Descartes brings Customs Info LLC into the fold

By Jeff Berman · June 5, 2014

Logistics technology provider Descartes said this week it has acquired Customs Info LLC, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based provider of trade data content to power Global Trade Management (GTM) and streamline global trade automation.

The acquisition price was $41.5 million, according to Descartes officials.

The company added that Customs Info provides comprehensive trade data and related research tools to more than 800 multi-national shippers to help them reduce operating costs, improve customs compliance, and accelerate supply chain speed. This trade data, populates GTM systems, including SAP GTS and Oracle GTM, and includes trade tariffs, duties, regulations, trade agreements, rules of origin and other trade-related content.

Other Customs Info offerings include:
-online global trade research tools used by thousands of trade professionals, as well as a SaaS-delivered classification solution to help trade professionals and multi-national shippers quickly build and easily maintain complex classification databases for their operations around the world; and
-duty and tax content to some of the world’s largest e-commerce sites

Descartes’ CEO Edward Ryan said in a statement that Customs Info’s global scale makes it an ideal fit within his company’s Global Logistics Network (GLN), which is comprised of a wide range of modular and interoperable logistics applications and the largest community of logistics intensive companies in the world.

Ryan said that GLN is the logical place for multi-national shippers, logistics intermediaries and transportation carriers to look to source, collaborate on and supply trade data, adding that more than 10,000 customers use the GLN to manage and execute shipments every day. And by combining trade data with that trade flow through this acquisition, he said its customers can expand usage of the GLN to also strategically plan and manage their delivery and supply chains.

A company spokesperson told LM there were various drivers for this acquisition.

“We are a highly acquisitive organization and maintain a pipeline of potential acquisition prospects to support our strategic objectives for growth,” the spokesperson said. “The acquisition of Customs Info advances Descartes’ strategic objective to strengthen our global presence and leadership position by:
-increasing the scale of Descartes’ Global Logistics network by adding new trade data content and related transactions, while connecting to partner GTM systems to drive additional customs filings;
-strengthening Descartes’ Customs and Regulatory Compliance application footprint by adding tools for researching and documenting the item classification process; and
-growing Descartes’ global multi-modal logistics community with over 800 multi-national shipper customers and some of the world’s largest e-commerce companies.”     

As for shippers, the spokesperson said the acquisition helps them by strengthening Descartes’ Customs and Regulatory Compliance platform with enriched trade data content while adding solutions for customers to research and document the item classification process.

What’s more, the acquisition makes Customs Info’s customers members of Descartes’ GLM, in turn facilitating improved performance and productivity of logistics operations around the world.

“As part of this community Customs Info’s customers will have access to additional solutions via Descartes’ Logistics Technology Platform to improve rate management, dock appointment scheduling, transportation management, routing and scheduling, and in-transit inventory visibility,” the spokesperson said. “It augments our existing capabilities and enhances the value of information flowing through our network. Customers can rely on Descartes for compliance, connect and now content related to effective customs and trade management.”


About the Author

Jeff Berman
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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