Milgram & Company Ltd.
Customs broker, freight forwarders and truck brokers
Primary market: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver
Number of employees: 300
President: Jay Goldman
Milgram brokers the future
You’d think that with the rise in free trade agreements being signed around the world, and continued voluminous cross border shipments between countries such as Canada and the United States, that customs brokerage houses would be a thing of the past. You’d be wrong.
“There is a perception that customs is not important,” says Jay Goldman, president of Milgram & Company, which has been operating in the field since it was founded by his father Oscar, Harry Milgram and other partners, 60 years ago. “Even though duties and tariffs are less of an issue than they were at one time, companies still need to get paperwork in order to ensure smooth access to other markets. That’s particularly true of the United States, which has gotten tougher about border enforcement in the post 9-11 era.”
Goldman joined Milgram & Company 35 years ago by working summers and almost immediately fell in love with it. Today, the firm is run by a second generation of managers including Jay’s brother Nathan, Joel Milgram and Lawrence Gross. The new group took over gradually as the original owners began stepping back, making their mark by adding services such as international freight forwarding and truck transportation.
Goldman attributes the business’s success and longevity to major investments in training and technology as well as to the second generation’s ability to work constructively together. “Many businesses have a hard time managing successions,” says Goldman. “However we have clearly defined managerial responsibilities and rarely step on each other’s toes.” A move to consolidate Milgram & Company’s three operating divisions into one group also helped to significantly boost efficiencies, as did a move into new offices. “Before that key managers often worked all day without seeing each other,” says Goldman. “However now that we are all under one roof communications have improved considerably.”
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