Transport logistics software group WiseTech Global (ASX: WTC) has acquired shipping container optimisation platform Matchbox Exchange in a move that the company says shores up its plans to become the preferred operating system for global logistics.
MatchBox Exchange is described as the world's leading 'open market' software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for the exchange of shipping containers between logistics companies.
The privately owned Melbourne-based company, founded and led by Carl Marchese, optimises container loads by providing a platform for the reuse and exchange of shipping containers between operators in the landside logistics space.
Matchbox Exchange operates in 10 countries, largely in the Asia-Pacific region with its customers comprised of transport companies and their clients such as freight forwarders, importers and exporters.
WiseTech, which is led by founder Richard Wise, has not disclosed financial details of the acquisition which is among the many that the company has sealed in recent years to expand its own SaaS offering for logistics companies.
The company bolstered its North American landside logistics capability recently through the acquisition of Envase Technologies and Blume Global in the second half of FY23. The North American market is considered the largest and most complex logistics region in the world.
The Matchbox acquisition follows WiseTech's purchase of Singapore-based Container Chain in 2019, with that platform optimising container depot operations and gate slot-booking. But the company says that MatchBox Exchange adds totally new capabilities.
“MatchBox Exchange brings new digital capability to optimise the reuse of shipping containers to reduce unnecessary trucking trips, increase container utilisation and improve productivity,” says Wise, the WiseTech CEO.
“This is a great example of true optimisation by offering more than mere visibility, creating actionable data for end-to-end process optimisation across the supply chain.”
Wise notes that container movements globally totalled about 862 million TEU (Twenty Foot Effective Units) per day in 2022, highlighting the importance of the acquisition in assisting logistics companies to optimise their usage of shipping containers.
“This transaction demonstrates WiseTech’s continued investment in our landside logistics development priority, enhancing our CargoWise ecosystem in the container optimisation space, while helping to reduce traffic congestion in ports from unnecessary transport of empty containers,” he says.
“This brings us another step closer to delivering on our vision to be the operating system for global logistics.”
The MatchBox Exchange platform matches businesses with a supply of empty containers with those who need them, collaborating with major global shipping lines such as Maersk, CMA-CGM, MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, HMM and Yang Ming.
The company says this helps landside logistics become more efficient and productive by boosting turnaround times and reducing the cost and inefficiencies of transporting, hiring and storing empty containers.
“Joining WiseTech Global will provide the scale and resources to grow the use of the MatchBox Exchange platform in new landside logistics markets, optimising the reuse and exchange of empty shipping containers, driving better utilisation of trucks and improving collaboration and productivity through digital processes,” says Marchese, the Matchbox Exchange CEO.
WiseTech is increasing its addressable market beyond international freight forwarding with landside logistics, including container optimisation, which is one of the company's development priority areas.
WiseTech posted a 9 per cent increase in statutory net profit to $212.2 million in FY23 following a 29 per cent lift in revenue to $816.8 million.
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