Peter Wilson

Five minutes with…

Peter Wilson

Group Managing Director

Cory Brothers

How much are the spiralling shipping rates currently impacting your business? 

The record-high costs, operational instability and unknown transit times combine to make the Far East import proposition increasingly unviable; the levels are now exceeding some of the goods actual value. Some clients are re-shaping their business models to source products closer to the UK.

In a recent interview, you said that Boris needs to come to the table and start supporting the logistics industry. If you had a seat at that table, what would you say to him? 

UK plc needs a sensible, balanced proposition for the import/export freight transport mechanisms to function. The carriers also have to have buy-in – we need to work together. I am no fan of regulatory bodies as with any regulation some is “good” but “too much” can destroy entrepreneurism. Shipping is a global business, but also very small at the grassroots. We, the thousands and thousands of freight forwarders need help, which in this global freight market needs to come from the highest levels. Something we have seen in the US with President Biden.

Despite the industry’s current challenges, what is it that you love about the sector?

No matter what the challenges, ours is a stoic and determined industry: we’ll do everything possible to keep the goods moving. We never give up. When I first started in this industry the MD told me, “every day will bring something new to challenge you”. It is why I can, with hand on heart say I love my job. I will add, that although the supply chain infrastructure is being immensely stretched, it “will not fail”, not at Cory Brothers and not with our freight forwarding peers.

As an international business, what sets your operations here in East Anglia apart? 

Suffolk is my home and where our head office is based. We have excellent talent throughout our divisions; we work very hard and look after our customers. They, in turn, remain loyal. Having had a presence in Suffolk for nearly sixty years we value and understand how important Suffolk is to UK plc and certainly to Cory Brothers. No matter our size, Suffolk is home now for this historic Welsh/British company and I feel that has to remain part of our DNA.

What’s your proudest business achievement??

I’m extremely proud of the entire team at Cory Brothers and how they’ve handled and continue to handle the pandemic. As keyworkers, we’ve continued throughout, worked around the clock, faced our fears and kept trade flowing and ships moving. Not one person was furloughed and if anything, we’ve grown even stronger. To be a leader in this environment could be stressful, thankfully the “people make the difference” is something that has been more than proven at Cory Brothers.

And finally, tell us a secret about yourself?

I am a huge maritime nerd, I love ships, boats and maritime. It sounds a little cliché (due to my industry) but I honestly will sit and watch boats and ships on YouTube or TV documentaries non-stop. If I am on the beach or promenade I am on a vessel tracker trying to find out what it is doing. My children just roll their eyes when I start any story with “When I first started in shipping……”!