Supply chain planning software vendor E2open Inc. is continuing to consolidate its position in the logistics tech field with yet another acquisition—its fifth since 2016—announcing today that it has bought the ocean shipping networkprovider INTTRA Inc. in a move to expand its network of supply chain data, visibility, and decision-making tools.
INTTRA, with headquarters in Parsippany, N.J., is a software and information provider that supports an ocean carrier and shipper network. Founded in 2001 by a consortium of ocean carriers, INTTRA has created a global, neutral, multi-carrier network across 177 countries with more than 35,000 active shippers, 60 carriers, and 150 integrations with transportation management and port system software partners, the firm says. In 2017, INTTRA acquired the Belgian firm Avantida in a move to extend those ocean movements into land-based activities and address container reuse and repositioning for ocean carriers, transport companies, terminals, depots, and others.
Austin, Texas-based E2open said combining that network with its own platform will create a broad system that strengthens connections and streamlines information flow between manufacturers, suppliers, shipping service providers, ocean carriers, and other global trade partners.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2018, pending federal regulatory approval for anti-trust issues.
Following completion of the deal, INTTRA will operate as its own business unit, focused on the freight forwarder, third party logistics (3PL) provider, and ocean carrier communities, while E2Open retains its focus on serving large shippers and beneficial cargo owners (BCOs), E2Open CEO Michael Farlekas said in an interview.
By expanding the range of supply chain data stored natively on its cloud-based platform, E2Open expects to be able to offer its clients improved visibility over freight and inventory movement, as well as enhanced decision-making processes through its forecasting, planning, and collaboration tools, he said.
That approach is also expected to help E2Open gain access to new market sectors, including the freight forwarder community and the smaller sized shippers that make up one-third of the freight booked through INTTRA's platform, Farlekas said. In comparison, E2Open's current customer base is focused squarely on tier-one brands and the largest shippers in each sector, he said.
The purchase was the latest move by E2open, which has been on an aggressive buying spree in the sector, most recently acquiring the transportation management system (TMS) provider Cloud Logistics, as well as channel data management (CDM) platform provider Zyme, business process software provider Steelwedge Software Inc., and demand-forecasting tool vendor Terra Technology.
Those assets will now join INTTRA in falling under E2open's single umbrella as a cloud-based provider of networked supply chain solutions, the company said. "The combination provides value to all stakeholders - manufacturers, logistics service providers, freight forwarders and ocean carriers," Farlekas said in a release. "We aim to bridge the gap between manufacturing and logistics with execution capabilities on a unified platform with real-time end-to-end visibility. Shippers will be able to better leverage ocean shipping efficiency, ocean carriers will be able to improve customer experience, and freight-forwarders will be more effective in multi-modal and integrated logistics operations to help grow their respective businesses."
According to E2Open, the combined companies will offer deep integrations with logistics service providers (LSPs), from third-party, fourth-party, freight forwarders, non-vessel owning common carriers (NVOCCs), and carriers servicing all modes of transportation - air, road, rail and ocean.