Issue 3 2021 - Freight Business Journal


each country and region. He notes: “The freight

and logistics sector is hugely dynamic, with increasing expectations and a


In February this year, Nottingham, UK-based Forward


announced the appointment of a new managing director. Richard Litchfield joined Forward Computers – which describes itself as “the UK’s leading independent supplier of freight forwarding software to the logistics and transportation industries”– in January. IT is fast becoming the cornerstone of a successful logistics business, Litchfield notes. And great IT is essential for

customer service, with

visibility and communication being as important as delivery across the supply chain. This

year, alongside

With new customs clearance and inspection requirements, it has been reported that as many as one in five consignments is now being delayed due to lack of proper declarations and relevant paperwork. Traders are still wrestling with tariffs and customs clearance processes. Forward Computers’ newly

appointed MD brings insight and understanding of the day-to-day challenges which logistics providers face. With 20 years’ in-house experience in

transport and logistics, the

Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit continues to be a major headache for many, he says.

Litchfield was previously internal group IT director at innovative logistics provider Europa Worldwide Group and before that vice president/ global head of information systems road logistics at

Kuehne & Nagel in Switzerland. Industry outlook

Having spent his whole

career inside the transport and logistics sector, building experience in coordinating and managing the many disciplines across the industry and covering all levels of national, international and domestic forwarding, he has a well-honed outlook on the industry today. This insight is now being

applied to a wider audience, looking

at the distinctly

different benefits of an in- house IT development team compared to an external resource. Whilst at Europa, Litchfield was responsible for designing and implementing

Europa’s bespoke IT system, Leonardo, which provides solutions across the company’s multimodal operations, ranging from road freight to air and sea freight. Using the latest technologies, Litchfield headed a team who created their own systems to improve responsiveness, efficiency and productivity. “I worked closely with all

of the other internal teams and directors to understand their challenges,” he recalls. “We then created our bespoke system to address them. “It was hugely rewarding

to see how our software brought tangible benefits to the business wherever it is implemented. A dedication to continuous software developments


drive improvements across operations, processes and communications. I’m bringing this unique insight to Forward Computers.” At Kuehne & Nagel, Litchfield

had global responsibility for road/rail IT demand and all associated transportation management systems, identifying best practices for

Brexit also will have an effect on shippers and traders, and those whose business it is to support them. “International supply chains are

Supply chain soſtware and services provider BluJay Solutions has launched a new Augmented Global Trade (AGT) platform that, it says, uses “highly innovative augmented intelligence” to support users’ global trading. The AGT soſtware as a service (SaaS), multi-tenant platform is designed to automate the customs and compliance tasks that are required for international trade, whether the user be a logistics service provider, a cargo carrier or shipper.

According to BluJay, AGT

“streamlines workflow, decreases risk, and accelerates efficiency for international trade operations”, be it complex customs declarations or networks of brokers and freight forwarders. Chief product officer, David

Landau, remarks: “BluJay’s AGT delivers an advantage for companies looking to digitise and consolidate the typically manual, disconnected processes and multiple systems associated with managing cross-border trade.”

Nicolas Ethevenin, BluJay’s

director product management, adds: “In addition to organising workflows, BluJay’s AGT platform is engineered to connect external partners, systems, and processes. This enables our customers to adapt to changing requirements and scale, while reducing errors, delays, and fines that can prove costly to their bottom line.” Ethevenin tells FBJ that AGT has been a year in the making. BlueJay has always been strong in Customs and compliance, he

points out, but recent times have seen

changes in geopolitical

and economic environments that have had a significant effect on global trade, and thus how shippers, forwarders and logistics service

providers can best

optimise their processes. Amongst other factors,

Ethevenin notes how the Covid-19 pandemic

has illustrated how important global just supply

chains are – the sight of empty supermarket shelves in the face of customer panic buying with supply chains being stretched to the limit was a wake-up call.

An exciting delivery is scheduled for June...

E-commerce Intelligent Freight Management

The value of ecommerce has grown yet further over the last year as a result of the crisis, another example of the changing nature of global trading patterns evolving in the face of the pandemic. Moreover, now and in the months ahead, supply chains will adapt to meet the need to move vaccines quickly across a global cool-chain. In Europe, and of particular relevance to the UK market,

evolving and we wanted to help our customers make the most of automated soſtware that makes their life easier and alleviates their burden,” Ethevenin says. “We wanted to turn a burden into a competitive advantage.”

to deliver

goods quickly, reliably, and cost-effectively. Alongside this, the added complexity of Brexit means operators need processes and systems that deliver. “I

have an exceptional

appreciation of the many challenges operators face every day and am using this understanding to bring a different perspective to us as a supplier to the sector.” Combined, the Forward

Computers team of 23 makes up a long-established freight software development company, one that provides an

end-to-end solution for

a wide range of operators in the UK, Europe, Asia and the US. It forms part of the Freight Software Group and is a sister company of BoxTop Technologies.

“market-driven”, Ethevenin advises. Offering much more than just customs and compliance capabilities, it enables connectivity with other platforms and systems in order to create a seamless trading and shipping environment. That can be seen both in terms of potential connectivity with third-party systems and with the majority of BluJay’s other products.

He recalls BluJay customers

coming to the company to ask for many of the elements that can be found in the AGT platform, especially higher levels of automation in areas such as item and product classifications, and much greater visibility right across all their supply chains. As a result, AGT is very

In fact, the AGT platform brings

together in one place many of the company’s other offerings, such as its well-established Customs Management Global product, BluJay’s multi-country electronic customs declaration solution that incorporates a self-updating compliance engine and coverage for more than 20 countries.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28