June 15th marks the 40th year since we established Emerald Freight Express ( 1981-2021)
So its my pleasure to present a snap-shot of our rich history when I tell you that Emerald Freight Express was founded by the late Thomas J. Freeney (RIP) and myself – Owen O’Brien ( now retied since 2017 after 36 years in service)
Tom and I had been working in the freight forwarding industry for about 15 years prior, so we had both served long apprenticeship’s learning our stock and trade in both Air and Ocean and Customs Brokerage from the mid 60’s up till 1981, we were both flexible and commercially aware of our mission and we were mutually inspired and determined to succeed at all costs.
We started the company from very humble beginnings working from a small rented office / warehouse at Church Lane, Santry which was a blessing as we were next door to Saint Pappin’s Church which is renowned to have a holy well in the church grounds and on reflection we must have had this holy Saint looking over us in the years that followed.
I recall taking 2 of our kitchen chairs and an electric Kettle from my home to help us get started with some of the basic necessities. These we different times compared to now as we drank lots of coffee and smoked lots of cigarettes ( and in Toms case cigars ) and as there were no computers around, everything was done by handwriting including Customs entries and the 1 typewriter which we used for formal letters and correspondence. We installed a Telex machine which was the international standard for communications in those days and as we progressed we installed a Fax machine which was became hi-tech in the years that followed. For the record we installed our first computer in 1986 ( Amstrad 360) as we prepared for the automation of our industry and the new Customs regulations.
Our first employee was Alison Hannon who was a great support to Tom and myself, Alison was about to have her first baby in the Autumn of 1981 so we decided to employ a replacement and very fortunately we struck Gold when we employed Caroline Lambe, so congratulations to Caroline as she is our longest serving employee, this is a monumental achievement and she deserves great praise for her tremendous service and loyalty through thick and thin down though the years.
Likewise I want to mention my good friend John Mc Dermott who has been with Emerald Freight Express from the early moon-lighting days of 1981 to the present day.
We subsequently moved to Santryhall in 1983 when we purchased our own premises and this proved to be a great location for us over the years, being so close to Dublin Airport, the Port Tunnel and the M50 motorways.
Over the course of 40 years we’ve had many big challenges and mountains to climb from Global market forces and competitors to dramatic changes in work practise, computerisation and technology, probably beyond your wildest imagination.
However, we faced up and overcame these challenges on each and every occasion and I’m delighted to see that my successors have continued to achieve even greater success in most recent years since my retirement.
To put our history in context here are some highlights from 1981 :
Space Shuttle Columbia with 2 astronauts – John Young and Robert Crippen launched from Cape Canaveral marked the very first manned space shuttle a 2 day mission:
Lady Diana Spencer marries Charles, Prince of Wales : Pope John Paul II shot by would-be assassin Mehment Ali Agca. : First De Lorean DMC – 12 Sports Car comes off the production line in Belfast :
Ronal Reagan becomes US President : First high speed train begins French TGV service Paris- Lyon, Simon & Garfunkel reunite for concert in New York’s Central Park : Dolly Parton tops charts with 9 to 5 : IRA member Bobby Sands elected to Westminster parliament dies while on hunger strike : Muhammad Ali finally retires with career record of 55 wins and 5 defeats : IBM launches first PC which uses Microsoft MS DOS:
Aston Villa crowned Football League Champions in England : Republic of Ireland 3- France 2 in World Cup qualifier in Dublin, France eventually qualified at Ireland’s expense on goal difference :
Kerry won the All Ireland Football beating Offaly in the final : Offaly won the All Ireland Hurling beating Galway in the final : Dundalk won both League of Ireland and FAI Cup to make it a double celebration.
I must say we we’re blessed to have the support of our great management team, our staff and families and our success is a hallmark to the service and dedication which is self- evident . At the end of the day we are in the service industry and customer service is the lifeblood of our business 24-7-365. It’s no secret that the success of Emerald Freight Express is our reputation and our service track record is standing the test of time in a monumental fashion and this is testimony to our business management and strategy over the past 4 decades.
I sold my shares to Glen, Anna and Mick in 2017 to take my retirement and I’m delighted to witness the brave decisions they have taken since they took control of the company.
So congratulations to them for their courage and determination to rise to all the challenges and make their mark as the new owners of Emerald Freight Express.
I look forward to a big celebration as soon as the Covid pandemic restrictions allow and I thank all of our loyal clients and overseas agents for your continued support for the future.