Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (December 10, 2021)

When you wake up on Tuesday thinking it’s Wednesday, you know you’re in for a long week.

We got our first dusting of snow in Boston this week. Not enough to shovel or make snowballs…or stop delivery robots in their tracks, as happened to this poor fleet in Estonia.

Back in March 2019, I asked whether delivery robots designed to travel on sidewalks will gain traction or ultimately end up in the trash heap of ideas. It doesn’t seem like they’re gaining much traction (on snow).

Friday is finally here, a day late by my internal calendar, so let’s move on to the supply chain and logistics news that caught my attention this week:

Ocean Carriers Seek Growth on Land

When you hear the names “A.P. Moller – Maersk” and “CMA CGM” you probably think of ocean shipping, since those are two of the biggest players in the industry. But both A.P. Moller – Maersk and CMA CGM see their future growth and fortunes coming from land-based logistics services (as well as technology) and they’re moving aggressively in that direction.

Back in August 2021, for example, A.P. Moller – Maersk acquired Visible SCM, an e-commerce fulfillment and parcel delivery company for $838 million. A month later, the company acquired HUUB, “a Portuguese cloud-based logistics start-up, specialised in technology solutions for B2C warehousing for the fashion industry.” And in October 2021, the company finalized its acquisition of B2C Europe, “a 20-year-old- European logistics company focused on business to consumer (B2C) parcel delivery services in Europe with a focus on cross-border deliveries.”

“It won’t be long before we have a logistics business with (annual) revenues of $10 billion with these two acquisitions,” Chief Executive Soren Skou told reporters in August 2021, as reported by Reuters. 

Now comes the news this week of CMA CGM Group acquiring “most of Ingram Micro’s Commerce & Lifecycle Services activities (CLS), including Shipwire and the company’s technology forward logistics businesses in North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific” for $3 billion. Here are some more details from the press release:

The Ingram Micro CLS business being acquired specializes in eCommerce contract logistics and omni-channel fulfillment. The transaction includes Shipwire, a cloud-based logistics technology platform. The acquired business represents estimated annual revenues of USD 1.7 billion in 2021 and employs 11,500 staff members worldwide across 59 warehouses, with a strong presence in the U.S. and in Europe. 

This acquisition illustrates the CMA CGM Group’s commitment to strengthening its position as a global leader in shipping and logistics. Between CEVA Logistics and the CLS business, the combined logistics workforce will constitute approximately 90,000 people across nearly 1,100 sites in 160 countries. The combination of CEVA Logistics and Ingram Micro CLS activities will create the fourth-largest global provider of contract logistics services.

The third-party logistics and technology landscapes are getting transformed, with the growth of e-commerce serving as a major driving force. Unlike Ishmael, who with “nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world,” the leaders of the big ocean carriers are coming ashore to explore the dry part of the world for big whales of growth.

Transporeon Acquires Logit One

While ocean carriers look to the shore, providers of supply chain visibility solutions look toward the ocean. With all the port delays this year, providing ocean visibility is hotter than ever.

Last month, for example, E2open (a Talking Logistics sponsor) released its Ocean Shipping Index, “a new quarterly report that tracks ocean shipment delivery times from booking freight to receipt of goods, across major trade lanes between Asia, North America and Europe to help importers mitigate risk and make better decisions on when to book cargo.” Back in March 2021, project44 announced its port visibility reporting service Port Intel, which “offers track and trace functionality across more than 55 shipping lines, 700 seaports, and more than 5,000 vessels, processing over five million sailing schedule changes per day.”

And now this week Transporeon (a Talking Logistics sponsor) announced that it is strengthening its international ocean visibility capabilities through its acquisition of Logit One. Here are some excerpts from the press release:

Logit One’s Ocean visibility solution provides Early Accurate Complete Data by connecting and consolidating data from multiple sources along the supply chain, and adding real-time analytics & forecasting to provide a “single source of truth.”

Logit One will be a great extension to Transporeon Sixfold currently monitoring over 500 million euros worth of goods in real-time every day for customers in 40+ countries with 25 languages.

“Shippers and forwarders are facing huge dynamics in the ocean transport system and international transportation needs to become greener, more agile, and responsive. Through this acquisition, Transporeon’s customers will be able to expand the scope of their transportation visibility to international movements and to synchronize ocean and overland transportation. We are very excited about this step because we share a common vision and this will bring our solutions to a worldwide market,” says Frank Knoors, CEO of Logit One.

As I wrote earlier this week in “Data Is The New Oil: Competing On Logistics Data,” logistics technology and service providers are no longer just competing on the breadth and depth of their software applications and transportation/warehousing service offerings, but also on the breadth and depth of the market intelligence and data they can provide. And like Ishmael, they want to see what’s happening in the watery part of the world and share that visibility with clients.

And with that, have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “How Not To Drown” by Chvrches (ft. Robert Smith)