The Coast News Group
Flock Freight is headquartered in the former Nixon building on South Coast Highway in Encinitas. Courtesy photo
CarlsbadCitiesDel MarEncinitasEscondidoOceansideRancho Santa FeRegionSan MarcosSolana BeachVista

Flock Freight plans to expand in North County

ENCINITAS — The country’s supply chain backlog is expected to cause myriad problems this coming holiday season, and many experts agree those issues are likely to last into 2022.

Rising transportation costs and a labor shortage are the biggest challenges currently facing the nation’s supply chain, but Encinitas-based logistics company Flock Freight is thriving despite the challenges in the marketplace.

Despite these issues, Flock Freight was still the recent beneficiary of $215 million worth of funding from SoftBank and has plans to further expand in North County.

Flock Freight, which moved its headquarters to Encinitas earlier this year, markets itself as a technology company that is “reducing waste and inefficiency by reinventing the supply chain.”

Jeff Lerner

Jeff Lerner, vice president of marketing for the company, told The Coast News that the labor shortage in the trucking industry and an abundance of ships sitting in ports around the country waiting to be unloaded have made life difficult logistically.

“You put those two scenarios together and it creates a very complicated supply chain,” Lerner said.

Like others who work in supply chain, Lerner says that measures are being taken across the country to limit the impact but that no one should be surprised to see it affect store shelves this holiday season.

Flock Freight uses a proprietary algorithm that allows multiple shippers to share truckloads, which the company says reduces costs and transit times, as compared to traditional shipping methods.

“In the world of supply chain, especially considering all of the challenges we’re facing now, that can complicate supply chain because materials go lost and missing, things get damaged in transit and it is not the most direct route,” Lerner said.

Using its algorithm, Flock Freight can pool similar freight shipments for delivery in a more efficient manner while filling a truck with freight.

“Then we just drive where we need to go in reverse order from pickup,” Lerner said. “By doing that we’ve eliminated all of the additional opportunities for damage or lost freight and we’ve greatly impacted and improved speed of delivery. So what might take six to eight days to get delivered with an LTL (less-than-truckload) carrier, we can probably do it in four or five. That’s what we’re doing to keep the supply chain moving.”

With its new round of funding, the company says it will continue looking to expand by hiring 300 new employees, including some in Encinitas, which almost doubles its current number of employees across the country.

Flock Freight occupies the former Nixon building on South Coast Highway in Encinitas but will expand into part of the former Whole Foods space nearby on Coast Highway in early December.

With new hiring expected, Flock Freight is also keeping its eye on other opportunities to expand its footprint in North County.

“We’re always looking at what’s available in North County, keeping in mind we want to be good neighbors. Ideally, we’d also like to keep finding locations that are near the train since we’ve found many of our employees are gravitating towards commuting to work via the train,” Lerner said.