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FedEx Buys Research Firm to Upgrade Operations for E-Commerce

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FedEx Corp. has acquired Northwest Research Inc., a specialist in inventory research and management.

FedEx said Northwest Research’s proprietary technologies and capabilities complement and expand its portfolio of offerings important to the rapidly growing global e-commerce marketplace. Terms of the deal were not revealed.

Founded in 1996, Northwest Research offers customers proactive approaches to inventory management issues, including specialized research to maximize successful outcomes for challenging shipments.

“Northwest Research’s unique technological capabilities will further enhance the FedEx customer experience by adding a suite of solutions to the FedEx portfolio that help proactively resolve at-risk shipments,” said Robert B. Carter, executive vice president and chief information officer of FedEx Corp. “This further demonstrates our commitment to the Purple Promise: to make every FedEx experience outstanding.”

[Read more about logistics: Global Logistics Properties Expands Into Europe With $2.8B Gazeley Purchase]

Among FedEx’s services for the growing e-commerce market, which includes many small businesses and startups, is FedEx Supply Chain, which provides an all-in-one approach to outsourced logistics, including warehousing, fulfillment, packaging, transportation and returns.

Supply Chain helps enable businesses “to flex and scale,” as its experts focus on delivering a differentiating customer experience for brands.

There’s also The FedEx Fulfillment Solution, which helps companies integrate e-commerce platforms and marketplaces to enable quick and accurate order fulfillment and provides custom or branded packaging, kitting and other value-added services, as well as tracking supply chain consulting.

Rival freight and transportation UPS has also grown its logistics management operations to service the growing e-commerce and small business sector in its overall business and at The UPS Store franchise.

Jon Asay, founder and chief executive officer of Northwest Research, said, “Our knowledge and experience with inventory research and management, as well as our customer-centric culture, is a perfect fit with FedEx. We believe this is a huge win for customers and team members.”

Northwest Research is headquartered in Salt Lake City and also has operations in Memphis and Canada.

In the first quarter ended Aug. 31, Fedex reported revenues had increased 4 percent to $15.3 billion, with net income falling 17 percent to $596 million.

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