Canada-based ShipTrack’s services help carriers automate dispatches, track shipment status and retrieve estimated time of arrival.

Descartes Systems Group, which sells software that helps retailers manage their logistics and fulfillment operations, has acquired ShipTrack, a provider of cloud–based shipment tracking services for last-mile couriers for CA$25 million (US approximately $19 million) plus additional funds if ShipTrack achieves revenue targets in the two years after the acquisition.

Canada-based ShipTrack’s services help carriers automate dispatches, track shipment status and retrieve estimated time of arrival. ShipTrack says its services are especially well-suited for the ecommerce home delivery and medical courier markets.

“The challenge for today’s final-mile carriers is how to handle increasing volumes alongside rising consumer expectations for delivery choice and real-time information,” says Shawn Winter, co-founder of ShipTrack and now vice president of mobility solutions at Descartes. Winter says ShipTrack’s platform helps meet that challenge by helping last-mile carriers provide shipping information to businesses and consumers. “By joining forces with Descartes, we see an opportunity to create a truly differentiated product that combines our advanced final-mile solutions with Descartes route optimization and [carrier] reservations capabilities.”

The two companies say their combined suite of services will help ensure retailers can meet consumers’ delivery expectations efficiently.

“We believe there is a permanent shift in buying preferences underway that will continue to see an increasing number of goods being bought online,” says Descartes CEO Edward Ryan. “Descartes continues to invest in our ecommerce capabilities to make sure that our customers, large and small, can fulfill orders and meet delivery commitments efficiently. ShipTrack complements this strategy.

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Descartes has two retailer clients in the Digital Commerce 360 2020 Top 1000 DiscountRamps.com LLC (No. 562) and Rock Bottom Golf (No. 556)

Descartes also purchased ShipRush in 2017 for $14 million. ShipRush’s software automates the processing of incoming orders from multiple websites, enabling businesses and retailers to shop for the best price and delivery options for shipments.

Fulfillment and logistics management is an increasingly important service for online retailers as web sales continue to soar with the coronavirus while consumers seek to stay at home.

For example, Digital Commerce 360 projects holiday sales will surge 43% in 2020. That’s a major jump from the Digital Commerce 360-estimated 13.6% growth in November and December 2019.

And those sales will mean more shipments. Last-mile technology vendor Convey expects the 2020 holiday shipment volume for its 130 retail clients—which include The Home Depot Inc. (No. 5), Neiman Marcus (No. 40) and Eddie Bauer LLC (No. 137)—to increase at least 30% from last year. By comparison, shipment volume in November-December 2019 jumped by a moderate 14.2% year over year. Convey’s data is based on tens of millions of packages shipped from more than 500,000 U.S. locations across the company’s client base.

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