Descartes purchase of MacroPoint has cold chain implications

Expands Global Logistics Network with Connections to over 2 Million Trucking Assets

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Descartes Systems Group, a global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, announced that it had acquired MacroPoint, LLC, earlier this month, LM learned that there would be implications for shippers reliant upon the cold chain chain.

“Consumers expect to see the location and progress of shipments from the point of order to delivery,” said Ken Wood, EVP of Product Management at Descartes. “With leading e-commerce retailers and other shippers demanding that their transportation providers provide real-time location-based information, the business-to-business market now has the same expectation of full visibility into transportation moves. To meet this expectation, MacroPoint has established what we believe is the preeminent network of connected vehicles and location-based content in North America.”

In an interview with LM, Wood noted that cold chain compliance and visibility continues to be a challenge in the industry. 

“Hardware, telemetry, and individual operator management tools for monitoring temperature have been in the market for some time.,” he said. “What has been missing is an effective way for food manufacturers, retailers, and distributors to integrate and monitor the cold chain across the many parties and partners involved in food logistics.  MacroPoint has developed an effective platform to address this problem.”

He added that Descartes is looking forward to integrating MacroPoint’s existing cold chain capabilities into the Descartes Global Logistics Network, and making it available to even more customers and IoT partners around the world. 

Wood also oberseved that the first to benefit will be Descartes’ customers and partners that are seeking real-time final mile and over the road visibility from contract carriers, and MacroPoint customers and partners seeking to add air, ocean, customs, and international logistics visibility to their MacroPoint control tower.

U.S.-based MacroPoint runs a connected network of over 2 million trucking assets and drivers. MacroPoint connects to trucks through integrations to on-board electronic logging devices (ELDs), transportation management systems, GPS-enabled smart phone applications and location-based mobile phone triangulation. MacroPoint uses this data to help transportation brokers, logistics service providers and shippers track the locations of deliveries in trucks. MacroPoint can also use this content to provide transportation brokers and shippers with predictive freight capacity to help identify early opportunities for additional freight moves.

“MacroPoint is the market leader for truckload shipment visibility,” said Bennett Adelson, CEO of MacroPoint. “We believe that the combination of Descartes’ Global Logistics Network with our cloud-based, real-time load visibility platform creates a truly differentiated offering that helps customers research, plan, execute and monitor multi-modal shipments around the world.”

“Descartes has a successful history of electronically connecting transportation providers to transportation brokers, logistics intermediaries and shippers to share data, automate processes, and run more efficiently,” said Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO. “With this experience, we appreciate the unique value of a network-based business focused on the transportation industry with a track record of high revenue growth, high recurring revenues and profitability. We’re excited to have MacroPoint join the Global Logistics Network so that we can jointly deliver even more value to the logistics and supply chain community.”

Descartes acquired MacroPoint on a tax-efficient basis for approximately $US 107 million satisfied with approximately $US 87 million in cash and $US 20 million in shares. The cash consideration was satisfied from $7 million of cash on hand and the balance from Descartes’ existing acquisition line of credit. The share consideration is subject to a 12 month hold period, with 50% of the share consideration required to be held for at least 18 months.

“We view Descartes as a natural fit for the MacroPoint network and business,” said Amir Goldman of Susquehanna Growth Equity, LLC, a MacroPoint shareholder. “We believe there are tremendous opportunities for the combined business, which is why we’ve become Descartes shareholders as part of this transaction.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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