Coyote Logistics and Access America Transport (AAT) announced this week that they are merging (terms of the deal were not disclosed). Here are some details from the press release:
Founded in 2002, Chattanooga, Tennessee-based AAT handles multi-modal transportation including truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, flatbed, and specialized freight for shippers and carriers across the country. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will be one of the largest 3PL service providers in North America with run rate revenues of over $2 billion, 17 North American locations, approximately 40,000 contracted carriers and approximately 1,750 employees.
In the “build vs. buy” technology debate, Coyote is firmly in the build-your-own camp. And like other relatively young 3PLs (Coyote was launched in 2006), the company positions its technology as a competitive differentiator. On its website, Coyote claims, “We have complete control of our technology because we design and build it — we are transportation experts who also know science, engineering, and application development.”
As I commented recently in 3PLs, What Business Are You In?, 3PLs are not just in the business of providing customers with logistics services like transportation management and warehousing; they are also in the business of providing (among other things) software applications, trading partner connectivity, and data quality management services that provide customers with timely, accurate, and complete visibility to supply chain events, information, and intelligence.
Interestingly, just like I argued earlier this week that some shippers are looking bring outsourced operations back in house “to gain more control,” Coyote apparently justifies developing its own technology solutions in-house “to have complete control.” I guess we’re all just a bunch of control freaks.