Descartes buys Kontainers for $12m

  • June 16, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Canadian logistics group Descartes Systems has acquired Kontainers, a provider of client-facing digital freight execution platforms, for $12m.
UK-based Kontainers transforms the customer experience for carriers, freight forwarders and third-party logistics service providers around the world. Kontainers’ products facilitate a digital customer experience including quoting, booking, tracking and dashboard analytics.
The company’s digital freight platform enables logistics services providers (LSPs) to create branded state-of-the-art digital experiences rapidly for their end customers. The technology also helps API-enable LSPs while preserving their investments in existing rate management and back-office systems.
“We’ve worked very hard with some of the world’s top logistics companies to create an optimal digital customer experience,” said Graham Parker, co-founder of Kontainers and now vice president at Descartes. “Our team of domain experts is thrilled to combine with Descartes, which will give us the opportunity to reach a broader audience much more quickly. When added to the global logistics network, we’ll also have the ability to offer a pre-integrated solution that combines Kontainers digital freight execution with Descartes’ rate management and forwarder enterprise systems.”
Kontainers is headquartered in the UK. Descartes acquired Kontainers for $12m, with up-front consideration of $6m, plus potential performance-based consideration. The up-front consideration was satisfied from cash on hand. The maximum amount payable under the all-cash performance-based earn-out is $6m, based on Kontainers achieving revenue-based targets in each of the first two years post-acquisition. Any earn-out is expected to be paid in fiscals 2022 and 2023.
“The last few months have shown how quickly the world can change, and the shift to digitisation is accelerating as a result,” said Edward Ryan, Descartes CEO. “Logistics services providers operate on tight margins. Those that don’t move quickly to digitise their customer experience will be faced with higher costs to serve. Without the proper real-time connections between client-facing platforms and the quoting, rating and booking systems that this digitisation brings, LSPs will struggle to efficiently meet customer demand in today’s dynamic market. We’re looking forward to working with the Kontainers customers, partners and team of domain experts to help the logistics community capitalise on this opportunity.”
Descartes is based in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and has offices and partners around the world.