Ryder Gobbles Up e-Commerce Fulfillment Company Whiplash Logistics for $480M: Distribution and Logistics Market Heats Up

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

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Jan 21, 2022

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Warehouse and fulfillment center business is going through demand-led growth, a phenomenon whereby an increase in demand stimulates an increase in supply. The latest is that Ryder, an American transportation and logistics company will acquire e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment provider Whiplash for $480 million.

“Whiplash’s best-in-class e-commerce platform and key geographic strongholds—coupled with Ryder’s industry-leading transportation logistics solutions, including our robust Ryder Last Mile delivery network for big-and-bulky goods—positions us to deliver incredible value for our customers who are looking for more advanced e-fulfillment solutions in today’s ever-changing landscape,”

Robert Sanchez, Ryder chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Ryder to Benefit from Whiplash’s Automation Tech & Team

Ryder expects to integrate Whiplash’s facilities, operations, technology, and warehouse automation and robotics into its e-commerce fulfillment solution within the supply chain solutions business unit. 

“With e-commerce sales continuing to hit record levels and omnichannel retailing becoming mainstream, we’re seeing a significant uptick in brands looking for more dynamic fulfillment services,”

Steve Sensing, president of global supply chain solutions | Ryder

In its press release, Whiplash announced that “Wofford Advisors LLC acted as strategic advisor to Ryder and Blank Rome LLP acted as legal counsel on the transaction. J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as exclusive financial advisor and Paul Hastings LLP served as legal counsel to Whiplash.”

In California’s Inland Empire, the supply chain doesn’t just flow. It gushes”.

Jeff Horseman

Ryder’s 2 Days and 1 Day Delivery Capability

60% of the U.S. Ryder expects to be able to deliver it within one day following the deal, and to help in this mission; Whiplash’s 17 warehouses.

Inalnd Empire: The Warehouse Central

Inland Empire, roughly consisting of the Riverside and San Bernardino counties is the logistics hub of the country. According to a Jeff Horseman, “In California’s Inland Empire, the supply chain doesn’t just flow. It gushes”.

As if the existing status of Inland Empire as a logistics hub was not enough, the lockdowns triggered by COVID-19 has fast tracked the growth of bigger and better warehouses and logistics outhouses of famous companies like WalMart and Amazon. In 2020, the top 500 North American retailers generated $849.5 billion in online sales, up 45.3% from 2019 and the biggest jump since 2006, wrote Matthew Stern in Forbes.

This provided confidence to new startups and logistics solutions and product providers to amp up their expansion into Inalnd Empire. For instance, an upcoming projects called the World Logistics Center is a next-generation logistics campus to be built on a 2,600-acre campus and is designed to attract the world’s leading companies.

The $3 billion World Logistics Center project, right here in Moreno Valley, will not only be a tremendous boost to our local economy, it will also generate millions in city fees, money that can help improve our public safety, build schools, streets, fire stations and other much needed public facilities.

World Logistics Center

Enter Whiplash Logistics

Whiplash is a 3PL (3rd Party Logistics provider) that serves wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers and distributors for their distribution and order fulfillment needs. It was originally a technology platform providing shopping cart integration and full-featured warehouse management system (WMS) and order management system (OMS) capabilities to both emerging and established ecommerce brands.

However, come February 2018 and Port Logistics Group, a leading provider of omnichannel logistics services took an ownership interest after Whiplash’s massive popularity in online brands. Later, Port Logistics acquired Whiplash Merchandising, Inc., in April 2019.

“The convergence of data, technology and ecommerce has changed the game for logistics and shipping providers. It’s no longer just about fulfilling orders. It’s about providing a seamless customer experience from the second a consumer clicks ‘buy’ to the moment the product arrives in-hand. The acquisition of Whiplash allows us to complement our already robust logistics IT with more complete order management and shopping cart-ecommerce solutions demanded by omnichannel shippers today.” 

Greg Morello | President and chief commercial officer of Port Logistics Group.

Sensing a massive shift towards innovation and technology adoption in the logistics industry, and rise of e-Commerce fulfillment industry due to hypergrowth of Shopify, Returnly, and Magento-based online stores, Port Logistics Group rebranded itself to Whiplash—in May 2021, we’ve rebranded to capture the direct-to-consumer (D2C) order fulfillment market.

2009 — Whiplash Merchandising founded — Attracts 500 Startups and Port Logistics as investors

2018 — Port Logistics Group takes an ownership interest in Whiplash Merchandising

2019 — Port Logistics Group acquires Whiplash Merchandising

2021 — Whiplash Logistics acquires Enlinx, a 3PL fulfillment provider located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2021 — Ryder enters into a difitnitive agreement to acquire Whiplash Logistics for approximately $480 million in cash

Thus, the latest acuqisition brings another twist into Whiplash Logistics’ story. In part, the story of Whipllash Logistics is the story of logistics and e-Commerce supply chain industry depicting how fast the company, as well as the industry is evolving.


Related Logistics Stories

Why The Inland Empire is a Great Destination for Logistics Startups According to Ron Starner, Executive Vice President of Conway Inc., a full service economic development consulting firm specializing in corporate expansion & relocation and foreign direct investment, what makes San Bernardino specially attractive for logistics businesses is an international airport, best-in-class freeways and state highways, ports offering long-haul rail access and multimodal logistics facilities, and a robust rail network.

4th Sector Innovations: A Logistics & Supply Chain Startup Accelerator in California: 4th Sector Innovations, or 4th SI founded by Kevin Meredith, is both a startup accelerator and a business incubator located in Ontario, CA. One of the flagship programs of 4th Sector Innovations is the ‘Instantaneous Accelerator’ which is a non-dilutive three-month program to help commerce and logistics startups. It helps scale logistics and commerce startups that have attained meaningful customer validation and are looking to grow.

4th SI helps startup founders to scale their ventures and bring angel investors and venture capitalists on board. By the end of the program, startups can expect to step on the gas pedal and scale beyond the local needs.

Esri: The Google of The Inland Empire: Esri, an acronym of ‘Environmental Systems Research Institute‘ is a mapping software company that makes desktop and cloud-based geographic information system (GIS) and geodatabase management applications. It was founded 52 years ago in 1969. The company is headquartered in Redlands, California, some 60 miles east of Los Angeles. To date, it is a privately held company, wholly owned by Jack and Laura Dangermond.

Just like Google’s ‘Googleplex’ campus in Mountain View CA, Esri maintains a multi-acre campus in Redlands, CA that is covered in plantation and trees with access to walking paths, turtle ponds, a library housing hundreds of books, a 24/7 gym, and a Starbucks bar.


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  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.

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