ShipXpress

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) agreed to buy ShipXpress Inc., a cloud-based software firm, to bolster its supply-chain offerings for railroad customers.

The deal will complement GE’s sensor technology and Predix operating system to improve shippers’ ability to move goods and transfer information, GE Transportation said in a statement. Terms weren’t disclosed.

Logistics deal have been picking in the middle market, as the rise of e-commerce has consumer demanding faster shipping times. Lineage Logistics LLC, a refrigerated warehouse giant backed by the Bay Grove private equity firm, has picked up Consolidated Distribution Corp.; NFI has acquired United Express; and Warburg Pincus agreed to buy a minority stake in BlueGrace Logistics.

“We are very focused on helping better integrate and streamline the broader rail supply chain,” Seth Bodnar, chief digital officer of GE Transportation, said in a telephone interview. ShipXpress’s capabilities are “really about helping global railways more efficiently and effectively interface with industrial companies that ship goods via rail.”

GE is hunting for deals to strengthen its growing software business as the company attempts to marry digital capabilities with heavy-duty machinery. The Boston-based company has shed most of its finance and consumer operations in favor of manufacturing industrial products such as gas turbines and locomotives. In August 2015, GE closed the sale of Antares Capital. Antares co-CEOs David Brackett and John Martin won Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2015 M&A Mid-Market Award for Dealmakers of the Year.

The ShipXpress deal includes about 200 industry, technical and software development professionals, GE said.

--Additional reporting by Mergers & Acquisitions' Demitri Diakantonis

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