Locus robots in a Whiplash fulfillment center (contributed photo)
Ryder System Inc. has significantly expanded its fulfillment network and added automation capabilities through the acquisition of 3PL Whiplash for $480 million, giving it warehouse assets in key markets and ports including Long Beach, CA, Seattle/Tacoma, New York/New Jersey and Savannah, GA.
Whiplash has 19 facilities included dedicated and multi-client warehouses totaling nearly seven million square feet. The deal is expected to close in early January. Whiplash’s assets will become part of Ryder’s supply chain services division, with CPG and retail making up about 40% of the overall business.
This follows Ryder’s October acquisition of Midwest Warehouse & Distribution Systems, which has 17 warehouses and a strong presence in the greater Chicago area. Before both acquisitions, Ryder had 63 million square feet of space in its supply chain network.
Steve Sensing, president of global supply chain solutions for Ryder, said the company had co-bot capabilities in place at some of its facilities through a partnership with Locus Robotics, but the Whiplash acquisition “drastically increases it.”
“Their automation is world class,” Sensing said. “They have a purpose-built software platform that allows SMBs to onboard much quicker, with greater flexibility and functionality to help customers scale as they grow. Maybe they start out just serving B2C but as they add retailers and need omnichannel capabilities, we can provide both home delivery and full pallet into retail stores.”
Whiplash brings Ryder facilities near LA/Long Beach (Chino, Long Beach, City of Industry, CA), Jacksonville, FL, Savannah, Newark, Secaucus and Clifton, NJ, Columbus, OH, Salt Lake City and Sumner, WA, near SeaTac.
“This announcement signals a new accelerated phase of growth for Whiplash that will benefit our current customers and dramatically enhance our ability to scale and deliver innovation for digitally-native brands and omnichannel retailers,” said Jeff Wolpov, CEO of Whiplash in a release. “Ryder’s supply chain expertise, facility network, and last-mile transportation solutions are a perfect complement to the Whiplash e-commerce platform, and we’re excited to be part of the Ryder team.”
In October, Ryder announced an investment in Gatik, whose technology will power autonomous middle mile deliveries for retail and ecommerce clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Initially, 20 leased Ryder box trucks will be equipped with Gatik’s autonomous technology.