Descartes Acquires MK Data Services

Descartes Systems, a major player in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce via the Global Logistics Network (GLN), announced that it has acquired MK Data Services, a US-based provider of denied party screening trade data and solutions for approximately US$76.3 million.


Descartes Systems, a major player in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce via the Global Logistics Network (GLN), announced that it has acquired MK Data Services, a US-based provider of denied party screening trade data and solutions for approximately US$76.3 million.

Denied party screening is essential for minimising business risk today. Governments of various countries, as well as international organisations, maintain a variety of lists of people, organisations and countries that it is restricted or prohibited to do business with. This includes customers, suppliers, employees and business partners for business processes such as contracting, shipping and payment.

Denied party screening is of critical importance in shipping and international trade. 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 / freight forwarder or the transportation carrier. Penalties for non-compliance have included civil fines, revocation of export privileges and criminal charges. In addition, since penalties are published publicly, non-compliance with these trade restrictions can bring with it tremendous reputational damage.

For over 20 years, MK Data has provided comprehensive 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 with a connection to the GLN, MK Data’s technology screens shipments against a comprehensive, frequently updated international database of restricted parties. MK Data’s proprietary matching algorithms, which customers can sensitivity-adjust to suit their own risk concerns, flag potential compliance issues for prompt resolution.