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Freight software firms join forces

[ June 21, 2019   //   ]

Freight Software Group, parent company of BoxTop Technologies has completed its purchase of UK-based freight software company Forward Computers Ltd (FCL). FCL founder and shareholder founding shareholder-directors, Graham Donnelly has also retired and his role will be taken up by Christopher Hewlett of Freight Software Group. Otherwise, there will be no other staff changes, with Russell Woodward and Ken Stewart continuing in consultancy roles.

The latter said: “Christopher has long held Forward Computers and ForwardOffice in high regard and, as with staffing, he has no plans to make any other changes whatsoever. Likewise, BoxTop will remain BoxTop. The only difference is that the two companies will no longer operate in competition, rather they will be able to offer alternative options to prospective customers, depending upon their specific requirements. With his own background originally in forwarding, and a proven track record growing a very successful freight software company, Christopher brings a wealth of experience to the table.”

Freight Software Group’s Christopher Hewlett said of his new acquisition: “I have long admired them as a company and as a competitor; they have some very good people and customers.”

Both companies would maintain separate headquarters – Forward Computers in Nottingham and Boxtop in Windsor.

The Boxtop and Forward Computers brandings would be clearly maintained, but work would now focus on moving applications onto more modern platforms, including the Cloud in line with overall trends, he said, adding: “My longer term goal is to take the talent in both organisations and design the next-generation systems.”

He added: “What I also like about both companies is that they both provide a human touch.” Telephone support is always available and both provided large support teams. Most tended to have a freight forwarding background too.

A certain amount of consolidation was taking place in the freight software sector as owners and founders approached retirement age. Companies also needed to offer multiple solutions as their customers themselves became increasingly multimodal.

As for Brexit, while there was a certain “fear of the unknown”, Hewlett was confident that the industry would be able to cope – in fact, forwarders could find themselves more in demand than ever.

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