BCR is an international and domestic freight forwarding company and third-party logistics (3PL) provider that has served Australian-based companies and multinationals with customised solutions across every aspect of the supply chain, including freight forwarding, logistics and customs-related services for over 100 years.
We apply the same industry best practices, diligence and problem solving techniques to each customer, delivering the optimal outcomes for all your supply chain needs.
Your dedicated BCR account management team, along with our global network of freight forwarding professionals, will ensure all your organisation’s logistics needs are met while exceeding your expectations for customer service and performance everyday.
THE BCR LOGISTICS STORY
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, and we create customised solutions that match your logistics needs and preferences, no matter your industry.
We treat every account with utmost care, and pride ourselves on our ability to assist our clients in a manner that will ensure their company will continue to grow and succeed. Read below to find out how BCR has been able to deliver innovative and practical logistics solutions for over 125 years.
STARTING ON THE WHARF IN SYDNEY
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.
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.
HELPING BUILD A SYDNEY ICON
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. 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 for both Cridland and the future of his company.
TAKING TO THE SKIES
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. 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.
A NEW FREIGHT FORWARDING PLAYER ENTERS THE FIELD
Ray Katte always had an eye for opportunity. He identified a major opportunity 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.
By building on similar values to those that ensured the success of Cridland and Katte, 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.
“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.”
AUSTRALIAN TRUSTED TRADER PROGRAMME
In 2016, the Australian Border Force (formally Australian Customs Service) launched the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) programme. This voluntary trade facilitation initiative recognises businesses that have a secure supply chain and compliant trade practices.
It also rewards ATT accredited businesses with a range of trade facilitation benefits. Australian Trusted Trader brings Australia in line with key international trading partners, joining over 70 countries with similar Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) programmes.
Are you thinking of becoming an Australian Trusted Trader? Do you have questions about the process and what is required? Are your current suppliers ATT accredited?
Contact BCR to learn more about the process of becoming an accredited Australian Trusted Trader and how working with an accredited ATT provider can benefit your business.
ISO 9001 sets out the criteria for a Quality Management System (QMS) and the internationally recognised standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and execution from top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in ISO’s quality management principles. Using ISO 9001 helps ensure that our customers get consistent, good-quality services, which in turn brings many business benefits to all stakeholders.
BCR designed, developed and implemented our own ‘quality management system’, beginning our journey in late 2019 up until certification in June 2022. Our QMS was created with a view to standardise our customer approach and ensure we remain consistent across all departments from executive management down. With a view to continually improve and grow as an organisation, our QMS has become a powerful business improvement tool to assist us to:
- Collaborate and partner more effectively with our customers
- Continually improve, streamline operations and reduce costs
- Enhance our competitive advantage within our industry
- Remain resilient and continue to grow our sustainable business
- Display our strong corporate governance
- Work effectively with stakeholders with the supply chain
GLOBAL 3PL NETWORK
International shippers need a resource to stay informed about the latest changes to ports, offshore factories, taxes and charges. Local and regional knowledge of shipping rules, regulations and practices are essential in a freight forwarder. Data and IT practices, from EDI to integration with your enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, must be efficient.
For more than a century, domestic shippers, exporters and importers have turned to BCR. In the last 20 years, our global network has expanded to include trusted partners in more than 100 countries across 6 continents at 300 locations. We work with multiple freight agents and logistics partners, meaning we select the best solution, specific to your unique need and commodity. See below for more information on our global logistics solutions.
WORLDWIDE LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS
- An integrated global network of 10,000 people — many have been with us for over 20 years — bring strength and true local knowledge
- In addition to Australia and New Zealand, particular focus in China, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, the United States and the European Union (Germany in particular)
- Our Australia offices include knowledgeable and caring team members who are proficient in languages that include Cantonese, Hindi, Mandarin, German, Afrikaans, Samoan and Serbian
- Integrated IT systems and proven processes
From paddling across the Bass Strait to raise funds to help children, to pro bono logistics planning and donations of transportation services for orphans in India, BCR believes in giving back to its communities and people. In turn, our ideal customers enjoy giving back and value their suppliers who do so.
As a family-owned and operated, privately held business that has been supported by the communities we serve for over a century, we understand that charitable giving — from donations of funding or time through volunteering — starts with supporting organisations here in Australia and around the globe.
In Australia and abroad, the BCR charity committee works to evaluate opportunities where we can give to make the most impact to a community, region or to individuals and ensure we give to organisations that are meaningful to BCR and our individual team members.
BCR supports a number of non-profit organisations and associations that include:
- Yatra Foundation
Nowhere is the potential to work toward a better environment more dramatic than in transportation. As a shipper, your organisation is likely going or thinking “green”. Together, all parties in the supply chain can practice green logistics with small steps like conservation of resources whether in the office or involving goods in transit. At BCR, we are “Australia proud” as an environmentally focused logistics services provider. We act with initiative to reduce waste of every kind and strive for best practices in sustainability.
We continuously assist our customers refine their purchasing methods and freight consolidations to improve efficiencies and lower environmental impact. We believe that by partnering with our customers, carriers and agents, we can achieve a brighter tomorrow by endeavouring toward sustainability every day. We also educate BCR team members and sub-contractors in our environmental objectives which include:
- Fully established paper recycling program
- Scanning and imaging of all documentation
- Dual computer screens allow team members to work with digital documents rather than paper documents
PARTNERS AND CUSTOMERS
- EDI transfer of data
- Actively encourage customers to use electronic communications, including invoicing, in preference to paper copies
- Paperless Customs entries, all shipment documentation saved and available from our Web Tracking system
FACILITIES, TERMINALS AND WAREHOUSES
- Forklifts that are 95 percent emission-free
- Water tanks in depots
TRUCKING AND OVER THE ROAD
- GPS route planning
- Off-peak delivery and truck size management (rigid options)
- Efficient driving techniques and maintenance guides in manuals