GlobalTranz targets managed transportation market with Cerasis buy

GlobalTranz targets managed transportation market with Cerasis buy

GlobalTranz has been aggressive in acquiring brokers, specialist service providers, and technology companies to compete in a highly fragmented brokerage industry where customer demands grow higher daily. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

Third-party logistics services provider GlobalTranz has continued its acquisition spree with the purchase Thursday of Minneapolis-based Cerasis, a specialist in managed transportation services, specifically around less-than-truckload (LTL), parcel, and final-mile freight.

Phoenix-based GlobalTranz, the eighth-largest freight broker in North America, has made 11 acquisitions since 2017 as it attempts to consolidate its position as a multimodal third-party logistics company (3PL). The company also recently hired a new chief technology officer, Russ Felker, to amp up its focus on technology.

The addition of Cerasis, a broker that functionally acts as a managed transportation services provider via its proprietary transportation management system (TMS), allows GlobalTranz to add customers and technology in Cerasis’ key geographic and modal markets. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We have made transportation management less complicated by bringing together the right people, processes and technology,” Steve Norall, vice president of business development at Cerasis, said in a statement. 

“Combining with GlobalTranz allows us to continue this history while providing our customers with increased service offerings and access to capacity,” Steve Ludvigson, president of Cerasis, added in the statement.

Increased demand for standalone TMS

It’s not immediately clear whether Cerasis’ TMS will be offered as a standalone product or integrated into GlobalTranz’s own TMS, which it offers to shippers, carriers, and other logistics service providers (LSPs). In a 2019 briefing with JOC.com, the company said it was looking to grow the customer base of users of its TMS as a standalone offering.

In the statement, GlobalTranz said it has significantly grown its own managed transportation services revenue over the past year and that Cerasis will “accelerate that growth.”

Most of GlobalTranz’s large competitors in the freight brokerage space, such as C.H. Robinson, Echo Global Logistics, and J.B. Hunt, offer a managed transportation service, an arrangement where the 3PL runs its own transportation management software on behalf of the shipper. That essentially alleviates the need for the shipper to devote resources toward daily planning, tendering, and payment activities.

Cerasis had begun to carve out a business segment around parcel management, traditionally an area where shippers struggle to contain cost. Specifically, Cerasis’ system is intended to enable shippers to manage LTL, parcel, and final mile within the same workflow, or have Cerasis handle that for them.

“Cerasis will help expand GlobalTranz’s growing managed transportation, final mile and reverse logistics capabilities,” Renee Krug, GlobalTranz CEO, said in the statement.

Contact Eric Johnson at eric.johnson@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @LogTechEric.