I spoke to Descartes this week as, lately, they have made a slew of announcements of great value to their logistics customers - both carriers and shippers.
Of most significance is the latest Global Logistics Management Suite for ocean shippers.
With this, Descartes brings their ocean customers one step closer to really getting the "total transportation real cost." This software enables shipping customers to pull together a plethora of shipping documents, transactions and events so that they can get a grasp of their real shipping costs, not just a 'total landed cost' calculation, which shippers know is a starting point, but not the actual shipping cost.
The suite of enhancements is particularly timely, since changes in rates, contracts, and the lack of a firm total cost has been an annoyance, at best, for so many shippers. In defense of carriers, it has been a really bad year. And not having visibility to demand from the customers makes it very hard to manage capacity. Descartes' Global Logistics Network (GLN) software may help with that, too.
So what are some highlights from Descartes?
Firstly, Descartes will have their annual results announcement next week and we have no privy to that. So, please don't take our statement to your broker - stock broker, that is. But with the stock at 3 times its 52 week low (as of this writing), they should have some good news.
· Descartes entered the web world during the first .com run-up and went public with some flourish.
· After the .bomb, doubts entered the management team regarding direction; and quite frankly, it is hard to tell the market, "be patient and wait for vindication" when you are a public company.
· A focused team emerged from the internal doubts and debates that was committed to the logistics sector in a big way - with multi-mode, not just trucking optimization of the past - and with a firm commitment to web-based solutions.
· Today, Descartes has had significant growth: 18 straight quarters of EBIDTA and sales growth. We expect more, in spite of the dips in the global trade. Descartes' fate is not tied to an absolute number of shipments, as some on-demand companies are. Transaction-only companies can have revenue rise and fall with the ebb and flow of their customers' markets (such as EDI companies, or the non-digital world of carriers).
· Descartes' upward trend (see charts below) bodes well for its future in pursuing innovation and acquisition as sources of growth.
For the MarketWatch interactive update, you
can chart it here: http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/dsgx/charts
Now a brief word on product announcements: The Global Logistics Management Suite for Ocean Freight will provide contract management, rate management and pricing services to the international shipping community. This is web-based, so pricing, contract, transactions, as well as international regulatory customer requirements such as ISF filings
can be available and acted upon.
For a detailed description of the new announcement and releases go to Descartes to see the rest. http://www.descartes.com/events/
 EBIDTA equals earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization.
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