And while customs compliance, technology and even physical borders have changed over the past century, George Henry Young's vision of a different kind of customs brokerage – one dedicated to personal service, integrity and professionalism – has never waivered.
The Genesis of Geo. H. Young & Co.
In the late 1800’s, Canada was struggling to protect its developing economy through high trade tariffs – duty rates of 20-40 percent accounted for most of the government’s revenues as income taxes weren’t initiated until 1917. At this time, George Henry Young was the Chief Inspector of Customs Ports stationed in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1901, recognizing opportunity when he saw it, he opened one of the first customs brokerage houses in Western Canada.
GHY Becomes a North American Customs Leader
In 1950, Geo. H. Young & Co. Ltd. Incorporated and began an exciting era of growth. News of those years is well documented in the formal corporate minute books which include colourful details about the business of the day, the people and events, the challenges and opportunities. There is reference to some of our long-term clients who have become pillars of the Manitoba business community. Some of these relationships span more than eight decades and have contributed significantly to our success.
GHY's Third Generation at Work
The second half of the 20th century saw an infusion of young blood, as Charles Riess and Amie Decock joined the company. Charles married Leona Young to become part of the founding family’s third generation and was named the company’s third president in 1968. Along with Gordon Feir, these three individuals were instrumental in steering our organization through its growth in the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s.
Richard Riess and the Power of Technology
In the late 1980’s, under the leadership of Richard Riess, great grandson of the company’s founder, GHY recognized the need to adapt to a rapidly changing world economy. Embracing information technology, we created new and improved service offerings to assist our diversified and dynamic customer base. As a result, GHY is now an integrated trade services company that encompasses our core Customs Brokerage services plus Customs Consulting, small parcel cross-border logistics, warehousing, distribution and freight forwarding services.
GHY in the Twenty-First Century
We now manage more than $5 billion of cross-border trade annually through our Canadian and U.S. brokerage operations. We pay more than $100 million annually to governments on behalf of our clients, and we work with more than 1,000 importers and exporters.
Growth and continuity through four successive generations is an incredible milestone. GHY has achieved it thanks to dedicated people delivering quality service to great customers. It is a testament to the power of the highest levels of commitment, professionalism and integrity.