Borderlands: Logistics boom drives $1.2B e-commerce firm’s relocation in Texas

Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: The logistics boom drives an e-commerce firm’s relocation in Texas; MercuryGate acquires customs software provider International Trade Systems; New Mexico announces two logistics hubs in Santa Teresa; and a Texas city receives approval for a Foreign Trade Zone program.

Logistics boom drives e-commerce firm’s relocation from Austin to Houston is moving its corporate headquarters back to Houston after three years in Austin, Texas, citing the Bayou City’s infrastructure, talent pool and mix of customers as reasons for returning.

The company is a provider of online commerce and logistics solutions for merchants to sell and fulfill orders around the globe. currently has about 6,000 brands on its platform.

“The initial move to Austin in December 2021 was driven by a need at that time to hire tech talent (specifically software engineers) amid the COVID-19 direct-to-consumer commerce boom,” a company spokesman said in an email to FreightWaves. “Austin has delivered on that promise and we were able to find the high-quality tech talent we needed for where we were as a company. But we’re a different, more mature company than we were when we moved to Austin. We’re now looking for talent (including engineers) with experience across a more diverse set of industries, particularly in logistics and supply chain.” was founded in Houston in 2020 by Omar Tariq and Jim Jacobsen, who launched the company as an e-commerce-as-a-service platform. offers integrated suites of software, services and infrastructure to run backend solutions, as well as marketing and fulfillment operations.

In June, reached a valuation of $1.2 billion after a $60 million Series C round of funding. Since 2020, the company has secured more than $400 million in capital.

During’s two years in Austin, it grew both its revenue and its fulfillment network footprint by 900% while expanding its customer base to support some of the country’s biggest retailers, enterprise merchants and government organizations, the company said.

“As we continue to scale, we are now looking to augment other areas of the company, including human resources, finance, accounting, and legal,” the spokesman said. “We feel the move to Houston will unlock a deeper talent pool in these areas based on its position as a hub for major business.”

With a population of 2.3 million, Houston is the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U.S. The Houston metropolitan area is home to 7.3 million people and could grow to more than 8 million by 2028, according to a recent study by real estate consultant Site Selection Group.

The relocation to Houston will also facilitate improved connectivity among the company’s seven corporate offices, including locations in Poland and Mexico, and 14 distribution centers across the U.S. The Houston Airport System operates two major airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport.

“Houston’s infrastructure makes it easier for our team members (now 1,500+) to travel and for the company to bring larger groups of people together on-site at one headquarters,” the spokesman said. will benefit from the region’s logistics and supply chain capabilities, officials said.

“We’ve continued to move upmarket in terms of customer size and now serve a broad mix of business-to-business, business-to-consumer and direct-to-consumer customers,” the company spokesman said. “The logistics part of our business is growing particularly quickly, largely because we are more digitally sophisticated than our competitors. As part of this shift, Houston’s interconnectivity and position as a key global port is increasingly valuable to us.”

Houston is also one of the busiest port cities in the country. The 52-mile Houston Ship Channel comprises more than 200 private and eight public terminals, collectively known as Port Houston. The port is currently the fifth-ranked U.S. container port by total twenty-foot equivalent units. In September, imports and exports totaled $18.4 billion at Port Houston, according to WorldCity. officials said the outlook for the e-commerce market this holiday season and going forward into 2024 remains strong. The total value of merchandise sold from Black Friday and Cyber Monday was 24% higher year over year across the company’s fulfillment network.’s retailers beat their demand forecasts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday by 28% on average, its top five retailers beat their projections by over 330% and doubled year-over-year demand, according to data provided by the company.

“During Black Friday-Cyber Monday, clients across our network, on average, met or beat their forecasts,” the spokesman said. “Based on this, our sense is that this holiday season will continue to be strong and may beat expectations.”

MercuryGate acquires customs software provider International Trade Systems
MercuryGate International Inc., one of the largest dedicated transportation management solutions providers in the world, announced the acquisition of International Trade Systems (ITS), a SaaS provider of cross-border customs clearance capabilities.

With the addition of ITS, MercuryGate aims to deliver integrated solutions across the global trade management space by supporting all modes, geographies and buyer types, according to a news release.

“With the addition of ITS … we address one of industry’s most pressing needs and extend the value, intelligence and power of our purpose-built TMS platform for all modes, geographies and buyer types,” MercuryGate President and CEO Joe Juliano said in a statement. “We are excited to further expand MercuryGate offerings for freight forwarders and deliver enhanced capabilities to this customer segment.”

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Portland, Oregon-based ITS was founded in 1989 and provides customs and compliance capabilities for the international trade community. More than 200 customers and 5,000 users, including customs brokers, importers and freight forwarders, leverage ITS software.

Cary, North Carolina-based MercuryGate was founded in 2000 and has about 300 employees.

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