All eyes are on supply chain disruptions, as there are no signs of the issues slowing down anytime soon. Consolidation is being driven by buyers eyeing businesses that can help mediate the problems. The big one today is Maersk buying trucking company Pilot Freight Services from ATL Partners and British Columbia Investment Management for $1.68 billion. In the middle market, companies need technology to help manage them their logistic services more efficiently amid massive labor shortages.

Automation is one technology that businesses are adding. The combination of e-commerce sales soaring from the pandemic and labor shortages has created problems in logistics and accelerated the need to streamline. Earlier this week, GrubMarket acquired supply chain software provider Nova Libra. The target’s technology assists with fulfilling online orders and warehouse management. In October, GrubMarket purchased Funtech Software, a provider of e-commerce and online grocery software services. GrubMarket offers Software-as-a-Service services that is designed to aid food suppliers with their digital transformation.

“In this current digital age, having a strong e-commerce presence and operations is vital to the survival of traditional retail businesses,” says GrubMarket CEO Mike Xu.

As the long the supply chain issues persist, there will be room for M&A. In the case of Maersk, the company is not likely done making land-based logistics acquisitions. But with the lack of labor supply, technology is needed to help manage those businesses.

Demitri Diakantonis