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February 3 2020

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34 The Journal of Commerce | Februar y 3 2020 JOC Guide to 3PLs Special Report IN A BID to bridge the "chasms" between shippers, trucking companies, and third-party inter- mediaries and optimize supply chains through a single TMS platform, Global technology firm Trimble is buying Kuebix, a US transportation management sys- tem (TMS) software vendor. The deal, announced in early January, will combine the for-hire and pri- vate fleet technologies of Trimble Transportation and the ship- per-oriented TMS platform and tools of Kuebix, eventually giving shippers access to data on available truck capacity and motor carrier capabilities from several products and systems. For Trimble, a public company with $3.1 billion in revenue in 2018, the big attraction is that more than 21,000 shippers are using Kuebix's TMS, which is offered free to shippers. Kuebix is a private company founded in 2008. Trimble Transportation products, which range from a carrier TMS platform to geospatial tracking systems, help manage approximately 1.3 million trucks in North America. In announcing the acquisi- tion, expected to be completed in the first quarter, the companies said they will work together, in a phased approach, to build a common TMS with applications for motor carriers, shippers, and third-party intermediaries. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Connecting those assets and shippers on a single — if seg- mented — platform will give much greater opportunity to optimize transactions from end to end, from the building of a pallet or truckload shipment through final payment, executives from both companies said Jan. 9. "We have the opportunity to optimize down to that pallet and SKU across the supply chain," said James Langley, senior vice president of Trimble Transportation. By shar- ing data across a common platform, "you're crossing the chasms" sepa- rating "silos" of data, he said. "If we can connect them, the carrier and the shipper can be more efficient, and everyone is going to win," Dave Lemont, CEO of Kue- bix, said during a press conference. Through that connection, "there will be ways to improve asset utili- zation as never seen before." A key challenge will be not just making connections, but getting the oft-times warring shipper, car- rier, and third-party camps to share a platform. The chasms Trimble and Kuebix want to bridge are also trenches or boundary lines in the transactional battle that is shipping. "The biggest challenge is estab- lishing value and trust," Langley said. "We have to show shippers we are good stewards of their data Crossing the chasm Trimble and Kuebix plan TMS bringing together shippers, truckers, and intermediaries By William B. Cassidy and Eric Johnson "If we can connect the carrier and the shipper, there will be ways to improve asset utilization as never seen before."

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