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Flexport: The freight forwarder for modern logistics teams

Algolia has become so mission critical for navigating our application that users instantly notice whenever we ship a new enhancement to our Algolia implementation

Desmond Brand

Engineering Manager @ Flexport
Use case



San Francisco, CA

Customer since

since 2014

Index Size

3M Records

Feature usage

Distributed Search Networks

Key results
  • 3M Index Size 

  • 4M Searches per Month 

  • 9 ms Average Search Time

The challenge

  • 1.

    User Experience: Move a 100 year old process into the 21st century to enhance usability

  • 2.

    Flexible Data Model: Products have hundreds of unique attributes, however, all these attributes must be searchable

  • 3.

    Reliability : Frictionless search that scales to a global user base without downtime or required maintenance

The solution

  • 1.

    User Experience: Improve and standardize data collection

  • 2.

    Multi-Index Search: Search into multiple indices with a single query

  • 3.

    Distributed Search Networks: Scale lightning fast search to a global user base

The result

  • 1.

    Intuitive User Experience 

  • 2.

    Developer Support 

  • 3.

    Scalable Infrastructure

The challenge

Flexport was founded in 2013 with a mission to fix the user experience in global trade. Despite the fact that globally $1.1 trillion a year is spent on freight forwarding, the industry operates the same way it did over a 100 years ago when steamships were still in fashion. 

As Flexport began to build a business to disrupt 12% of the global economy, it knew that an essential key to success would be making the data on where shipments currently are in the supply chain accessible and actionable for end users. In evaluating search vendors who could meet these requirements, Flexport ultimately decided that Algolia was able to offer a reliable and scalable product that could deliver a search experience as fast and intuitive as the consumer-search experiences that users had grown familiar to across the web.

“Intelligent, multifaced search meaningfully improves the user experience of global trade.” Michael Chen, Software Engineer at Flexport

The solution

In researching several search solutions, Flexport’s engineering team ultimately decided to choose Algolia for its depth of documentation and developer resources, and for the speed with which Algolia returns search results. Improving the user experience had become a product imperative at Flexport, and the team knew that having an effective search experience would be crucial to providing an amazing user experience for the shippers on their platform. 

Now that search is fully integrated into the Flexport experience, users are able to identify and locate their merchandise in transit using any identifier the customer may have, allowing users to turn what used to take several minutes to locate into milliseconds. In addition to allowing Flexport to build a front end featuring a modern user experience for its users, Algolia has also enabled the team to standardize its data collection process resulting in improvements for both the internal support team users as well as its clients.

flexport image

The result

Flexport chose Algolia in 2014 to help it in its mission in enabling free trade through technology. Since then, Algolia has become a mission critical part of Flexport’s application stack as they continue to realize the following benefits. 

“At Flexport we've re-designed freight forwarding with a modern technology stack. Our team combines the best logistics experts in the world with the best software engineers in the world.”

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