A new era

Initially established in the mid-1800s, leading logistics and maritime service provider Cory Brothers (Cory) has seen solid, continuous growth throughout its evolution. Based on a foundation of shipping and customer service expertise and experience developed across three centuries, today Cory offers a seamless solution for every transportation need.

In the words of Peter Wilson, Cory’s Managing Director, the company can be described as ‘a market-leading UK and global service provider offering port agency, hub services, freight forwarding and liner representation.’ “We are now enjoying our 177th year of trading, and since 2003 we have been wholly owned by Braemar Shipping Services PLC,” he added.

One of the main strengths of Cory is its significant international presence – the company has representative offices situated around the globe, as well as regional control offices in key locations, within both established and emerging markets. Peter highlighted Gibraltar as the location of the most recent opening, and as he noted, this office is significant as it: “allows Cory Brothers to represent its broad client base for owner’s service in one of the busiest shipping deviation points in the world.” Historically Gibraltar is also special to Cory, as in the early 1900s the company had offices there to supply coal for ships’ bunkers.

The operations provided by Cory that Peter mentioned previously are provided through three divisions – Logistics, Liner Agency and Agency. The first of these, Cory Logistics provides a dependable, cost-effective service via a range of options, including forwarding, marine logistics, projects, air freight, custom clearance, Europe overland and intermodal, warehousing, renewables, auto and commercial, recyclables, consolidation and cool chain.

These are based on years of international knowledge and experience, and are flexible, meaning that customers can benefit from solutions tailored to their own individual budget and timings. Peter noted the importance of this approach, which Cory calls ‘Customer Empowerment’ and the role that employees play in successfully delivering it: “We want our customers to feel in control of their shipment, to know where and when the cargo is going to be delivered. The key to this is having staff who are willing to pass on their knowledge to the clients to allow them to be fully engaged in the shipping process. Our customers appreciate effective communication, and this remains key to our provision. Customers who feel engaged and satisfied will always return, moreover it increases the confidence they have in us, their service provider.”

Working alongside the leading Logistics division is Cory’s Liner Agency, which holds the top spot in the UK. It provides representation, marketing and sales support for ship operators within the UK, as well as local, effective and practical operational services to suppliers, cargo owners and forwarders, covering all cargo types including containers, Ro-Ro, conventional, break-bulk, project cargoes and heavy-lift.

The Liner Agency offers unrivalled market coverage, and while continuously expanding this global network is a priority for Peter and his team, this works alongside maintaining a flow of fresh ideas for increasing core services, as he explained: “We are fortunate to have a team of vastly knowledgeable   and experienced people whom, through a ‘open’ working environment, are encouraged to bring forward their own ideas to the leadership team. Many of these ideas have proven to have greatly enhanced what we do.”

He continued with further details about how important this ‘open’ atmosphere is to the management at Cory: “The leadership team works tirelessly to ensure the staff feel engaged, entrusted and capable of fulling their roles. I will often spend time on the desks speaking to all our staff and encourage them to come to me and the leadership team with questions, suggestions or issues. We treat everyone as an equal no matter the role they undertake, and I believe our staff feel that in the business.

“As part of our enhancing the culture, we have implemented training packages for staff that are keen to learn new skills (or even brush up on old skills!) We have an excellent ‘Employee Assistance Programme’ in place that gives all staff on-hand support and advice for work and personal matters. We have also now completed the process of bringing our HR services back in-house, employing top talent to provide the exceptional level of resource to our staff whom so richly deserve it.”

Peter praises the staff as the cornerstone of Cory’s success, but he also deserves to be credited for the business entering a new era of prosperity – having entered the business 22 years ago as a trainee, he has undertaken almost every role from trainee to MD and this gives him a unique insight: “My experience allows me to truly understand what they all do and the issues they face,” he agreed. “We always continue to learn and as much as my role is one of mentoring our staff it is also about being mentored in return. So, the simple lessons I have learned are to listen and be open to accepting other opinions and very simply treat everyone as my equal and expect the same in kind. We employ the best people, so why would I ever try and restrict them.”

Given the open atmosphere within Cory, it should not come as a surprise that this extends outward to the wider community; as Peter explains corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important to all of Cory Group and he gave some examples of the policy in action: “We’re making more positive steps to be green: we re-cycle, re-use and run an annual Beach Clean with staff. Our new Ipswich office has a reduced paper policy to help cut waste and we provide staff with access to excellent mental health counselling. Our local community work is wide and varied from local sports sponsorship for football, boxing, rugby, netball, cricket and hockey to Christmas Tree provision for a local village.”

Going forward, under Peter and his team’s trusted supervision, Cory looks set for further success. “We have plenty of plans for Cory – growth through internal development and acquisition is, of course, key to all business,” Peter noted, when looking towards the future. “We also need to focus on developing our people, enhancing the skill sets and broadening the learning for all staff,” he said. “We are as prepared as we can be for Brexit and we keep out customers advised periodically with the facts, what changes may occur with a No Deal Brexit and how they can avoid delays and issues. This should become clearer in the coming months (at least we hope so).”

This pragmatism is also reflected in Peter’s own plans for the ongoing leadership of what has become somewhat of a British institution in the logistics sector: “I am very fortunate to have had the most amazing opportunities over the last 22 years. My ambition for Cory is to leave it in the strongest place possible but also find the candidates in this business who can follow in my footsteps, not because I am anything special but because it’s the right thing to do. The future is looking very bright for Cory.”

Cory Brothers
Prides itself on a growing network to serve customers around the globe
Flexible and open management structure encourages fresh approaches
Has developed a reputation for its dedication to customer service