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WiseTech acquires Containerchain for AU$92 million

Pictured: Richard White, CEO and founder of WiseTech Global; Photo: WiseTech Global

Worldwide customs and logistics software provider WiseTech Global has today announced the acquisition of Containerchain, a provider of shipping container tracking and managing systems for AU$92 million (just over USD$65.8 million) in cash.

Containerchain provides a variety of software products for container depots, road transporters, container terminals, warehouses, shipping lines and cargo owners. Containerchain software includes CDMS, a container depot management system for managing all aspects of container depot operations including gate management, inventory management, container survey, repair and fully automated billing.

The system “Notifications,” is a vehicle booking system that manages arrivals and queuing. It also offers a revenue-generating truck appointment system that optimises gate and yard capacity during operations. It includes pre-arrival trip validation and processing of approaching trucks.

Its third main system, “eGate,” is an app for smartphones and tablets that connects container facilities with truck drivers and other parts of the logistics supply chain. It automates the processing of truck arrivals in real-time thereby reducing the need for gate staff.

Containerchain operates in Malaysia, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the U.S. Its services currently cover more than five million import and export container movement notifications annually. The company counts many famous logistics names among its customer base including Qube, CMA CGM, ANL Container Line and more.

Containerchain will continue under the leadership of managing director, Chris Collins, and founder Tony Paldano. The deal also represents an exit for Champ Private Equity which acquired a 50 percent stake in ContainerChain in August 2016.

Richard White, the CEO and founder of WiseTech Global, commented, “Containerchain is a valuable connector technology, digitising and optimising container depot operations and gate slot-bookings, adding adjacent technology to our portfolio of… execution capabilities for 2PL and 3PL and further facilitating our new platform in development, CargoWise Nexus.

“We see great strategic value in the team’s container management technology, expertise and connectivity across land side communities and significant market penetration in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Importantly, this acquisition further expands our offering and ability to reach new customer segments… This transaction is an additional component in our global container automation and domestic landslide technology developments.

“We currently track more than 12 million ocean containers annually through all major milestones, including container depots and ports. Now, with Containerchain, we will be able to provide additional visibility, notifications and decision-making capability domestically on both ends of the container chain. Increasingly, we are expanding into capabilities that will connect and enable logistics providers and carriers with beneficial cargo owners such as shippers, importers, exporters and other logistics users.”

WiseTech is a highly acquisitive company, having bought 12 companies in the six months to December 2018 (in Australia, Italy, North America, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the U.K.). It also acquired a Norwegian company in February 2019 WiseTech has carried out 28 acquisitions in five years to the financial year ended June 30, 2018 (the Australian financial year runs from July to June).

The company’s flagship product, CargoWise One, enables logistics service providers to carry out transactions in freight forwarding, customs clearances and warehousing among other things.

Sydney, Australia-headquartered customs and logistics software provider WiseTech Global earlier this month released details of massive increases in revenues and profits for the six months to December 2018.

ASX-listed WiseTech reported that total revenues increased by 68 percent (AU$93.4 million/ USD$67 million) in the July-December 2018 period to stand at AU$156.7 million in the first half of 2019. Australia’s financial year runs from July to June. Gross profit increased 64 percent to AU$126 million. Operating profit increased 59 percent to AU$35.9 million and net profit after tax increased 48 percent to AU$23.1 million.

WiseTech counts over 12,000 logistics organizations as customers in 130 countries, generating over 54 billion data transactions each year. It employs over 1,600 people across 40 offices mostly in Oceania, Asia, Europe and North America. It also has four offices in Latin America and two in South Africa.

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Jim Wilson, Australia Correspondent

Sydney-based journalist and photojournalist, Jim Wilson, is the Australia Correspondent for FreightWaves. Since beginning his journalism career in 2000, Jim has primarily worked as a business reporter, editor, and manager for maritime publications in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. He has won several awards for logistics-related journalism and has had photography published in the global maritime press. Jim has also run publications focused on human resources management, workplace health and safety, venture capital, and law. He holds a degree in law and legal practice.

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