Construction equipment seller and auction house Ritchie Bros. acquired a controlling stake in VeriTread, an online shipping exchange service that provides heavy-haul, usually flatbed trucking, solutions for users of heavy equipment such as contractors.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Ritchie Bros. upped its investment in Lakeland, Fla.-based VeriTread from 11% to 75%.

"VeriTread adds to our suite of services supporting the needs of equipment owners throughout the equipment lifecycle. It also helps create a more efficient global marketplace by integrating transportation solutions directly into our new marketplace technology," said Ann Fandozzi, Ritchie Bros. CEO. "VeriTread, in combination with our satellite yards, will allow us to further scale and accelerate our hybrid marketplace model through increased capacity optimization and seamless customer experiences."

VeriTread's online marketplace connects shippers with service providers such as long- and short-haul independent truckers. The company's products include a marketplace for listing and quoting shipments, and an in-house brokerage to handle complex and urgent freight deliveries.

"VeriTread is thrilled to become a bigger part of the Ritchie Bros. marketplace, helping customers and the company transport equipment more efficiently," said Jeff Cox, the company's founder, president and CEO. Cox and the entire VeriTread executive team are joining Ritchie Bros. as part of the deal.

Ritchie Bros. is the largest auctioneer of construction and other heavy equipment in the U.S. and said upping its stake in VeriTread is necessary to give more seamless delivery options to customers in all the industries it serves.

"We’ve had a close relationship with VeriTread for years and have now purchased a controlling stake so we can properly integrate their transportation solutions into our marketplace," said Matt Ackley, chief marketing officer at Ritchie Bros.

"Transportation is a core service for equipment owners, as they transport it between job sites or to one of our physical locations to be sold to a new owner," Ackley added. "VeriTread has all the info needed to make this process easier, with a database of equipment specifications, dimensions, and more,"

VeriTread has been integrated into Ritchie Bros.' IronPlanet platform since its founding in 2013  as an early investor. Ackley said that as Ritchie Bros. continues to build its marketplace technology, "we will tighten our integration so VeriTread’s services can extend to items sold through all our transaction solutions, including our live Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers events, as well as items sold through Marketplace-E and Ritchie List. We will begin assessing the technical requirements needed for integration in Q1 of this year."

Ackley said the biggest initial customer benefit contractors can expect is for VeriTread's transportation management processes to be built directly into the checkout process of Ritchie Bros. marketplace technology.

"At the same time, we are also looking at ways to bundle our service offerings together to create more delivery and pricing flexibility for our customers," he said.