George marks his quarter century

IT was 25 years ago that George Baker decided it was time to realise his dream - and start his own company.

IT was 25 years ago that George Baker decided it was time to realise his dream - and start his own company.

Now celebrating a quarter of a century in business, George Baker (Shipping) Ltd is a thriving company employing 32 full-time staff plus a number of part-time workers at its offices in Parker Avenue, Felixstowe.

Its customers come from all parts of the world, but unlike many shipping and freight companies working in the port, it does have local connections and work, too, running a removals and packing business to help people relocating abroad with their possessions and cars.

“I reached my 30th birthday back in 1982 and I just wanted to do something with my life,” said Mr Baker, who owns the company with his wife Libby.

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“I borrowed £2,000 from the bank and set up the company. I had always wanted to run my own business and I felt this was the moment.”

The company made a good start and began to grow steadily during its first decade, building up a good business with customs clearance work. Then in 1993 the European barriers came down and there was no need for goods being moved within the European community to be checked.

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Mr Baker said the company lost a huge amount of business overnight.

“We were just no longer required. It was like being the best blacksmith in the village, and waking up one day to find everyone had sold their horses and bought cars,” he said.

“A lot of companies went out of business at that time, but we managed to carry on and stumbled along until we started building up business in customs brokerage.”

With its direct computer links with HM Customs, and companies through the maritime cargo processing system, plus its consultancy and bonded warehouse services, it can offer a fast and efficient customs clearance service at all the country's major ports.


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