September 14, 2017 9:00 AM, EDT
Trimble Acquires Electronic Freight Monitoring Company 10-4 Systems

Trimble Inc. added another company to its growing portfolio of transportation technology services with the purchase of 10-4 Systems, an organization that provides a way for shippers and carriers to electronically monitor the movement of goods and to more efficiently process freight transactions.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“With the addition of 10-4 Systems, Trimble will significantly enhance its ability to help the transportation industry optimize demand and capacity management and improve utilization of longhaul trucking assets,” David Wangler, president of Trimble Transportation Enterprise, said in a Sept. 13 statement.

Wangler said the company’s goal is to “transform the way the world moves freight by providing innovative transactional, visibility, decision support and optimization solutions that benefit participants at every level of the supply chain.”

Travis Rhyan, president and CEO of 10-4 Systems, will remain in charge of the business as executive vice president and general manager.

“We are excited to bring the benefits of our advanced enterprise visibility platform to the thousands of supply chain partners that rely on Trimble’s transportation enterprise solutions,” Rhyan said.

With offices in Boulder, Colo., and Grand Rapids, Mich., 10-4 Systems will become part of Trimble’s Transportation segment, which includes navigation and mapping specialist ALK Technologies, PeopleNet, a provider of onboard computing and communications systems for trucking companies and service fleets, and transportation management software provider TMW Systems.

Trimble, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif., was founded in 1978 and has extensive business operations in global positioning systems and business software throughout the world. The company entered the transportation technology field in a big way with the purchase of PeopleNet Communications in 2011. That was followed by TMW Systems in 2012 and ALK Technologies in 2013.

In June, Trimble picked up Innovative Software Engineering, a company based in Coralville, Iowa, that offers telematics systems for tracking driver hours of service and vehicle maintenance.

Trimble’s Wangler, in a conference call with reporters following the 10-4 Systems announcement, called the deal a “strategic transaction” that will help the company deepen its connections with shippers by providing visibility to shipments regardless of where it is or how many different parties or different systems are involved in the transaction.

While other companies may offer freight tracking service through cellphones or other electronic devices, Wangler said the ability of 10-4 Systems to integrate with carrier operating systems gives Trimble an advantage in understanding how to help carriers and shippers improve service.

“We’re all about understanding freight, not just trucks,” Wangler explained.

Key customers of 10-4 Systems include AB InBev, Dannon yogurt, GE Appliance, truckload carrier Swift Transportation and less-than-truckload carrier YRC Freight.

The transportation segment generates about 25% of total revenue for Trimble and is growing faster than other segments of its business, which are categorized as buildings and infrastructure systems, geospatial services and natural resources and utilities.

Trimble generated revenue of $163 million from transportation in the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 13% from $144 million in the same period a year earlier.

Total revenue for Trimble in the three months ended June 30 was $661.9 million.