New Bermuda Forwarders President: Nick Kempe 19 April 2017

Nick Kempe will succeed his father Toby Kempe as the President of Bermuda Forwarders Ltd, becoming the third President of the company as it enters its 62nd year of operation.

“Toby Kempe is stepping back from his responsibilities as President to focus on the relocation and export departments alongside the America’s Cup project coordination,” the company said.

“Toby has served as President for the last 35 years and relishes the opportunity to dedicate his time to the part of the business where he cut his teeth some 40 years ago.

Toby Kempe said, “It all comes full-circle. I am thrilled to see my son, Nick, follow in my footsteps.

“This year is going to be an incredibly busy year for outbound relocations and exports in the aftermath of the America’s Cup, and I will be redoubling my focus on this department to ensure that Bermuda is presented in the best possible light.

“We are well aware that we may be the last point of commercial contact for many of the athletes, teams and associated businesses.”

Toby Kempe and Nick Kempe Bermuda Jan 13 2017

Nick Kempe will be the third President of Bermuda Forwarders Ltd. as it enters its 62nd year of operation.

The company was founded by his grandfather, “Winky”, in 1955 as a customs brokerage. Toby Kempe expanded the business by bringing off-site banker box storage to the island in 1988 and by adding container haulage to the business offerings.

The company now offers a world-wide, one-stop shipping solution for local importers. Nick Kempe said he “recognises that he has extremely big shoes to fill but feels thoroughly supported by an excellent team.”

He has been impressed by the culture of family that his father has nurtured at the company during his tenure at the helm, and the Bermudian magazine named Bermuda Forwarders the Best Company to Work For in 2015.

Nick Kempe has been overseeing an IT overhaul during the last 18 months and has been impressed with the results.

“Many repetitive tasks have now been automated, and our team members are now able to dedicate more focus to delivering top-notch customer service. The new systems and processes have allowed us to clear and deliver freight to our clients more than one day faster on average,” he said.

He sees importers requiring more flexible shipping options and better access to information in order to compete in an age of internet shopping.

Bermuda Forwarders said they “look forward to supporting and developing its valued trading partnerships in the years to come.”

Small Package Solutions Expands! 04 November 2016

Growing on the success of Small Package Solutions from New Jersey, Bermuda Forwarders is pleased to now offer an expanded Small Package Solutions ocean service aimed at small and large businesses from overseas partners in New Jersey, Toronto, Manchester UK, and Rotterdam Holland.   This service provides the alternative of low costs for smaller shipments which traditionally attracted much higher ocean freight minimums or were sent by express or courier services at higher cost.  Shipments as little as one or two shoe boxes, are now practical. 


Small Package Solutions which operates as part of Bermuda Forwarders’ weekly, less than container load (LCL), scheduled ocean services from New Jersey, Toronto, Manchester UK and Rotterdam Holland, reduces costs compared to existing air services by around 40% and allows on-hand freight to be shipped at a competitive price point no matter the volume. This flexibility allows importers to receive their goods without ever having to hold up freight due to back orders.


“Our Small Package service from New Jersey, has proven so popular with our customers since its introduction in 2014, that we wanted to expand it to our longer distance services from Canada, the UK and Continental Europe.  Hopefully we can help to make retail more competitive, by helping to broaden the range of products offered in Bermuda.   We have long specialised in providing scheduled, ocean and air freight solutions from a wide range of countries but providing the same product versatility for smaller shipments was always a cost challenge.  We think we have found the means to cost-effectively offer businesses and consumers, the opportunity to test new and exciting products, innovate their logistics to more closely match their demand and turnover  and import more immediately required goods, when the expense of overnight-type shipping is not required.  Tiny envelope sized shipments and those which are urgently required overnight, are likely still best sent by air express or courier services, however.”


Bermuda Forwarders offers a full array of scheduled air and ocean services from the Far East, Europe, India, Asia, Africa, Australasia and elsewhere.


Go to to compare today.

Bermuda Forwarders (UK) Address Change 25 October 2016

With effect from Monday 21st November, BFUK's receiving warehouse address be located at a larger premises just around the corner from their existing operation.

