As Norman Global Logistics turns 50, we take a look back at the business’ most formative events and milestones, and celebrate the achievements of our team members, many of whom have been with Norman Global, since our journey began.
From its roots in West London, Norman Global Logistics has expanded to five UK offices, with freight centres at London Heathrow and Felixstowe container port, and seven NGL locations across Asia.
The same year that saw the Beatles release their final album, Let It Be, and Concorde make its first supersonic flight, Ken Norman launches Norman Shipping in Ealing. It is 1970.
Despite inflation reaching 17.2% in the UK and a global recession deepening, Norman Shipping opened their first air freight office by Heathrow’s cargo terminal to handle their rapidly expanding air freight business just four years later, in 1974.
It took eight years before the business was ready to open its first dedicated sea freight operation, at Felixstowe, the UK’s biggest and most important container terminal. Many of the team that celebrated the office opening are still with us, including the then manager, Martin Rue, who went on to join the board.
After 20 years at the helm, Ken Norman was ready to step down in 1990, handing over the reigns to his partner Ian Terry, who had joined Ken a few years after the business’ foundation. Ian foresaw his tenure would be limited to ten years and set the wheels in motion to his retirement by strengthening the senior management team. Bringing Martin Rue, Gary Dean, and Peter O’Brien on to the Board. He worked with his senior team to create a management buyout (MBO) in 2000 that would provide the continuity he wanted for the business, staff and customers.
With a new, young and energetic team of directors leading, the newly rebranded Norman Global Logistics became the UK representative of HTFN, the leading global network of independent freight forwarders.
By 2010 the directors were eager to develop an NGL presence in Asia, appointing Swedish logistics professional Stefan Holmqvist, with many years of experience working in Asia, to open their first office in Hong Kong and lead the business’ development in the region.
Stefan and his team success can be measured by the pace at which he expanded across the mainland. Opening NGL’s Shanghai office just a year later in 2011, followed by in quick succession with more offices in major locations including Ningbo, Qingdao, Xiamen and Vietnam.
The professionalism and dedication of the Norman Global logistic team has been the backbone of the business’ service and growth since its foundation, overseeing many changes and developments in the last five decades, with technology being a constant theme.
Most recent developments include eCommerce services that provide seamless web order automation, shipping, tracking and customer order updates, and the launch of nQuote, providing instant access to live shipping options and rates on any device, 24/7.