Nottingham software firm bought by joint venture

Christopher Hewlett, CEO of Freight Software Group

Forward Computers, a freight software company headquartered in Nottingham, has been acquired by The Cardinal Partnership, Davies Turner, and Woodland Group.

The joint venture, named Forward Computers Alliance, serves as the platform for the three independent freight forwarding and supply chain management companies to collectively own Forward Computers, operating under the trade name Forward Solutions.

Both the Cardinal Partnership and Woodland Group have been longstanding clients of the 30-strong Forward team, investing in and developing their own digital logistics software internally for many years.

Davies Turner has been evaluating the freight software company’s products to improve its existing in-house freight management systems.

Freight Software Group acquired Forward Computers Ltd in 2019, rebranding its products under the Forward Solutions name in 2021, while retaining ownership of BoxTop Technologies.

Christopher Hewlett, CEO of Freight Software Group said: “I was excited when two existing clients and a potential client made it clear that they were keen to combine forces to invest in the business and utilise their huge practical experience in the operation of freight forwarding and supply chain management services to influence the design of next-generation systems.

“The development will likely increase the number of staff employed by Forward Computers, which will remain headquartered in Nottingham, whilst having no negative impact on the existing IT structures of the three joint venture partners.”

Brian Hay, CEO of the Cardinal Partnership said: “We welcome this opportunity to acquire one of the UK’s foremost suppliers of software to the freight transport sector. With hundreds of years of collective experience in providing multimodal solutions across air, sea, road, and rail freight, the three partners understand how the industry is evolving, and how freight management software needs to evolve alongside to offer a range of processes and systems that deliver success.

“As co-owners, we look forward to supporting Forward in further developing its range of software solutions that help its clients adapt to an ever-changing landscape. Those clients, many of which have business relations with the joint venture’s three owners already, can rest assured that under the Forward Solutions brand, will continue to be run as a completely independent business, with client confidentiality assured.”