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  July 27th, 2015 | Written by

Descartes Acquires MK Data Services

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  • Denied party screening is of critical importance in shipping and international trade.
  • Consequences of non-compliance with denied party screening can include civil and criminal penalties.
  • Descartes CEO: “Trade compliance is an individual and shared interest of every participant on the GLN."

Descartes Systems Group announced that it has acquired MK Data Services LLC, a provider of denied party screening trade data and solutions. The purchase price was $76.3 million in cash plus other consideration. Descartes, based in Waterloo, Ontario, developed the Global Logistics Network (GLN) which unites logistics-intensive businesses in commerce.

Denied party screening is of critical importance in shipping and international trade, noted Descartes, ina statement. Governments and international organization maintain a variety of lists of people, organizations and countries that are restricted or prohibited from engaging in business. Thse could be customers, suppliers, employees and business partners for business processes such as contracting, shipping and payment.

Often, the burden of compliance with these business restrictions is placed on those involved in the logistics of a shipment, such as the exporting business, the logistics intermediary or the transportation carrier. Consequences of non-compliance can include civil fines, revocation of export privileges, and criminal charges. Non-compliance can also bring tremendous reputational damage since penalties are made public.

“The Global Logistics Network is the logical place for multinational shippers, logistics intermediaries and transportation carriers to screen for compliance with international trade restrictions,” said Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO. “Over 11,000 customers use the GLN to manage and execute shipments every day across various modes of transportation, countries of origin and destination and commodities. Our combination with MK Data is truly a unifying acquisition for our business, as trade compliance is both an individual and shared interest of every single participant on the GLN.”

For over 20 years, MK Data, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, has provided technology solutions that help more than 900 businesses comply with these restrictions by screening for transactions with specified parties. As an existing business partner of Descartes, MK Data’s technology screens shipments against a comprehensive international database of restricted parties. MK Data’s matching algorithms flag potential compliance issues for prompt resolution.

Descartes’ cloud-based services are used by customers to route, schedule, track and measure delivery resources; plan, allocate and execute shipments; rate, audit and pay transportation invoices; access global trade data; file customs and security documents for imports and exports; and complete numerous other logistics processes.