The BCR Logistics Story
Serving Australia proud with freight forwarding and 3PL services.
Profitability, brand reputation and satisfied customers all matter in your industry. You need a reliable freight forwarding company, logistics and 3PL provider that supports your business goals and solves your challenges. With more than a century of expertise, BCR has the experience and global presence to take your supply chain to the next level. Simply put, we excel at transport and logistics.
Founded in 1892, BCR is still family run and owned, headquartered in Sydney. We’re a passionate logistics and 3PL provider that puts customers first. We create customised solutions that match your logistics needs and preferences, no matter your industry. We treat every account with utmost care.
BCR dedicated account advantage
You receive the highest possible level of service from the dedicated team of specialists at BCR. Our customer account management program was established to ensure customers receive the information and resources they need with these benefits:
- Dedicated account team works together to solve your logistics and supply chain problems and challenges holistically
- Proactive management of your account ensures on-time deliveries and comprehensive solutions
- BCR internal systems, including IT, and processes represent industry best practices which reduce paperwork and increase your efficiencies
- Keep abreast of Customs, Freight Forwarding, Warehousing and 3PL news, changes, regulations and events affecting your industry via alerts, notifications, articles and industry ebooks
- We draw on a global network of freight agents and logistics partners of more than 10,000 people at 300 locations in over 100 countries to bring you the best logistics solution.
BCR makes history since 1892
If the original founder, Frank Cridland had a crystal ball handy as he stood on Union Company’s Darling Harbour Wharf on 29 February, 1892, it may have eased the disappointment of his horse and cart falling into the water before he’d even carried his first load.
Starting on the wharf in Sydney
The country lad from near Mudgee got his start in the freight business working as a clerk for transport company Wright Heaton at age 15. By age 19 he decided to strike out on his own as an independent carter.
Sydney was in the midst of an economic slump. Perseverance and dedication to providing customers with a reliable, efficient and professional service was crucial to growing from a one-horse cartage business to one that near the end of the 1800s was operating up to ten teams.
As the new century dawned, Cridland branched into the customs agent business, something that is still core for BCR today.
In 1904 he became a foundation member of the Custom Agents’ Association and named his business “Frank Cridland and Company”. By 1911 he had also purchased land for stabling a growing number of lorry horses and associated equipment and supplies.
Throughout the first part of the 20th century, the company continued to grow. Its spirit of enterprise and innovation saw it become an early adopter of motor lorries to replace the majority of the horses.
Helping build a Sydney icon
In 1926 he renamed as Frank Cridland Limited, to reflect a growing range of services and operations.
Then came The Depression years, hitting both the cartage and the customs business hard. One of the jobs that kept the company going was the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, for which Cridland had a contract to carry the distinctive latticework using six-horse teams.
Now celebrating its 85th anniversary, helping build the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge was an important milestone also for Cridland.
Innovation and finding creative solutions to freight challenges is built into the DNA of the company. So in 1930, after experiencing his first commercial flight and calculating the benefits for freight in terms of delivery timelines, Cridland approached Australian National Airways (ANA) about becoming the new carrier’s Sydney freight agents.
Taking to the skies
A Melbourne office was founded soon after to provide service as ANA’s Melbourne freight agent.
The next phase unfolds
In 1949, a young Queenslander, Ray Katte joined the firm as a clerk.
He would be one of those to take up the reins of steering the company’s customs division towards further growth in the years following Frank Cridland’s death in 1954.
After 20 years with Cridlands in the customs business, Katte decided to start his own customs agency. R Katte Customs Agency started with just four customers, however it rapidly grew due to the high standards of service his firm provided.
By 1983, it was at the forefront of adopting computer applications for the business, and had the in-house talent to develop its own systems and innovations.
Customs consultancy became a niche speciality, assisting customers with the intricate details of customs regulations, tariffs and other relevant legislation. This is still an area in which BCR excels today.
In 1985, R. Katte Customs Agency purchased the Frank Cridland Customs Clearance division. To maintain Cridland’s name and build on the rich Australia history of Cridland, the new merged entity was formally baptised Frank Cridland Ray Katte Customs Agencies.
Ray Katte always had an eye for opportunity. He identified a major one in building on the customs service offering through expansion into the associated area of freight forwarding services. Robert Hunter was approached by Katte to lead the new operation, which launched in 1994 as BCR.
A new freight forwarding player enters the field
Hunter had the experience and knowledge to spearhead the new enterprise in partnership with Ray Katte and his son David Katte. It operated under its own identity to ensure there could be no risk to the reputation of the Frank Cridland Ray Katte Customs Agency brand should it not succeed.
By building on similar values to those that ensured the success of Cridland and Katte, succeed it did. BCR soon developed a national footprint that covered all major ports, airlines and land freight routes. Offices were opened in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to boost the level of service provided by the original Sydney office.
The success of the new company soon reassured the management of Frank Cridland Ray Katte Customs Agency that its standing had not been compromised. In 2006 BCR formally purchased the Agency and the services of both companies were combined under the BCR banner to provide an integrated freight forwarding and customs service offering to both existing and new customers.
To further meet the diversifying needs of its customer base and attract new business, the range of services was expanded in 2012 to include 3PL warehousing and distribution.
With 125 years of history and progress behind it, BCR continues to look ahead to how it can provide the highest quality freight forwarding, customs consulting and 3PL logistics services to its customers. BCR offers many of the benefits of working with a multinational provider, such as structured procedures and quality management, while at the same time providing the customised service levels and access to management that are positive aspects of working with boutique providers.
The ever-evolving nature of 3PL
“Building on the values Frank Cridland and Ray Katte instilled into their businesses is key to us in how we move forward into the future,” BCR Director and co-owner Robert Hunter says. “We have renewed our focus squarely on our customers both present and future, and have a firm vision to collaborate with them, understand their needs and be a trusted partner to their business.”
The son of Ray Katte, David Katte, who first brought the company into the digital age in the 1980s, is still a co-owner and director of the business. “Our mission is about providing our customers with solutions that are tailored to their needs and contribute to their success,” Katte says. “We believe in being proactive, creative and we are passionate about delivering results. It’s been an incredible 125 years of evolution in the logistics industry. I’m excited to see the new challenges and innovations that are yet to come, and discovering how we can use them to provide the next generation of freight forwarding, third party logistics and customs consulting services that contribute to the success of our customers.”
We have always enjoyed an open and honest communication style with direct access to all levels of management, including directors. We continue to enjoy good working relations based on trust and respect.