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The Puget Sound Business Journal has a story about as company called Flexe, which is an on-demand warehouse start-up that can provide flexible warehouse space on a national basis - at the moment, according to the story, it has more than 1,000 warehouses that add up to roughly 40 million square feet of space.

The story describes Flexe as “a two-sided marketplace that recruits both operators who supply warehouse space and customers who use it.” Among the retailers that contract with Flexe for space are Walmart, Ace Hardware and Casper.

Flexe came into being, not surprisingly, as Amazon’s growth put enormous pressure on kits competitors to keep up, forcing “traditional retailers to experiment and innovate. Logistics were traditionally meant to get products to a store, but e-commerce has made it so customers expect items to be delivered to their home — fast.” Which meant that a lot of companies - both retailers and suppliers - had to reinvent their logistics systems to adapt to this new reality.

CEO Karl Siebrecht says that “it’s inevitable that logistics will work this way. It will be fundamentally technology-driven and it will share capacity, rather than every company building their own individual network of flow of goods.”

So far, it seems to be working - Flexe just completed a $43 million funding round that will allow it to continue to expand its footprint.
KC's View:
Current competitive realities mean that logistics, just like every other part of pretty much every business, have had to be rethought and reinvented. It sort of feels like the warehouse version of Airbnb or Lyft … smart people figuring out where the need are and then coming up with innovative solutions that allow their business customers to be as nimble as they need to be these days.