Places Descartes Before E-Transport
S. McVey - March 17th, 2000
Descartes Systems Group announced a definitive agreement to purchase E-Transport,
Inc., a logistics exchange solution provider based in Pittsburgh, PA.
Descartes plans to offer $80 million (USD) in stock to the privately-held
E-Transport's Marketplace is an online B2B transportation marketplace
for shippers, carriers, and intermediaries, described as "a neutral switching
station" where trading partners from around the world can conduct business,
but still use their preferred data format and transmission means.
Descartes is making a strong play for the B2B and B2C transportation software
markets, emphasizing hosted application delivery over traditional licenses
and targeting both nascent Internet companies as well as brick and mortar
veterans with Internet aspirations. Its determination is evidenced by
seven acquisitions in the last three years. At $80 million, E-Transport
will cost Descartes more than the other six combined (see Table).
stock price has soared in recent months, enabling it to make acquisitions.
The key win for Descartes is E-Transport's multi-modal logistics capabilities,
which gives it an edge over other trading exchanges for logistics providers.
The move will help Descartes realize its goal to provide users global
visibility to all segments of their transportation networks.
great potential of the global logistics market has not gone unnoticed
by SCM market leader i2 Technologies who recently announced FreightMatrix,
the latest incarnation of its TradeMatrix marketplace exchange. i2's
entry into this space could spell trouble for Descartes, though it will
be some time before FreightMatrix offers international trade logistics
and multi-modal functionality.
Descartes has a considerable installed base in the beverage distribution
and home delivery industries, which benefit from its short time horizon
scheduling capabilities. Users in these industries or those in perishable
goods delivery should place Descartes on their shortlists, especially
when hosted applications are desired.
offers a DeliveryNet solution for logistics providers, but it is not
clear how this and the other modules will work together with the trading
exchange capability acquired from E-Transport. Users would do well to
avoid making a quick decision for Descartes and seek details of the planned
Mead & Associates, Inc.
software for bakery and other food industries
vehicle routing and scheduling software
optimization and scheduling for field personnel and delivery vehicles
partner collaboration, order tracking software
optimization software and consulting
global logistics exchange solutions