Monday, June 15, 2015

Freight Forwarding and Supply Chain Group Scoops Trio of Success at Family Business Awards

Annual Event Sees a Clean Sweep for Century Old Outfit
Shipping News Feature

UK – Freight forwarding and supply chain management group World Transport Agency (WTA) has been named as ‘Family Business of the Year as well as ‘Transport and Logistics Family Business of the Year 2015’ and the ‘South East Family Business’ of the year 2015, in an annual event organised by Family Business United. The trio of success came in the face of stiff competition from many other family owned and managed enterprises.

In achieving this outstanding success, WTA were required to both receive sufficient online votes from their customers and business partners and demonstrate to the judging panel excellence in a wide range of criteria. These included the key roles played by family members, corporate governance, business values, philanthropic activities, community outreach, social responsibility, continuity of family involvement, profitability and the ability to develop and innovate to meet and take advantage of ongoing challenges and opportunities.

Founded in London in 1913 by Ernest Sommer WTA has been family owned and managed for over 100 years. In 1950, following on from Ernest, John Sommer assumed chairmanship, steering and building the business for the next 44 years. Charles and Paul Sommer then acquired shared ownership in 1994 and took on the challenge of meeting growing international competition by reshaping the business. The fourth generation, Rochelle and John Sommer have now joined them on the board with key roles across the Group. WTA has thus enjoyed successful family ownership and management for over a century with four of its members now driving the business.

Initially an international freight company WTA has evolved to now deliver high added value services in global supply chain logistics design, management and control. The company has facilities in the UK, the US and China with affiliates’ worldwide, providing real global reach. WTA Group Chairman, Charles Sommer commented:

“We are greatly honoured to have received this award, which recognizes not only our company’s success but also the contribution we bring to the UK economy and other communities in which we operate. Our definition of family business goes far beyond the Sommer family. We have an ongoing objective to grow the WTA family by encouraging our people to take ownership of their careers in turn creating self-confidence, personal involvement and team spirit throughout the enterprise.

“Our collective focus for now and the future is to drive innovation, service excellence, and the delivery of outstanding value, thereby ensuring that the values of our founder, Ernest Sommer, remain at the heart of our business. Best People; Best Products; Best Service.”

Paul Andrews, Founder and Managing Director of Family Business United, the organisation behind these awards explains:

"The WTA submission was outstanding, not only in the way that it was put together but the way the values of the family shone through. WTA is a great family business that is aware of its heritage having recently celebrated their centenary but as a family firm they are fully aware of the need to focus on the future. A strong heritage is fantastic but does not secure a future and WTA are continuing to evolve with new governance structures to ensure the right balance on the family and the business as a platform for growth and continued success. These awards were created to champion the family business sector in the UK and to recognise the contribution made by family firms to the UK economy and the communities in which they operate.

"WTA are worthy winners of the Supreme Champion Family Business of the Year 2015 and will undoubtedly be great ambassadors for the family business sector going forward. In addition, they took home the Transport and Logistics Family Business of the Year 2015 and the London & South East Family Business of the Year. An incredible night for an incredible family business a well-deserved triumph and we look forward to hearing more from WTA for generations to come.”