Byline: Kristi Ellis

LOS ANGELES — APL Logistics, an Oakland, Calif.-based supply-chain-management firm, has signed a definitive agreement to purchase GATX Logistics, one of the largest warehouse-based logistics companies in North and South America, for $210 million.
The deal, which is expected to close during the first quarter, could increase APL Logistics’ revenues by 70 percent, or more than $300 million, according to the company.
“It means a cost-effective, time-definite, end-to-end regional and global supply-chain management for retailers, automotive and other companies who source internationally,” said Dick Metzler, chief executive of APLL, in a statement. “It gives retailers global visibility from the factory floor [internationally] to the store or consumer’s door.”
APLL, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines — a global transportation and logistics business — boasts a customer base of 500 companies in the apparel sector, according to Metzler.
GATX, which is based in Jacksonville, Fla., operates approximately 21 million square feet of warehousing and services 35 markets with a fleet of more than 700 tractors and trailers. It is majority owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners LP and the Stephens Group, USA.
Better inventory visibility allows customers to proactively manage changes in demand and exceptions at any point along the supply line, which in turn reduces costs and even creates revenue because they can better control their inventory flow, said Metzler.
“Nobody does this well,” said Metzler, in a phone interview. “There are usually seven to eight hand-offs and the information flow is not integrated.”
As part of the deal, GATX Logistics, will transition to the APL Logistics brand name over the next six months, according to Metzler. Metzler also pointed to GATX’s strengths in information technology. APLL operates NetTrac, an internet-based service, which follows shipments down to the purchase order level.
“The emphasis that we put on e-commerce is mirrored at GATX Logistics, where they have developed a separate e-fulfillment business,” said Metzler. “+[E-commerce] is a big growth area and we can leverage strongly on the combined customer base of both organizations.”

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