After a number of strategic acquisitions in 2020, AIT Worldwide Logistics continues with another year of purchases to expand its facilities and supply chain services.
AIT announced Tuesday it has acquired Austin, Texas-based Intelligent Logistics, including the assets under its trucking brand Spur Freight, for an undisclosed amount, to expand its asset footprint into central Texas.
That follows last year’s acquisition by the global logistics firm of final-mile and white-glove specialist Panther Logistics and German freight forwarder Fiege to grow AIT’s international footprint.
This year, after recapitalizing with The Jordan Co., the logistics company acquired Multimodal International Ltd. to strengthen its customs brokerage services, specifically within industrial sectors like automotive, electronics and chemicals.
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“That area of Texas is very strong for us and we didn’t have a physical presence there,” AIT Chief Information Officer Ray Fennelly said of the Intelligent Logistics acquisition in an interview with FreightWaves.
“Their locations bring us over 140,000 square feet of usable transportation space and their [trucking assets]. … It gives us definite wheels on the ground and a full-fledged freight forwarding operation.”
Fennelly explained that while Intelligent’s assets under management were important to growing AIT’s presence in this region, what caught AIT’s attention was the acquired companies’ reputation for excellent customer service and the culture Intelligent had built to perform at that level.
“There was an immediate synergy,” he said. “A lot of times we focus on acquisitions for geography or vertical market expertise, but in this case their culture was a big part of it. I think if you have good people, you have a good experience with your customers and a good experience with your vendors. … You can’t do our job without great relationships with airlines, steamship lines and the trucking companies that work for us.”
That dedication to customer service has enabled Intelligent Logistics to build strong niche relationships in airfreight, e-commerce and reverse logistics for sectors like food and beverage, automotive and manufacturing.
“We can help them with our purchasing power and we are getting this great, local expertise and lifting our game in a more comprehensive way,” Fennelly said.
The CIO said this is not the end of AIT’s acquisition strategy as it continues to build its services in what he calls the “AIT triangle.”
“We are focused heavily on that triangle, in services between Europe, North America and Asia,” Fennelly said. “Those are very strong markets for us and those are areas we are looking forward to expanding [our services].”