E2open to Buy BluJay Solutions in $1.7 Billion Deal
E2open, a network-based provider of a cloud-based end-to-end supply chain management platform, announced that it will acquire BluJay Solutions, a cloud-based, logistics execution platform, in a deal valued at $1.7 billion.
BluJay is an integrated SaaS platform with solutions for Shippers, Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) and Freight Forwarders. It provides a suite of logistics execution applications and a broad trade network of over 50k participants, serving over 5,700 global customers.
“I am thrilled to welcome the exceptional team and great customers of BluJay Solutions to E2open,” said Michael Farlekas, president and chief executive officer at E2open. “Combining E2open’s end-to-end platform and large trading partner network with BluJay’s leading logistics execution software, we will provide more robust capabilities and value to our customers, unlocking a greater opportunity to accelerate our long-term growth. This transformative acquisition advances our strategy and is consistent with our approach to M&A over the last 5 years.”
What benefits does the acquisition have?
- Creates leading, independent SaaS-based supply chain platform spanning supply chain planning and execution: The acquisition of BluJay will materially expand E2open’s supply chain execution capabilities, especially in transportation management. Additionally, BluJay brings a highly complementary global trade management platform that encompasses customs declaration and filing to E2open’s strong capabilities in compliance and tariffs. The acquisition further adds key direct-to-consumer offerings including last mile, parcel and dropship commerce.
- Increases global reach and TAM: BluJay’s truly global footprint, with customers and offices across EMEA and APAC, will strengthen E2open’s global reach and ability to penetrate emerging markets with international leadership based in the UK. E2open’s primarily enterprise customer base will also add a strong presence in the upper mid-market with BluJay, adding more than $9 billion to an already strong TAM opportunity in North America and Europe.
- Complementary go-to-market strengths: BluJay’s go-to-market strategy emphasises new client acquisition. E2open’s go-to-market has historically focused on cross-selling and upselling products to existing customers. The combination leverages each company’s respective strengths to broaden the pool of cross-sell opportunities and significantly accelerates E2open’s strategic new logo initiative. Moreover, BluJay’s TMS solution provides E2open with another significant tip of the spear product to accelerate new logo growth for the combined company.
- Enhances E2open’s leading supply chain networks: E2open operates a leading trade network with over 220k network participants. BluJay augments E2open’s network to include over-the-road trucking and complementary air transportation, enabling complete visibility from truckloads to intermodal shipments. Further, BluJay’s global transportation network adds 50k network participants, $40 billion in annual commerce spend and 1.9 billion annual transactions to E2open’s existing network.
- Broadens E2open’s analytics offerings: E2open’s network and data will be expanded by BluJay’s trade network with over 50k network participants, enabling greater data collection and insights for customers across freight and visibility for better business decision-making. This will substantially increase the monetization opportunity that E2open already has today for its data.
“We are very excited about joining forces with E2open in this highly strategic combination,” said Andrew Kirkwood, chief executive officer at BluJay Solutions. “Together, we will deliver a more powerful supply chain software platform built upon the world’s largest global trade network.”
FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles
FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics.
The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener".
FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”
The changing role of couriers
Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time.
But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse.
“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”
Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds.
Last mile's role in ESG
Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings.