This round of funding was led by Lufthansa Cargo, with participation from UPS and others. Also, Alexis von Hoensbroech, Lufthansa Cargo’s chief commercial officer, was named to Fleet’s board of directors.
Fleet founder and CEO Max Lock said the $10M Series A funding will enable the launch of the company’s Fleet GDS, the industry’s ‘first global distribution system’. Currently, businesses wishing to import products from overseas need to negotiate with warehouses, transportation and customs agents in the country of manufacture and also in the USA.
Typically, entities called freight forwarders handle those logistics, but their services tend to be expensive and inefficient. It’s also difficult to compare the services and costs of different freight forwarders, and the supply chain companies tend to use their own proprietary software, meaning communication can be slow and difficult. Fleet GDS aims to link all facets of the logistics and supply chain on a single platform, allowing shippers to save money and more closely track and manage shipments.
Lock began his entrepreneurial career at the age of 15 when he started Schoolboy Ice Cream. His experiences when trying to import paper cups for that business enlightened him to the difficulties a small business can face when trying to navigate the complexities of freight forwarders, customs agents, shippers, etc., and played a large part in convincing him of the need for a business such as Fleet. Now 22, he’s convinced that Fleet will deliver a much-needed dose of clarity to the murky field of import logistics and supply chains.