Agile Network, a transportation and shipping management software firm, has agreed to acquire Ajillus, a Seattle-based company that offers shipping systems and supply chain software consultancy services bridging warehouse management systems, transportation management systems and e-commerce fulfillment.
Agile Network's Transportation Management & Execution (TME) software platform is capable of managing multiple shipping carriers for a customer, including FedEx, UPS, DHL, the U.S. Postal Service and many other international and regional shippers.
Ajillus has worked on supply chain projects for several retailers, including Amazon, Costco, REI, Nintendo and others, and has provided services supporting e-commerce fulfillment for more than 20 years.
The Ajillus deal means that Agile will integrate its software and expertise with one of the oldest names in the e-commerce supply chain market. Ajillus has been around for more than 20 years, having started during the Internet's awkward, balky phase — a distant time when Amazon's e-commerce empire was merely made up of books.
It has been an interesting year for Agile, which recently booted up the latest version of its software and renamed it TME. The deal to acquire Ajillus comes as the retail supply chain is becoming increasingly complex, with the industry now offering an abundance of shipping pricing models and a rising number of delivery options.
For third parties working with retailers, investing in supply chain services is becoming a hot commodity. Just last month, industrial conglomerate Honeywell agreed to buy Intelligrated, a provider of warehouse fulfillment solutions, from private equity group Permira Funds for $1.5 billion. More recently, the company was reportedly eyeing JDA Software in a $3 billion deal.
The M&A trend has grown rapidly since Amazon's 2012 buyout of Kiva Systems. The e-commerce giant has since made significant investments in the supply chain a key part of its growth strategy — and there may be no better proof of that influence than Target's effort to hire Amazon supply chain executives.