers, which include Ace Hardware, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Ralph Lauren, Staples and Walmart.

In July 2022, Flexe laid off an unspecified number of employees in its recruiting department, according to Seattle Inno. That same month, Flexe reached a $1 billion valuation after securing a $119 million Series D funding round.

The Series D round advanced Flexe’s total funding to $265 million to date.

The freight market has been flat for most of 2023, impacting everything from major carriers to various logistics firms. In August, less-than-truckload carrier Yellow Corp. filed for bankruptcy, and mega carrier Knight-Swift Transportation initiated a round of layoffs earlier this month.

In January, freight forwarder Flexport laid off about 20% of its staff. Other logistics-related firms conducting recent layoffs include Coyote Logistics and Uber Freight.

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The second annual F3: Future of Freight Festival will be held in Chattanooga, “The Scenic City,” this November. F3 combines innovation and entertainment — featuring live demos, industry experts discussing freight market trends for 2024, afternoon networking events, and Grammy Award-winning musicians performing in the evenings amidst the cool Appalachian fall weather.

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