From 21 November freight should be booked through their new address as:-
Your Name (business or personal)
c/o Bermuda Forwarders UK
Floats Road
Roundthorn Industrial Estate
Manchester, M23 9NJ
Phone numbers and emails remain the same:
+44 (0)161 870 3770
If you have any concerns or have already booked freight set to arrive around transition date, please contact BFUK directly.

Bermuda Forwarders Boosts Management Team 03 February 2016

Local shipping company Bermuda Forwarders Ltd. has boosted its freight services business with a new hire.

 Laura Blee-DeFrias has joined the company’s ocean import team as Freight Services Manager.

 Mrs. Blee-DeFrias has 20 years experience in the shipping industry.

She started at B.O.S.S. in 1995 and became Managing Director in 1997. As part of last year’s celebration of UN International Women’s Day, she was recognized by the Governor and Minister Gordon-Pamplin for her achievements in advancing the shipping industry in Bermuda.

Willie Forbes, Bermuda Forwarders Ltd.’s Vice President of International Services, said: “We have always prided ourselves on offering the most complete logistics solution for Bermuda importers. We are truly the only global one-stop shop on island. We take the headaches out of shipping whether you need 4 cubic feet of inventory from the US or a 40-foot custom sailing workshop from New Zealand.

“Laura embodies our ‘customer-first’ philosophy and I look forward to working closely with her.”

Bermuda Forwarders Ltd. is a family company that just last year celebrated its 60th anniversary and won The Bermudian’s 2015 “Best Company to Work For” Product & Service Award.

Nick Kempe, Vice President, said: “We continue to adapt our business to the changing needs of our clients.

“Over the last 18 months, we launched our new ocean Small Package Solutions as well invested heavily in system upgrades and training in order to offer our customers more flexible shipping options and faster turnarounds.

“I see Laura as a key part of Bermuda Forwarders Ltd.’s next generation executive and I proudly welcome her to the family.”

For more, please contact or

Bermuda Forwarders wins "Best Company to Work For" 03 December 2015

Best Company to Work For
Bermuda Forwarders
A family-owned-and-run company, Bermuda Forwarders is known to treat their employees more like beloved relatives than mere staff members. “The Kempe family knows their employees,” said one judge. “And they do all they can to prevent layoffs and maintain benefits for their staff through these tough economic times.” Any company that puts their people before their profits gets an A+ in our books. • 2 Mill Creek Lane, Hamilton. Tel: 292-4600, e-mail:,

Bermuda Forwarders Ltd. featured on Oracle Team USA video 14 September 2015

Check us out hauling boat two to OTUSA's Bermuda training facility.

Small Package Solutions Celebrates One Year 21 August 2015

We are excited to see our Small Package Solutions service go through its first year of operation. The uptake has been excellent with an average growth of 60%! We are pleased with the responses from our customers and satisfied with our service times. We have been spreading the word, however there are still businesses overpaying for non-urgent smaller consignments (larger than 1 cubic foot). Our customers love the fact that there is no commitment as there is no need to sign up and there are no membership fees. Customers are able to ship weekly no matter how much freight is on hand in New Jersey or Florida as landed costs are reasonable no matter the size. If you have not tried us out, we would love to assist you with lowering your landed costs and minimising your inventory carrying costs. Still not sure? Compare your last bill with our convenient SPS cost estimator.

Know The Law When Shipping to Bermuda 23 July 2015

Shipping to Bermuda can be confusing even without considering international shipping conventions.

I hope to provide some clarity in this piece on Bills of Lading and General Average as they relate to maritime shipping law.

Please note that I am not a lawyer and this piece does not constitute legal advice, but rather should serve as general awareness of the process and things to be aware of.

Bills of Lading

The Bill of Lading is the document by which your goods will travel into Bermuda by sea (the air equivalent is an Airway Bill, or AWB).

Whether you are booking goods directly with the containership’s agent or your goods are being handled by a foreign forwarder, the same basic principles apply.

