Logistics technology provider Descartes Systems Group has paid $19 million to acquire a fellow Canadian firm, saying the deal strengthens its e-commerce final-mile capabilities.

Waterloo, Ontario-based Descartes said Friday it has bought ShipTrack, a Plantagenet, Ontario-based provider of cloud-based mobile resource management and shipment tracking solutions. The cost of the deal could rise to $38 million if ShipTrack achieves revenue-based targets over the first two years post-acquisition.

ShipTrack says its technology helps customers automate dispatch, updates on shipment status, and estimated time of arrival (ETA), and eliminate paper-based delivery processes, with a focus on the e-commerce home delivery, parcel, and medical courier markets.

“The challenge for today’s final-mile carriers is how to handle increasing volumes alongside rising consumer expectations for delivery choice and real-time information,” Shawn Winter, ShipTrack’s co-founder and now Descartes’ vice president for mobility solutions, said in a release. “Our platform helps final-mile carriers meet that challenge head-on with powerful workflows across delivery processes and the ability to expose information to consumers in real-time. By joining forces with Descartes, we see an opportunity to create a truly differentiated product that combines our advanced final-mile solutions with Descartes route optimization and reservations capabilities.”

Descartes plans to add ShipTrack to its Global Logistics Network, which it describes as a collaborative web of logistics firms that pool their standards to facilitate global shipping and compliance through digital data exchange.

“We believe there is a permanent shift in buying preferences underway that will continue to see an increasing number of goods being bought online,” Descartes CEO Edward Ryan said in a release. “Descartes continues to invest in our e-commerce capabilities to make sure that our customers, large and small, can fulfil orders and meet delivery commitments efficiently. ShipTrack complements this strategy, and, when combined with our advanced Routing, Mobile and Telematics suite of solutions, fills a gap in the market.”

The acquisition is the latest deal by Descartes, which has bought up dozens of smaller firms in recent years, most recently taking on the digital freight platform provider Kontainers in June for about $12 million.


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