Belgian postal service buys fulfillment specialist Radial for $820M
Radial, the e-commerce fulfillment company once part of eBay, has been acquired by Belgian postal service operator bpost for about $820 million, the companies announced this week.
Bpost, which has a U.S.-based logistics operation called Landmark Global, aims to use Radial to expand that business to offer more cross-border e-commerce services to customers throughout North America and Europe, according to a press release announcing the deal.
Last year, Radial fulfilled more than 306 million units for its retail customers across 24 fulfillment centers, the company said. It expects to post revenue of between $970 million and $1.02 billion this year.
Radial did not remain independent for long. The company — which offers services around order management, fulfillment, payments, security and customer service for e-commerce operations — was the result of the spring 2016 merger between eBay Enterprise, which had itself been sold by eBay, and fulfillment player Innotrac.
Since then, the company has been refining and expanding its offerings. Last month, it announced Radial Edge to supply order fulfillment and inventory management applications to e-commerce sites that otherwise would need to purchase point solutions from multiple parties.
International cross-border e-commerce has become a big deal in recent years. Combatants in the market have been trying to out do one another by building out or acquiring more fulfillment centers and more global scale than the next guy.
Bpost is not the only logistics operator trying to grow its business, particularly in North America. DHL announced last year that it would invest more than $130 million to grow its footprint in the U.S. alone. FedEx also made a concerted effort last year to recast its approach to cross-boder e-commerce, and UPS has been making strategic moves with cross-border market opportunities in mind.
With competitors moving in the same direction, size and scale may not be the only things that matter. Bpost may be looking to Radial and its array of different services to provide some breadth and depth in its offerings. Those factors are likely to come into play particularly with e-commerce retailers that want global attention but need a multi-skilled partner to help them get there.
"Radial’s U.S. logistics footprint — including 24 fulfillment centers and 27,000 e-commerce workers — along with its full suite of omnichannel technology and services, will inject a distinctive set of capabilities that would otherwise take years to develop, including omnichannel technology, fulfillment, payment processing, tax management, fraud protection and customer care," Koen Van Gerven, CEO of bpost, told Supply Chain Dive.