Redwood Logistics is broadening its service capabilities with the takeover of Rockfarm Supply Chain Solutions and Global Distribution & Logistics.

The takeover of the Iowa-based firm, for an undisclosed sum, is a marriage of logistics players with a strong technology element: Redwood has a major focus on systems alignment; Rockfarm is frequently referred to as a tech-enabled transport logistics company.

“Redwood customers can now enjoy an enhanced suite of modern 4PL services through the acquisition of Rockfarm,” said Redwood CEO Mark Yeager. “Together, we’ll offer our customers complete visibility and cohesion across their supply chains by eliminating touchpoints and leveraging business intelligence.”

Between them, the pair manage $5.5bn of logistics business and, according to Mr Yeager, there is little overlap in their customer bases and he sees a lot of cross-selling opportunities.

In terms of technology, Rockfarm has a major focus on integration of TMS solutions from the MercuryGate suite. Redwood has pursued a TMS-agnostic approach, which included work with Oracle and MercuryGate suites besides a variety of other TMS systems and freight technology apps.

For Redwood, the acquisition marks a push into international forwarding, its current footprint is limited to Mexico, where it set up shop in 2018. In addition, the acquisition brings more data warehouse, business intelligence, data translation and claims management tools.

According to Mr Yeager, the integration should be fairly straightforward, as Redwood and Rockfarm have similar set-ups. Rockfarm’s leadership, management teams and employees will remain in place and will, in time, transition to Redwood .

“Rockfarm’s integration with Redwood places us at the forefront of technological advancements and industry trends, setting a new standard for innovation and progress,” said Todd Colin, Rockfarm’s CEO and designated chief integration officer under the Redwood banner. “Everyone stands to benefit from the expanded expertise and comprehensive freight management and brokerage solutions we now offer.”

Redwood is no stranger to expansion through acquisitions. In 2021, it made a decisive push into the parcel sector with the takeover of two specialist providers, Skipjack Supply Chain and Proactive Global Logistics. Two years earlier it bought Eminent Global Logistics, a major player in Oracle transport management.

Mr Yeager said there was room for further acquisitions in a market where funding for tech-based logistics players had slowed to a trickle, leaving many start-ups unable to move forward. And Redwood has financial muscle behind it, having been acquired by venture capital firm AEA Investors in late 2021.

Mr Yeager expressed no desire to acquire new capabilities at this point, but he does have his eye on geographic expansion, “especially Canada”.

Canada overtook China as a source of US imports in the first quarter, notes the Q1 Supply Chain Stability Index, published by KPMG and the Association for Supply Chain Management.

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