Shipping law is complex and there are courts that specialise in its intricacies. Historically, in Bermuda there is very little legal precedent upon which to rely as relates to the terms and condition by which goods transit.

Luckily, in Supreme Court cases — in Robinson vs Somers Isles Shipping Ltd in 2008 and Bermuda Forwarders Ltd vs Wales in 2015 — precedent was established clarifying how international shipping conventions and treaties as relates to Bills of Lading apply in Bermuda.

The following is excerpted verbatim from the judgments in those cases:

• A Bill of Lading will usually afford the best evidence of the terms of the contract of carriage.

• Where goods are shipped under a Bill of Lading, the consignee or ultimate recipient of the goods is bound by the pre-existing contract entered into by the shipper and the carrier.

• It is not possible for the consignee to challenge the terms of the contract for carriage based on his or her own experience or knowledge of standard terms and conditions incorporated by reference into the contract.

• The key time frame to be analysed for determining who are the parties to the original contract of carriage is before the goods are shipped when the shipping arrangements are made.

• In most cases, it is likely that the Bermudian importer will only be able to sue the local or overseas carrier who issued the relevant bill of lading and transported the goods to Bermuda, not the local delivery agent with whom they directly interfaced.

The right to sue in Bermuda will likely be excluded, while a limit on the amount of damages which can be recovered will likely be imposed.

The policy underlying these legal rules is to promote internal trade by protecting those engaged in the carriage of goods from unpredictable levels of financial risk flowing from the loss or damage of goods while in transit.

General Average and insurance

The last point is very important for local importers to understand. Shipping costs are determined by the volume or weight of your goods, not the value or potential to produce value.

Insurance is an important part of shipping and should be considered a cost of business.

The limits of liability contained within Bills of Lading are very restrictive and one cannot expect to receive replacement purchase or shipping value if entering into a claim for lost or damaged goods where there is not gross negligence.

Another reason to always insure, no matter the value of your shipment, is a little known but very scary element of international maritime law called General Average.

According to the law of General Average, first defined in the York Antwerp Rules of 1890, “all parties in a sea venture proportionally share any losses resulting from a voluntary sacrifice of part of the ship or cargo to save the whole in an emergency”.

In real world terms, if your goods comprise ten per cent of the ship’s load and general average is declared, you will be responsible for ten per cent of the bill. Any Marine Cargo policy worth its salt will have a provision for General Average coverage.

If you have any questions, please visit or contact us.

Celebrating 60 years! 22 June 2015

We are very happy to be celebrating 60 years of business this year! We could not have not it without all the

America’s Cup, Bermuda's Logistics 02 December 2014

Bermuda Forwarders Ltd. would like to welcome the America’s Cup teams to Bermuda as well as formally thank those involved in the island’s bid to secure the venue.

Supporting local business to compete 28 October 2014

In the new environment of shrinking on-hand inventories and internet shopping, Bermuda Forwarders is happy to be able to be a part of the solution for local businesses.

Proud to be a part of the recovery effort 23 October 2014

Bermuda Forwarders Ltd. would like to thank all the emergency services, utilities and general public for rallying together to get this island through "Hurricane" Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo.

Reasons to celebrate shipping out of Florida 11 October 2014

Our Florida partners and mother-son combo Vann and Trip Keefe from Farnell Freight were just down on the island chatting with customers, discussing route optimization and sharing our exciting new Small Package Solutions service.

Small package by sea: small businesses rejoice! 10 September 2014

In June, Bermuda Forwarders Limited launched its new Small Package Solutions out of New Jersey and Florida in response to the freight needs of Bermuda retailers with increasingly leaner inventories and tighter cash positions.

Phil Tocher 20 March 2014

Bermuda Forwarders UK Ltd. is pleased to announce that Phil Tocher has joined its team in Manchester.  He will be working with Stephen Livesey who has managed shipments to Bermuda for many years.

Bermuda Forwarders UK Ltd. (BFUK) 20 March 2014

BFUK has now taken over all Bermuda Forwarder's operations in the UK. 

Logistics New Jersey 20 March 2014

Please note that our receiving depot in New Jersey Logistics, is now established at: