CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
October 16, 2019
Forward Thinking

Descartes buys PinPoint in move to capture more real-time vehicle data as Canada plans ELD mandate

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$11.5 million price tag could reach $13.8 million if firm reaches revenue targets, Descartes says.

Canadian logistics software provider Descartes Systems Group Inc. said yesterday it has acquired PinPoint GPS Solutions Inc., a provider of fleet tracking and mobile workforce solutions that will bulk up Descartes' ability to provide real-time information about the location of vehicles, the company said.

That type of data is expected to take on increasing importance in coming years as Canada moves forward with plans to follow the U.S.' lead in mandating the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) to monitor vehicle locations and drivers' hours of service.

Waterloo, Ont.-based Descartes paid $11.5 million up front for the deal, and could pay up to $2.3 million more if PinPoint reaches revenue-based targets in each of the first two years post-acquisition. Vince Arone, who had served as general manager of PinPoint, will now take the title of vice president for mobile telematics solutions at Descartes.

Toronto-based PinPoint says its platform helps users collect real-time location information on trucks and mobile workersthrough integrations with technology providers like Geotab for telematics and SkyBitz for trailer tracking.

In turn, Descartes feeds that type of data into its Routing, Mobile and Telematics suite, allowing users who handle delivery operations to improve their fleet and mobile resource productivity, manage driver performance, and comply with government regulations, the firm said.

"The electronic logging device (ELD) mandate in the U.S. has increased adoption of telematics solutions in both the U.S. and Canada over the last few years. The U.S. ELD mandate comes into full effect in December 2019, and Canada's ELD mandate is expected to follow," Arone said in a statement. "We see a great opportunity to meet the growing needs of our customers by combining our team and expertise with Descartes' wider Routing, Mobile and Telematics business."

Following the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)'s 2017 mandate for ELD use, Canada is expected to phase in its own ELD requirement with an initial compliance deadline in 2020 and an extended deadline of 2022 for those already using devices, according to Geotab.

The PinPoint acquisition marks Descartes' latest purchase of a logistics tech firm, following its $25.5 million takeover of mail and parcel scanning and tracking provider Velocity Mailand $32.4 million deal for transportation management systems (TMS) provider Aljex Software Inc.earlier this year. In another related acquisition, Descartes also bought up the truckload visibility provider Macropoint LLCfor $107 million in 2017.

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