- Project44 announced Wednesday it has acquired Convey for $255 million, a deal that adds a fast-growing last-mile delivery and visibility platform provider to its network.
- The acquisition gives Project44 an increased ability to track various last mile services, such as courier, parcel, white glove deliveries and returns, for which Convey had built up a reputation. It also provides Project44 with new workflow solutions, such as automated case management for late or damaged goods.
- The news marks Project44's third acquisition in six months. Earlier this year, Project44 bought ClearMetal, a tech startup focused on order visibility, and Ocean Insights, which provides visibility into containerized ocean shipping. Convey tracks 2.3 million deliveries daily, according to its website.
Shippers already have plenty of data, and companies these days are now asking their software suppliers to help them analyze and act on it.
"The stakes are high for companies to not only fulfill and ship orders but to make the right promises about availability and delivery," Jett McCandless, CEO and founder of Project44, said in a press release.
Consumer expectations shifted during the pandemic, and companies need data to make quick decisions about their supply chain, Mark Baxa, interim president and CEO of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, said at the CSCMP Edge 2021 conference Monday.
"There's no doubt that the pandemic increased cost and disrupted efficiencies, but it also highlights the invaluable — the end-to-end visibility, data and analytics that is needed in the supply chain," said Baxa.
Having visibility into an order's shipping status became more valuable during the pandemic, and especially the ability to know whether there are delays, changes to ETA, or effects due to worker shortages or port closures. And it's that demand for higher quality data services that's driving Project44's recent acquisitions, said Adam Compain, senior vice president of product marketing and supply chain insights at Project44.
Project44 provides visibility into various modes of transport either by setting up data exchange partnerships directly with ocean, rail, truck and air cargo carriers, or with the sensor vendors that equip them. Now, it is acquiring its way toward deeper and higher quality data and an increased breadth of services.
ClearMetal, Ocean Insights and Convey each provide Project44 with deeper and higher quality data in specific modes. ClearMetal added an ability to look at data from an order level, while Ocean Insights and Convey brought ocean shipping and last mile data expertise, respectively.
But the Convey deal goes a step further, helping Project44 move from "seeing to doing," according to Compain.
"This is not just an acquisition about the last mile, nor just about retail and direct-to-consumer," Compain said. "What Project44 gains is the benefits of Convey's business-to-consumer, B2C customer experience, can now be applied upstream into the business-to-business world, which is three times larger than the B2C market."
Moving forward, Compain said Project44 is looking to scale Convey's platform in three ways: offering it to existing customers, immediately; launching the services beyond North America, to a global market; and adapting some of the technology to apply it to other solutions within Project44.