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Ryder System is set to acquire Whiplash in move to boost e-fulfillment network

Taking steps to expand its e-fulfillment network, Miami-based freight transportation and logistics services provider Ryder System Inc. said earlier this week it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Industry City, Calif.-based omnichannel fulfillment and logistics services provider Whiplash. 

Ryder officials said that the purchase price is roughly $480 million, with the transaction expected to be completed later this month or in January.

Whiplash’s service portfolio is comprised of scalable e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment offerings for more than 250 start-up, enterprise, and enterprise brand shippers, according to Ryder, adding that the company has 19 dedicated and multi-client warehouses comprised of around 7 million square-feet, with access to key port locations and gateway markets.

This acquisition also boosts Ryder’s e-commerce fulfillment network through the addition of new facilities in the following locations: Chino, Calif; City of Industry, Calif.; Long Beach, Calif.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Savannah, Ga.; Newark, N.J.; Secaucus, N.J.; Clifton, N.J.; Columbus, Ohio; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Sumner, Wash. And the company also noted that bringing Whiplash into the fold augments Ryder’s services in key port operations, offering “four-corner coverage of all major U.S. inbound gateways” via Seattle/Tacoma, New York/New Jersey, Savannah, and Long Beach.

Perhaps the most significant element of this deal is that post- acquisition, Ryder said its e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment offering is expected to be able to deliver to 100% of the U.S. within two days and 60% of the U.S. within one day.

Steve Sensing, President Global Supply Chain Solutions, told LM that there were various drivers for Ryder to acquire Whiplash, including how the rapidly evolving retail landscape has led to some exciting opportunities for Ryder over the last 18 months.

“In the logistics industry, we have seen an increase in growth of roughly 30% in e-commerce, this is in comparison to an average growth rate of 12% per year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “With e-commerce sales hitting record levels and omnichannel retailing hitting the mainstream, we’re seeing a major uptick in brands looking for more advanced fulfillment services. This acquisition will advance our e-commerce strategy, establishing Ryder as the go-to provider for the fastest growing startup, emerging and enterprise brands who will benefit from advanced technology, a wider range of last-mile delivery options, and the combined geographic network of e-commerce facilities.”  

And he also added that Whiplash is highly regarded as one of the nation’s leading providers in omnichannel fulfillment solutions, with a proven leadership team, operational expertise, a leading proprietary OMS and WMS technology designed specifically for e-commerce, and deeply established relationships with an impressive roster of retail, apparel and home goods brands. 

When asked what the main benefits of this deal are for Ryder’s shipper customers, Sensing explained as many industries continue to be disrupted by the growth of e-commerce, Ryder remains at the forefront of helping our customers find new solutions.

“This acquisition will further enable many of the businesses we serve to better meet their customers’ demands, which are constantly and rapidly changing amid a heightened e-commerce era,” he said. “The acquisition of Whiplash is one of several strategic investments we have made to address and leverage the disruptions we are seeing in the market today and to position Ryder for future growth, as well as enhance our capabilities in e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment. The acquisition will give Ryder a significantly expanded presence in e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment as demand for these services continues to accelerate. Ryder has been impressed with Whiplash’s proprietary e-commerce fulfillment platform and omnichannel capabilities.”

Whiplash CEO Jeff Wolpov said in a statemen that this deal signals a new accelerated phase of growth for Whiplash that will benefit its current customers and dramatically enhance its ability to scale and deliver innovation for digitally-native brands and omnichannel retailers.

“Ryder’s supply chain expertise, facility network, and last-mile transportation solutions are a perfect complement to the Whiplash e-commerce platform, and we’re excited to be part of the Ryder team,” he said.

Ben Gordon, Managing Partner of Cambridge Capital, an investor in niche supply chain leaders and also Managing Partner of BGSA Holdings, a leading mergers and acquisitions advisory firm focused on the transportation, logistics, and supply chain technology sector, observed in a Tweet that this deal reflects the continued surge of interest in e-commerce logistics.

“Much like the American Eagle-Quiet and PSA Singapore-BDP acquisitions, it illustrates an infusion of new capital from asset-based or other industries into supply chain services,” he noted.

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About the Author

Jeff Berman's avatar
Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review and is a contributor to Robotics 24/7. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis.
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