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E-commerce Expected to Result in New Wave of Acquisitions in Logistics Industry

The drive by e-retailers to create comprehensive, end-to-end supply chain operations will trigger a new round of acquisitions in the logistics industry in 2013, says Cathy Roberson, senior analyst at research firm Transport Intelligence and author of the North American e-commerce Logistics report.

There have already been a number of e-commerce-related acquisitions over the last year as companies from all angles of the industry have sought to build out comprehensive offerings.

EBay, Amazon, RedPrairie and even Google have acquired companies, which have enhanced their supply chain and logistics capabilities. Most recently, Ingram Micro acquired Brightpoint, the wireless device supply chain company, to accelerate its growth in the global e-commerce supply chain. Brightpoint presently utilizes over 2.5 million square feet of warehousing.

One of the most important trends of the last year has been the drive for retailers to get closer to their customers, as exemplified by Amazon's changing distribution strategy. E-retailers want to be able to provide near-instant gratification for shoppers, meaning that same -day delivery services are on the rise.

Roberson says, "Given that the major e-retailers have displayed a willingness to build owned operations, as opposed to outsourcing them, this could mean that regional small parcel providers such as OnTrac, Spee-Dee or Eastern Connection may be targeted for acquisition. Companies like Amazon could capitalize on one or several of these smaller players to deliver in more populated areas, such as the U.S. Northeast."

However, other smaller, more specialized providers could also be on their radar. Some of these are profiled in Ti's latest report, North American e-commerce Logistics 2012, such as Dynamex, Kenco or IDS. Other e-retailers may follow suit, leading to a spate of acquisitions in the coming months. This is in addition to specialist service providers, including those providing software services, warehouse automation, drop boxes and value adding logistics.

North American e-commerce Logistics 2012 examines the way transportation and logistics providers are responding to the rise of e-commerce, not only with delivery options, but also in the realm of warehousing and fulfillment, information technology, and finance.

Source: Transport Intelligence

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