WiseTech in port logistics pivot point purchase

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  • Plant & Equipment

Voracious local tech giant snaps up freight IT services firm Containerchain

Chris Collins and Tony Paldano

Global trade-focused IT group WiseTech Global has bought Containerchain, the container optimisation solutions provider to the container shipping and landside container logistics industries in Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States.

Containerchain’s solutions provide real-time tracking, automation, connectivity, operational planning and container visibility across the supply chain; currently covering more than 5 million import and export container movement notifications annually.

As such, the purchase pitches WiseTech, at one remove, into the troubled local landside container transport and logistics scene.

WiseTech Global is acquiring Containerchain from founder Tony Paldano and funds managed by Champ Private Equity for a reported $92 million.

Headquartered in Singapore, Containerchain is a market leader for containerised solutions in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore with more recent expansion to Malaysia, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the US, serving empty container depots, road transporters, container terminals, warehouses, shipping lines and cargo owners.

Its customers include Qube Holdings, CMA CGM, ACFS Port Logistics, Arrow Transport and Logistics, Chalmers, DP World Logistics Australia, Kuehne + Nagel, Cogent Holdings, CWT, Eng Kong, ITS Con Global, ANL Container Line, Port of Tauranga, Pinnacle Corporation, CDAS (Container Depot Association of Singapore) and other logistics providers and organisations.

"Containerchain is a valuable connector technology, digitising and optimising container depot operations and gate slot-bookings, adding adjacent technology to our portfolio of CargoWise One 2PL and 3PL execution capabilities and further facilitating our new platform in development, CargoWise Nexus," WiseTech Global founder and CEO, Richard White says.

"We see great strategic value in the team’s container management technology and expertise, connectivity across landside communities and significant market penetration in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Importantly this acquisition further expands our offering and ability to reach new customer segments.

"Bringing Containerchain into the WiseTech group now, with our powerful innovation capacity across our 20 development centres worldwide and our significant operational capacity to support commercial engagement for their new entry markets, presents an incredible opportunity for efficient future growth – benefiting container communities and the 12,000organisations using WiseTech Logistics solutions across the world.

"This transaction is an additional component in our global container automation and domestic land-side technology developments.

"We currently track more than 12 million international ocean containers annually through all major milestones, including container depots and ports for logistics organisations.

"Now, with Containerchain, we will be able to provide additional visibility, notifications and decision-making capability domestically on both ends of the container chain. Increasingly, we are expanding into capabilities that will connect and enable logistics providers and carrier with Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCO’s) such as shippers, importers, exporters and other logistics users."

The announcement comes hot on the heels of listed WiseTech reporting a 48 per cent net first half profit rise to $23 million on a 68 per cent revenue rise to $157 million.

Containerchain’s view

Containerchain founder Tony Paldano sees the move as boosting transparency for its customers.

 "This is a big step forward, with customers getting access to full information management of their shipments, clean and complete data for improved decision-making, and significant productivity improvements for all stakeholders as a result," Paldano says.

"Containerchain remain committed to our customers internationally, who we know will benefit from our access to WiseTech’s significant R&D capabilities and global customer network."

"For some time, the containerised supply chain has been seeking integrated platform connectivity to further improve efficiencies and shipper visibility," Containerchain MD Chris Collins says.

"The combination of Containerchain’s landside container management ecosystem and WiseTech’s global CargoWise One execution platform will allow us to enhance this connectivity and ultimately deliver true door-to-door shipper visibility and optimisation."

Containerchain will remain under the joint leadership of Collins and Paldano.

Logistics issues

It is to Collins that port logistics protagonist Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA) plans to bring efficiency discussions, CTAA director Neil Chambers says in response to the transaction.

Chambers flags he is to meet Collins this week and with other Containerchain executives in the coming weeks, to "redouble efforts to seek productivity improvements in Australia's empty container management chain through greater information integration, visibility and optimisation".

"As CTAA  has briefed the container logistics sector over recent times, there are still many inefficiencies and ‘siloed thinking’ in the management of empty containers in Australia, which the sector needs to address collectively – including shipping lines, shippers and forwarders, stevedores, empty container park operators and transport operators," it says.

"CTAA's efforts to draw the parties together to achieve change will continue in 2019 in all Australian container ports."


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