Descartes buys Portrix for €22m

  • May 18, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Canadian logistics firm Descartes Systems Group has acquired Portrix Logistic Software, a German provider of multimodal rate management for logistics services providers (LSPs), for €22m.

Portrix has been helping its customers, which include some of the world’s largest LSPs, streamline and automate complex global shipping rate management processes for more than ten years. The company’s core product, Global Price Management (GPM), is used to enable global shipment routing, pricing, rating and capacity allocation management.

Portrix’s products integrate with key systems that need fast, accurate and complete shipping and pricing options, including CRM, transportation management and customer-facing online booking platforms, such as Descartes Kontainers.

“Automated rate management tools are critical for LSPs looking to digitise the customer experience,” said Henning Voss, co-founder of Portrix and now a vice president at Descartes. “As the momentum for digitisation accelerates, the demand for our solutions continues to grow. In particular, we’ve seen an increase in demand for an integrated Descartes Kontainers-Portrix solution, making the decision to combine with Descartes a logical next step for the business and our customers. We’re looking forward to taking our existing partnership with Descartes to the next level.”

Portrix is headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. Descartes acquired Portrix for approximately €22m, satisfied from cash on hand.

“The logistics industry is really seeing the benefits that digitisation and automation can deliver,” said Edward Ryan, Descartes CEO. “LSPs that don’t increase their investments in this part of their business risk struggling with higher costs to serve and an inferior customer experience. Our investment in Portrix, combined with our recent investments in Kontainers and QuestaWeb, allows us to offer a truly differentiated end-to-end product for LSPs looking to digitise their operations with a pre-integrated solution. Our best-of-breed rate management and online booking tools can also help customers looking to enhance their operations while preserving investments in their existing back-office systems.”

Descartes provides on-demand, software-as-a-service focused on improving the productivity, performance and security of logistics-intensive businesses. Its customers use its modular, software-as-a-service to route, schedule, track and measure delivery resources; plan, allocate and execute shipments; rate, audit and pay transportation invoices; access global trade data; file customs and security documents for imports and exports; and complete other logistics processes. The firm’s headquarters are in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada and it has offices and partners around the world.

Los Angeles-based Jaxxon, a lifestyle brand offering men’s and women’s jewellery collections and accessories, is using Descartes’ cloud-based ecommerce warehouse management system to scale fulfilment operations to serve consumers in more than 150 countries.

“At Jaxxonb, the customer experience starts behind the scenes,” said Josh Pierce, co-founder of Jaxxon. “As our shipment volumes began to grow rapidly, this commitment not only drove the transition to a new warehouse facility but also prompted our investment in leading ecommerce technologies for smarter warehouse management. We stood up the warehouse and the Descartes solution in parallel, just ahead of the holiday season, and today fulfil six times more orders per day than a year ago in our old facility. This has helped us to make this type of growth possible and to build credibility with customers for both high-quality service and high-quality products.”