OMAHA, Neb. -- In the latest example of retail consolidation's effect on the rest of the supply chain, Data Transmission Network Corp., here, and TradingProduce.com have announced plans to merge. Robert Bonavito, chief executive officer of Livermore, Calif.-based TradingProduce, will take the same role in the new company; John Abkes, president of DTN Tradelink, will assume the role of president and chief operating officer.
aces, based in Belmont, Calif. TradingProduce announced its affiliation with GNX just last October, noting that Kroger Co., Cincinnati, would be the first to use the e-commerce company's services. The giant supermarket retailer is an equity partner in GNX, and one of the largest members of the consortium, which also includes Carrefour, SA; Metro AG; J. Sainsbury; and Sears Roebuck, among others.
According to company officials, the new entity will have more than 1,500 customers in all segments of the supply chain, representing approximately 30% of the U.S. retail supermarket and food-service industries.
"The combination of our companies provides perfect synergy," said Bonavito. "The DTN Tradelink system is an excellent complement to our product."
DTN, founded in 1984, developed its proprietary Tradelink program for produce and other perishables categories in 1994. It later introduced an Internet-based e-commerce and electronic data interchange procurement system in 1999.
Founded in November 1999, TradingProduce is a Web-based marketplace for wholesale perishable products, including produce, meat, seafood, floral and beverage.
Produce was the first perishables category to fall under the spell of business-to-business, e-commerce initiatives, but certainly not the only one. And likewise, produce is not the only category now experiencing consolidation of B-to-B providers. Most recently, the Seafood Alliance -- a consortium of nine seafood processors -- named Gofish.com, one of the leading online platforms handling seafood, as its exclusive partner in Internet business development. As part of the deal, Portland, Maine-based Gofish will have to develop platforms related to maintenance, repair and operations.