March 14, 2019

Quiet Logistics acquired by real estate partners

Buying 3PL is move to capture greater share of e-commerce market, Related Companies and Greenfield Partners say.

By DC Velocity Staff

Third-party logistics provider (3PL) Quiet Logistics Inc. has been acquired by a pair of real estate development firms in an effort to capture a greater slice of the expanding e-commerce market for both digital native and brick-and-mortar brands, the company said today.

Devens, Mass.-based Quiet Logistics was purchased in a joint acquisition by Related Companies LP, a New York real estate and lifestyle company known for large-scale neighborhood developments, and Greenfield Partners, a Westport, Conn.-based property investment and logistics specialist.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a Quiet Logistics spokesman said that the arrangement will also provide an "infusion of capital" in the range of several hundred million dollars to drive future growth, following an "owned-facilities growth plan" to expand its position in providing e-commerce fulfillment services.

The company currently operates several fulfillment centers in the East Coast and Midwest regions, and now plans to expand that network with additional facilities in the West Coast and Southwest areas of the U.S., with plans to extend globally in coming years.

Quiet Logistics Founder and CEO Bruce Welty will continue to work with the existing management team to grow the business. Welty recently returned to the company as chief executive officer, after working in the executive suite at its sister firm Locus Robotics, the Wilmington, Mass.-based warehouse automation vendor that he also co-founded.

Quiet Logistics has been a user of Locus' autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) since its inception. Locus has also been growing fast in recent years, raising $25 million in venture funds in 2017 and announcing deployments with major logistics firms such as Port Logistics Group and DHL.

The acquisition will deepen an existing relationship between Quiet Logistics and two of its customers—the retailers Mack Weldon and M.Gemi—that recently opened brick-and-mortar stores in Related Companies' Hudson Yards development in New York City. Quiet Logistics also provides logistics services for brands such as Bonobos, Outdoor Voices, AWAY, and Love Your Melon, saying it generates speed and precision in fulfillment operations by deploying a combination of robotic technology, proprietary software systems, and human touch.

According to Related Companies, that recipe is a good match for its business model of generating fast growth in customer-focused operating businesses such as Equinox and SoulCycle that rely on a significant expansion of and investment in their real estate portfolios. "Related has developed some of the most successful retail developments in the U.S. and we are acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities presented by omnichannel e-commerce," Michael Winston, managing director of Related Fund Management, said in a release. "Quiet Logistics has an incredibly strong management team that combines deep knowledge of and expertise in technology-driven third-party fulfillment operations with an exceptional team of innovators in robotics design and development."

Editor's note: This story was revised on March 14 for clarity about the terms of the acquisition.

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