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Published on: 1st March 2022
Ever since Danish brothers Hans and Harald Casper arrived in Teesside in 1872, Casper have been providing end-to-end shipping solutions across the UK, Europe and beyond.
150 years later, that same independent spirit born on the banks of the Tees is still alive. Of course, in that time a lot has changed. But as technology and society has shifted, Casper have kept pace every step of the way. From the lows of The Great Depression to the boom of the offshore industry, through to the Rip-Roaring 1920s and the uncertainty of a global pandemic — they have weathered every storm imaginable.
Today, Casper is the UK’s leading independent maritime services company. And despite being steeped in history, a combination of restless innovation and constant improvement helps them chart a course to the future — one that’s fully prepared for the challenges and the opportunities of tomorrow. Overseeing its 11 sites nationwide is Group Managing Director, Michael Shakesheff.
“The systems behind our service are cutting edge. As well as reporting and decision making, we are trailblazers in automating our customs processes and declarations for customers,” Michael explained.
“Behind that is our practical experience and proactive people, who work tirelessly every day to build long-term partnerships and provide an always-on service and an always hands-on approach. When you put those together, it gives our customers peace of mind and allows us to solve problems instinctively.”
Under the leadership of the Shakesheff family since Michael’s father, Kevin, was appointed Managing Director in 1991, Casper have gone from strength to strength. Over 30 years and two management buy-outs later, Michael is now spearheading a group that includes Casper Shipping, Casper Logistics and Casper Chartering, with further divisions beneath each company.
Michael added: “We’ve grown far beyond our family roots, yet we’ve never lost the foundations that made our business so successful. Despite being a group with a global reach, our clients are always close to our heart.
“It’s our experience and expertise that keeps ships sailing and goods moving. But it’s our dedication and dependability that keeps clients safe and supported. They place immense trust in us, and we reward that trust with an agile and unparalleled personal service.”
Business acquisitions and new openings have further complemented the family of companies, which transitioned into a group offering in 2016. The rebrand brought their fleet of services under one roof, with a unifying proposition that built on consistent progress and set the foundations for the next phase of growth.
“As much as we’re proud of our past, our eyes are firmly on the future. We’ve proven that we’re not afraid to take bold steps and constantly search for new ways to evolve. And with the help of digital tools, we’re making more informed decisions than ever before,” Michael continued.
“But it doesn’t just stop there. We’re committed to our communities, passing on knowledge, delivering insight and shaping the future for the next wave of maritime leaders.”
While few shipping companies can count on more than a century of heritage, even fewer can boast a vision that guarantees confidence for clients and retains an independent spirit with international scale. From the humble beginnings of Danish migrants to the nationwide group of today, Casper look set to remain at the forefront of the maritime industry for the next 150 years.