Descartes acquires Global Freight Exchange

Descartes Systems Group, a global on-demand software-as-a-service (SaaS) logistics solutions provider, has acquired Global Freight Exchange Limited (GF-X), a global leader for electronic freight booking in the air cargo industry. The acquisition of U.K.-based GF-X adds electronic air freight booking capability to Descartes’ Global Logistics Network (GLN), creating a global network capable of managing the entire air cargo shipment lifecycle.

GF-X’s offering includes a comprehensive, on-line cargo reservation system where air carriers and freight forwarders can complete electronic air cargo bookings. Many of the world’s leading carriers and forwarders use GF-X’s products in major airfreight markets worldwide, including American Airlines, Air France, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, DHL, Kuhne + Nagel, Lufthansa, and Panalpina. In support of Descartes’ acquisition of GF-X, several key air cargo carriers and freight forwarders have extended their customer commitments to use GF-X’s products and services.

The combination of GF-X with Descartes’ Global Logistics Network creates a powerful and comprehensive shipment management service for the air cargo industry. Customers can now electronically manage the entire air shipment lifecycle, including bookings; air waybills; house waybills; status messages; and customs filings. Descartes also has tools to help carriers and forwarders manage shipping rates from the initial booking all the way through to invoice presentation, bill of lading rating and audit. The combined service also helps customers comply with customs regulations and leading industry standards, such as the quality management structures of Cargo 2000 and e-freight. Together, GF-X and Descartes create a new, and truly end-to-end, shipment management service.

The purchase price for this acquisition included approximately USD 5.4 million in cash; approximately 0.5 million Descartes common shares that were issued to strategic airlines and freight forwarders, each of whom agreed to maintain their investment in Descartes for a minimum period ranging between 11 and 18 months; and up to an additional USD 5.2 million in cash if certain sales and other performance targets are met by GF-X over the next 4 years. In addition, Descartes anticipates that the final purchase price will include transaction and integration costs incurred in connection with the acquisition and an adjustment for net working capital.

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