Inside Logistics

Willson International celebrates 100 years in business

Customs brokerage and logistics leader helps clients navigate cross-border trade

February 7, 2018

MISSISSAUGA – A century after it first opened its doors at a ferry landing in Fort Erie, Ont., Customs brokerage and logistics leader Willson International is celebrating its 100th anniversary helping clients navigate cross-border trade between Canada and the United States.

While the fourth-generation, family-owned and operated business has grown and diversified its services significantly over the decades, its primary goal remains the same today as it did when it began in 1918 — helping companies across North America manage their supply chains so they can focus on the day-to-day challenges of running their businesses.

“We’re proud of our long history working with businesses on both sides of the border to give them the guidance and tools to reach larger markets and grow,” says chairman and CEO Peter Willson, whose great grandfather William Willson founded the company. “We’re committed to building on our legacy by focusing on the needs of our customers for generations to come.”

When it got its start a century ago, Willson International had a single location in Fort Erie, serving ferries that made the short trip across the Niagara River between Ontario and Buffalo, NY. Today, the company still has an office in Fort Erie, but it’s headquartered in Mississauga and has several offices at major gateways along the Canada-US border, including Ontario, British Columbia, New York and Michigan.

Using real-time and innovative technology tools, web portals and expertly trained client service specialists, Willson serves a wide variety of time-sensitive and logistically complex businesses, including the food, steel, produce, floral and automotive sectors, among others.

The rules and regulations governing international trade are highly complex and difficult to navigate, causing many companies to decide against investing the time and energy into fully leveraging Free Trade Agreements such as NAFTA and TPP. Because of its longevity, deep-rooted experience and expertise, Willson has built a reputation as a leader in providing clients the tools they need to better understand the regulatory environment of international trade and capitalize on agreements Canada has in place with partner countries.

“Our customers trust us because we’ve proven for decades that we can help them break through industry barriers and manage their supply chains effectively,” Willson says.