Founded in 1767, the George Hammond PLC of today started as a shipping agency for vessels using the English Channel and the ports of Kent. In the early years the company had local offices in Dover, Ramsgate, Deal and Margate and the partners of the George Hammond Company, as it was then known, were appointed to represent many European states. Today that tradition continues with many Honorary Consul and Vice Consul positions being held by the current directors.
In the early part of the 20th century the company focused its activities on salvage work, primarily in the Channel and on the Goodwin Sands. With the growing popularity of Dover as a passenger and cargo terminal, new services such as passenger handling, ship’s agency and stevedoring were added. After the Second World War other opportunities such as deep sea pilotage arose and the stevedoring business grew steadily, now handling new products such as fruit, vegetables, timber and grain.
During the sixties and seventies a new company – George Hammond (Shipping) Limited was formed and the new divisions of transport, warehousing, ro-ro clearance and petrol retailing were created.
In 1992, in a move designed to reflect the dynamics of the business, the company was reconstituted and a Public Limited Company was formed. George Hammond PLC, as the company is now known. The successful stevedoring business was sold to the port of Dover in December 2016.
The Marine Divsion continues to be placed at the forefront of shipping services in the UK, together with the Retail Division being one of Kent’s leading independent forecourt operators. All the divisions continue to grow, whilst retaining the quality and standards that have made the business such a success.