- Global logistics software provider Descartes Systems Group has acquired Cleveland-based transportation visibility provider MacroPoint for $107 million, American Shipper reported.
- MacroPoint helps shippers, freight brokers and transportation management system software companies increase visibility into domestic freight loads. Its network is comprised of 2 million trucking assets and drivers with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), Transportation Management Systems (TMS), GPS-enabled smart phone applications and mobile phone triangulation systems.
- MacroPoint's annual revenues are close to $12.5 million. The purchase includes $87 million in cash — $7 million cash on hand and the balance from Descartes’ acquisition line of credit, plus $20 million in Descartes shares.
MacroPoint is Canada-based Descartes' third acquisition in the past three months, signaling potential competition between Descartes and XPO Logistics, another provider heavily involved in the M&A market. Both are global logistics providers seeking to provide a comprehensive assortment of logistics services to commercial businesses, and while XPO Logistics is still the bigger, more profitable company, Descartes is establishing its own stake in the market.
Like XPO Logistics, Descartes wants to be a leading global logistics provider, evidenced by its recent deals in Australia, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the UK and the US. While XPO is focusing on freight-brokerage acquisitions and LTL logistics management, Descartes has been snapping up tech companies, aiming to be more of an assistant and coordinator for shippers and carriers and catering to a small business customer base.
According to Descartes' press release, the company expects the MacroPoint acquisition to expand its network, customer base and innovative solutions.
Not only does Descartes' flurry of acquisitions confirm the growth of e-commerce and a growing market for logistics providers, but they also signal a logistics tech boom as shippers seek the most transparent, effective and efficient logistics services from 3PLs. E-commerce customers expect goods to be delivered quickly and cheaply, so logistics innovation should continue to thrive and progress to meet demand.