The Supply Chain Matters blog features our This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech column, a brief synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management focused technology news which we believe would be of interest to our readers.This Week in Supply Chain Technology

Included in this edition are two weeks of highlights related to noteworthy announcements and/or developments related to Flexport, TuSimple, Maersk, Vandergrift, Browz and Avetta.

This week’s highlights again reflect a theme of a lot of money flowing into logistics and supply chain management process innovation.


SoftBank Leads $1 Billion Funding Round for Flexport

The Wall Street Journal reported that Softbank Group’s Vision Fund is leading a $1 billion Series D round of funding in Flexport, an international shipping broker with roots in Silicon Valley.  The six-year old technical provider arranges ocean and air freight shipments for retailers and manufacturers utilizing technology that emulates popular travel booking web sites.

According to the report, this new capital will further Flexport’s plans for broader technology development and augmentation of services to broader industry verticals and shippers. Company revenues have surpassed $500 million with upwards of a thousand employees. The Vision Fund investment was augmented from three other existing prominent investors.


TuSimple Raises $95 Million in New Funding

International autonomous trucking technology provider TuSimple has reported raised $95 million in Series D funding led by Chinese investor Sina Corp., known for its Weibo microblogging platform. Hong-Kong based Composite Capital Management also participated in this round, bringing total funding to $178 million.

TuSimple’s mission is in developing technology that would allow over-the-road tractor-trailer to run beyond 11-hour limits by autonomous driving. Founded in 2015, the company’s technology is predicated on more robust camera and imaging technology. The company plans to utilize added funding to fund joint development with various truck manufacturers and component suppliers.


Maersk Acquires Custom Broker Vandegrift

Industry leading ocean container shipping giant A.P. Moeller Maersk announced that is has acquired New Jersey based customs broker Vandegrift in an effort to broaden and expand land-based services. Any terms of this deal were not disclosed.

As noted in a prior Supply Chain Matters blog commentary, Maersk stands to reportedly double its existing North America based customs brokerage services, but also gain added technology prowess as a result of the acquisition.

Vandegrift’s focus is on customs brokerage, trade compliance and global logistics among 11 locations in the US, Canada and Hong Kong. The company claims to be the industry leader in advanced technology automation to include customized programming to help any client integrate with any existing shipping network platform, custom EDI integration programming services and the ability of clients to establish automated reporting and tracking.

A Maersk executive told The Wall Street Journal that the attraction of Vandergrift were its capabilities in areas where Maersk currently lacks today.


Avetta and Browz Combine Supply Chain Risk Capabilities

Two supply chain risk management technology providers Avetta and Browz announced that they are joining forces under the Avetta moniker. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Both companies are based in Utah with global based satellite offices. The combined client base includes customers among a very broad base of industry verticals to include manufacturing, logistics and transportation.

Avetta CEO John Herr will lead the combined companies and indicated that employment will rise to upwards of 450 in order to broaden geographic reach, expand in existing areas and in new markets.  The combined Cloud based SaaS services focus on mitigating supply chain risks in workplace health and safety, modern slavery, sustainability as well as bribery/corruption regulatory compliance.


Note to Readers- Supply Chain Matters will feature our This Week in Supply Chain Tech series as announcements warrant.


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