The acquisitions keep coming at FedEx Corp. The company announced yesterday it bought Bongo International, which specializes in helping North American retailers and brands sell online to consumers in other countries.
Seven of the retailers listed in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide report using Bongo International for international services. Three retailers in the Second 500 use Bongo for fulfillment and two for shipping, though none list it as providing international services. FedEx serves 144 merchants in the Top 500 and 172 in the Second 500.
“Our knowledge and experience within the evolving cross-border enablement environment, as well as our customer-centric culture, is a perfect fit with FedEx. We’re excited about joining the FedEx family,” said Craig Turnbull, Bongo International co-founder and CEO. “Our collective cross-border and transportation solutions will catapult our customers’ global e-commerce business capabilities.”
The announcement comes just days after FedEx announced it would purchase logistics provider Genco, which handles more than 600 million returns each year for retailers and brands. The terms of that deal were not disclosed but FedEx emphasized the deal would broaden the services it can offer online retailers. FedEx and also said that Genco has annual sales of $1.6 billion and more than 11,000 employees.
It also comes two months after United Parcel Service of America Inc. announced it was buying i-parcel LLC, which helps e-retailers send products to international customers. I-Parcel, founded in 2005, serves three merchants in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide and none in the Second 500 Guide. UPS provides shipping for 176 Top 500 retailers and 232 Second 500 retailers, according to data at Top500Guide.com.
This acquisition is a win for retailers, says Walt Blum, a senior consultant at consulting firm FitForCommerce. “The biggest headache of shipping internationally is preparing all the paperwork; which now will be the responsibility of Bongo International,” Blum says. “This will provide FedEx the opportunity to capture business they previously competed for but were unable to support.”
He compares the purchase to UPS’ purchase of i-parcel. “The acquisition of Bongo by FedEx comes on the heels of the UPS acquisition of i-parcel, a move that allows these massive shipping entities to penetrate the ecommerce space, as well as enhance the logistics end of Bongo,” Blum says. “This is a benefit to both companies who will have improved on previous weaknesses in their offering, while expanding their presence in the e-commerce space.”