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UK competitor acquires logistics company

May 4, 2016
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LeanLogistics developer meeting
Developers at Holland-based LeanLogistics gather for a meeting on recent software updates. Photo via

A UK competitor has acquired a logistics company in the region as part of its strategy to become the largest logistics platform in North America.

Manchester, England-based Kewill, a Francisco Partners portfolio company and provider of software for supply chain execution, announced this week an agreement to purchase Holland-based LeanLogistics from its parent company, Brambles.

Kewill said LeanLogistics is “a global leader in transportation solutions for shippers,” with hundreds of transportation management system, or TMS, customers across the U.S. and Europe, and a supporting network of more than 14,000 carriers.

LeanLogistics’ cloud-based platform manages and optimizes more than $10 billion of annualized freight spend for its customers.

By combing the two companies and their products, Kewill MOVE and LeanTMS, both businesses’ capabilities will be significantly enhanced.

“We see LeanTMS as a huge step forward for Kewill,” said Jim Hoefflin, president and COO, Kewill.

The MOVE platform — which is a comprehensive supply chain platform that enables shippers, carriers, freight forwarders and customs brokers to move product around the globe — provides additional components currently unavailable in LeanTMS as well.

“We believe we can quickly integrate some key capabilities into LeanTMS — such as yard management, deficit rating, shipment tracking and settlement for rail — to more comprehensively serve the needs of our customers,” said Chris Timmer, chief commercial officer, LeanLogistics. “We also see the opportunity to accelerate our parcel functionality, while being able to add entirely new customs and compliance capabilities.”

Hoefflin said new components, like LeanDex for freight rate indexing, have applicability across many of Kewill’s 7,500 customers.

“When you combine our two carrier networks, we will have by far the largest in North America,” he added.

Doug Braun, CEO of Kewill, said LeanLogistics’ solutions are “feature rich, highly scalable and managed by a skilled team.”

“We are excited to support the ongoing growth and investment in LeanLogistics' platform,” he said.

Braun said Kewill’s global platform will help accelerate LeanLogistics “already impressive growth” by leveraging Kewill's “extensive” European and Asian networks.

“Our tenure with Brambles has provided us the opportunity to invest in our solution, expand into different countries and has been a tremendous learning experience, but as we strive to deliver value for our customers every day, there is power in combining with a global supply chain execution company,” said Dan Dershem, president and CEO, LeanLogistics.

“The global transportation market is ready for a clear leader.”

LeanLogistics' Holland office will become Kewill’s largest office.

“We see an exciting culture and talent pool in and around Holland, Michigan and view the team as a critical part of the combined organization,” Braun said.

Braun expects to build the Holland office’s leadership team over the coming months.

“We strongly believe we can accelerate the success LeanLogistics has been experiencing,” he said.

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