Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

AFN Logistics buys HA Advantage to improve transportation management

Steve Rogerson
July 27, 2016
Illinois supply chain company AFN Logistics has bought Ohio-based HA Advantage to acquire its proprietary transportation management system (TMS).
AFN provides customised supply chain offerings to major manufacturers, top-20 retailers and best-in-class carriers in the USA. HA Advantage is the TMS and less-that-truckload (LTL) division of HA Logistics.
HA Advantage is a freight management company that empowers its clients to lower their total landed costs through increased visibility, efficiency, business intelligence and control. The TMS is a scalable, web-based, mobile-optimised product that enables smarter, faster transportation decisions. It supports all field locations and customers. The system allows for complete visibility and control of all goods moving through the network and provides a solid operating application to manage supply chain needs.
Several HA Advantage employees have joined the AFN team as part of the acquisition, including those in business development and account management roles. The addition of new technology and team members will enhance AFN's existing LTL service offering, which is already a core capability for the company, as well as the service AFN provides to its LTL customers.
Ecommerce comprises 10 to 20 per cent of deliveries in the $35bn LTL trucking industry segment. LTLs transport loads from several customers in a single truck. Retailers are beginning to push smaller, more frequent loads into distribution centres and through their networks to keep pace with ecommerce demands, requiring LTL optimisation, a capability AFN is bolstering with the HA Advantage acquisition. The company helps retailers optimise their ecommerce-related LTL trucking needs and balance network-wide demand.
"As we continue to see a strong increase in ecommerce activity, we plan to scale our LTL capabilities to take advantage of this growing market by helping our shipper customers manage their ecommerce growth more efficiently, strategically and profitably," said AFN's CEO Ryan Daube. "This is just one reason why the HA acquisition made sense for our business now. The move also strengthens our managed transportation services offering."
Beyond LTL, growing demand for AFN's suite of people-first, technology-enabled products – from truckload and consolidation services to risk management, carrier compliance, cargo security and surveillance – has fuelled its growth in staff and revenues.
AFN has more than 200 full time employees with the addition of recent new hires and the HA Advantage team members. The growth in staff has been in response to AFN's double-digit revenue growth over the past three years.
"Our team will fit in seamlessly with AFN's business and culture," said Alan Huttman, president of HA Advantage. "We have a shared vision to continue to add value to the supply chains of customers by adding logistics horsepower to their operations. At the same time, we share Ryan's commitment to creating a best place to work for employees. We're building a winning environment together all around."
The Peakstone Group advised HA Logistics in the transaction.