In 1980, in response to the increasing importance of Asian imports, U.S.-based container transportation and shipping company APL created American Consolidation Services (ACS) to meet the needs of importers who wanted help in managing the flow of their Asian goods. As with similar such services, ACS was responsible for "monitoring the movement of goods to consolidation points and managing the consolidation of goods and shipping according to the specifications of buyers." In 1996, ACS obtained a domestic distribution services license in China. Trying to take advantage of the burgeoning Internet, in 1999 it introduced one of the industry’s first Web-based ordering and shipment tracking systems. It was during this period that APL rebranded the service as APL Logistics. In 1997, Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines Ltd. (NOL) acquired APL in a merger for US $825 million, a move that placed it within the top five of its industry. As the smaller and less established of the two entities, NOL adopted APL as its public brand name following the merger. Previously, NOL had been carrying out logistics services under its Orient Container & Warehousing Services (OCWS) brand. To better focus on managing global supply chains, in 2000 NOL rebranded and incorporated its logistics service as APL Logistics, and it commenced operations as a standalone sister company to APL. The following year, in 2001, APL Logistics’ acquired GATX Logistics for US $210 million to add warehouse services to its offerings and increase its U.S. footprint in contract logistics, a move that it anticipated would increase its revenues by 70 percent, or approximately US $300 million. The acquisition gave it access to 21 million square feet of warehouse space in North and South America.