AFN Logistics acquires HA Advantage, expands TMS and LTL capabilities

Niles, Illinois-based third-party logistics (3PL) services provider AFN Logistics said today it has acquired HA Advantage, the Transportation Management System (TMS) and less-than-truckload (LTL) division of HA Logistics Inc., a Columbus, Ohio-based provider of transportation and logistics services for small- and medium-sized companies.

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Niles, Illinois-based third-party logistics (3PL) services provider AFN Logistics said today it has acquired HA Advantage, the Transportation Management System (TMS) and less-than-truckload (LTL) division of HA Logistics Inc., a Columbus, Ohio-based provider of transportation and logistics services for small- and medium-sized companies.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

At the core of HA Advantage’s key service offerings are:
-its proprietary TMS, which AFN said is a scalable, web-based, mobile-optimized solution that enables smarter and faster transportation decisions; and
-its LTL optimization capabilities, which helps retailers optimize their e-commerce-related LTL trucking needs, as well as balance network-wide demand

AFN Executive Vice President Brian Winshall told LM that the impetus for this acquisition was based on AFN’s focus on creating additional value for its clients, partners, and the marketplace, with a close focus on areas where AFN felt it needed to make some improvements.

“HA wound up covering two key targets for us, where we wanted to make some improvements on,” he said. “And along with those improvements, it is a company based in the Midwest with good people and a good culture fit, too.”

On the LTL side, Winshall said that AFN’s LTL product offering has historically been focused around LTL consolidation optimization, with a focus on things like pool pointing and zone skipping, among other strategic plays to help customers.

And the HA LTL piece is a pure LTL play with a large focus on technology and efficiency, as well as injecting that technology for the customer to create efficiencies within their enterprise, as well as the ability to better control their supply chain and logistics functions, he said.  AFN also pointed to the increasing importance of LTL as it relates to e-commerce, citing data from Chainalytics and the Wall Street Journal noting that e-commerce now accounts for 10-20 percent of deliveries in the $35 billion LTL market.

“We were really focused on using technology internally previously through the optimization and consolidation components, whereas HA’s model was really focused on providing technology to the client and the carriers and creating visibility, control and meeting efficiencies,” he said. 

On the TMS side, Winshall said AFN used an off the shelf TMS and then looked to create its own data warehouse and custom applications.

“HA had spent more time, basically, customizing the software and the user interface,” he said. “This is just another piece of technology that has had more investment from a dollar amount and time standpoint and customizations. We will be working on a technology integration plan over the next 30-to-90 days.” 

As for how this deal benefits AFN customers, Winshall said it helps in creating a strategy of increased value.

On the e-commerce side, he said as a platform it offers the ability to roll in other modes like small parcel, air and forwarding, among others.

“It gives us the ability to be a little bit more holistic in nature and providing customers with a single electronic platform for transportation and logistics, but additionally it starts to feed into the ability to help clients with engines for their web stores that will help within an e-commerce platform.

AFN CEO Ryan Daube was optimistic about what this acquisition brings to the table for AFN.

“As we continue to see a strong increase in eCommerce activity, we plan to scale our LTL capabilities to take advantage of this growing market by helping our shipper customers manage their eCommerce growth more efficiently, strategically, and profitably,” said Daube in a statement. “This is just one reason why the HA acquisition made sense for our business now. The move also strengthens our managed transportation services offering.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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Article Topics

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