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Marine data sector is shrinking through acquisitions

MarineTraffic, FleetMon deals are latest moves by data and analytics company Kpler

Belgian data and analytics company Kpler has acquired MarineTraffic and FleetMon in an effort to improve maritime intelligence. (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Data and analytics company Kpler has announced a series of acquisitions to expand its maritime data offering.

On Wednesday, the Belgian firm disclosed its purchase of vessel-tracking and maritime intelligence company MarineTraffic, as well as FleetMon, a fleet-tracking and operations-monitoring company. The Kpler-MarineTraffic deal follows a coordinated, earlier acquisition of FleetMon by MarineTraffic. The latest news marks Kpler’s fifth acquisition in the past 18 months.

Recent acquisitions of note were the purchase of COR-e to expand into the European power markets and ClipperData and JBC Energy to expand its commodity data and analytics.

François Cazor, CEO of Kpler, said the company’s focus on tracking cargoes, not vessels, has evolved.

“We believe the time has come to marry commodity and maritime intelligence into one single platform,” Cazor said. “This will lead to improvements in the data and services we provide and drive further innovation in the maritime sector, by incorporating the excellent work of both MarineTraffic and FleetMon.”

MarineTraffic, one of the most widely used ship-tracking intelligence and analytics companies in the world, is a CNBC Supply Chain Heat Map provider. FleetMon provides AIS data (vessel-tracking signal) for shippers.

Steve Sloan, a partner at Menlo Investors who focuses on supply chain, automation, fintech and SaaS, told CNBC the consolidation of the market surrounds the demand for digital tools.

“I believe that basic visibility data is trending toward commoditization over the next few years, so I do expect further consolidation in the space,” Sloan said. “The key is not just having the data, but being able to combine this data with other sources to inform smarter downstream decision making throughout the supply chain.”

Combining these companies’ strong points will allow Kpler to connect the data and offer greater transparency.

“The increasingly connected maritime world needs more digital tools and better analytics, and we’ll continue innovating in that direction,” said Demitris Memos, CEO of MarineTraffic. “I am confident the integration of our products and organizational cultures will lead us to new frontiers, ultimately benefiting our customers and our community.”

FleetMon CEO Lars Brandstäter said the layering of the data will only provide more transparency in maritime, which will only help the supply chain.

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Lori Ann LaRocco

Lori Ann LaRocco is senior editor of guests for CNBC business news. She coordinates high profile interviews and special multi-million dollar on-location productions for all shows on the network. Her specialty is in politics, working with titans of industry. LaRocco is the author of: “Trade War: Containers Don’t Lie, Navigating the Bluster” (Marine Money Inc., 2019) “Dynasties of the Sea: The Untold Stories of the Postwar Shipping Pioneers” (Marine Money Inc., 2018), “Opportunity Knocking” (Agate Publishing, 2014), “Dynasties of the Sea: The Ships and Entrepreneurs Who Ushered in the Era of Free Trade” (Marine Money, 2012), and “Thriving in the New Economy: Lessons from Today’s Top Business Minds” (Wiley, 2010).