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Senior Manager, Applied Science (Planning and Routing Science)


Data Science & Analytics


Bellevue, San Francisco

Senior Manager, Applied Science (Planning and Routing Science)

The Opportunity

Flexport’s science team is looking for a Senior Manager of Applied Science to lead planning and routing science. Flexport is one of the fastest-growing transportation technology companies in the world. The complexity of freight forwarding execution, which may span days to weeks, challenges us to design, build, and operate highly efficient transportation networks that minimize operational costs and consistently meet promised service level agreements. The science group is charged with developing a suite of prediction models, decision support, and optimization tools to:

  • facilitate the design of efficient supply chain networks,
  • optimize the routing of shipments across our global multi-modal, time-space network,
  • satisfy shipper, client, and carrier commitments with high probability, and 
  • effectively use supply resources under uncertainty to deliver on time and at the lowest cost. 

Planning horizons vary from years to months for strategic planning, from months to weeks for tactical planning, and hours and minutes for (near) real-time operational planning. These planning capabilities rely heavily on forecasting, simulation, inventory management, large-scale optimization, and machine learning techniques. Because the freight forwarding domain is highly stochastic (on both supply and demand sides), and operates over a high-dimensional time-space network, existing approaches are often inadequate and cannot support our end-to-end planning needs. This necessitates the R&D of novel approaches that combine state-of-the-art machine learning and optimization techniques to develop first-in-class solutions. 

As a Senior Manager of Applied Science, you will lead an existing team of talented scientists and fill the ranks by attracting and hiring the best applied scientists. You will play a vital role on the leadership team to set technical and business directions. You will own the R&D and production deployment of Flexport’s planning and routing optimization core. You will work closely with various technology teams to make a big and measurable impact on Flexport’s OKRs, delivering innovative science solutions that are robust in production, easy to maintain, and scale as Flexport’s demand and supply network continues to grow. 

Locations: San Francisco, Bellevue

You Will:

  • Build a world-class team of talented and experienced data, applied research, and machine learning scientists, demonstrate thought leadership and guidance to make the right scientific or technical trade-offs to meet our needs.
  • Create the technical vision for the team on both data foundations and advanced models/algorithms. 
  • Own the strategic research and product roadmap that delivers the best freight forwarding science solution.
  • Hire and develop the best science team in the industry.
  • Guide and develop the career of your direct reports.
  • Build a team culture around technical excellence and strong delivery.
  • Work collaboratively with product, engineering, and business leadership to:
    • find opportunities to improve and enhance our technology products, 
    • understand Flexport’s business and operations processes to identify impact opportunities, 
    • translate ambiguous business requirements into the right technical solution, and
    • design and build robust and scalable production solutions.
  • Own the delivery of compelling data-driven solutions to support automated decision-making at scale.

You Should Have:

Minimum Qualifications

  • 7+ years of relevant work experience, including 5+ years of experience managing applied science teams.
  • Experience leading and growing teams of data, applied research, and machine learning scientists. 
  • Strong experience in SQL and more languages: C/C++, C#, Java, Python. 
  • Strong experience and technical expertise in metaheuristics, decomposition methods, matheuristics, hybrid algorithms, operations research, and machine learning.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills. Demonstrated ability to communicate with business stakeholders to understand requirements and present findings and recommendations that show value.  
  • Experience taking research prototypes to production, especially in transportation and logistics (e.g., vehicle routing, scheduling, etc.).
  • Technically deep in the principles of building large-scale transportation and logistics systems.
  • Great at system design with strong evidence of capability to design complex transportation solutions at the right level of abstraction.
  • Experience leading the development of complex software systems that have been successfully deployed.
  • Experience and a strong background in algorithm design, engineering, and implementation.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. (or equivalent research experience) in quantitative fields, such as Operations Research, Applied Math, Computer Science, etc. 
  • Deep hands-on technical expertise in transportation routing algorithms/software systems.
  • Deep expertise and experience in developing metaheuristics and matheuristics algorithms for extreme-scale combinatorial optimization.
  • Advance knowledge of decomposition/iterative methods for solving large-scale linear/nonlinear programs.
  • Deep expertise and experience in designing and implementing optimization models for large-scale discrete/combinatorial problems (e.g., vehicle routing, scheduling, network design, scheduling, and facility location) 
  • Experience with distributed computing and large-scale software systems design.
  • Strong research track record with contributions to research communities via peer-reviewed publications in top OR/ML journals and conferences.

About Flexport

We believe global trade can move the human race forward. That’s why it’s our mission to make global trade easier for everyone. We aim to do this by building the Operating System for Global trade - a strategic model combining advanced technology and data analytics, logistics infrastructure, and supply chain expertise. Flexport today connects almost 10,000 clients and suppliers across 109 countries, including established global brands like Georgia-Pacific as well as emerging innovators like Sonos. Started in 2013, we've raised over $1.3B in funding from SoftBank Vision Fund, Founders Fund, GV, First Round Capital, and Y Combinator. We’re excited about the three big ways we’re moving forward after our recent $1B investment from SoftBank Vision Fund in February 2019.

Are you worried about not having any freight forwarding experience?

  • Don’t be! We’re building the first Operating System for Global Trade. That’s why it’s crucial for us to bring people from diverse backgrounds and experiences together with our industry veterans to help move the freight forwarding industry forward.
  • What’s freight forwarding, and why does it matter? Freight forwarding is the coordination and shipment of goods from one place to another, and it’s what makes global trade possible. Flexport is on a mission to make global trade easier for everyone because we believe it can help connect the world and break down economic barriers.
  • We know this industry is complex. That’s why we invest in education starting day one with Flexport Academy, a one-week intensive onboarding program explicitly designed to set every new Flexport employee up for success.

At Flexport, our ability to fulfill our mission of making global trade easy for everyone relies on having a diverse, dedicated, and engaged workforce. That is why Flexport is committed to creating and nurturing an environment where anyone can be their authentic self. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical and mental disability, health status, marital and family status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

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