Crown Worldwide celebrates its 50th anniversary with presentation in Japan and events across the globe
The company was launched by founder Jim Thompson from a tiny cubicle in Yokohama, Japan, in 1965, but has grown into a corporate giant with a turnover of more than 800m USD.
It now provides transportation, mobility and relocation services, logistics and storage services from 265 locations in some 60 countries. Its stable of brands includes Crown World Mobility, Crown Relocations, Crown Fine Art, Crown Records Management, Crown Logistics and Crown Wine Cellars.
Crown Worldwide opened its first office in the UK in 1989. It now has bases across the country including in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Fareham, Jersey, Larkfield, Leeds, Livington, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Oxford, Peterborough, Swindon and Tyneside.
Mr Thompson, a US entrepreneur who is based in Hong Kong, marked the anniversary on February 4 by presenting Mayor of Yokohama Fumiko Hayashi with special tributes to celebrate the founding of his business in the Japanese city.
These included a specially-designed Happi coat that incorporates a ginkgo leaf design, a symbol of longevity in Japan. He also presented an exclusive art work painted by seven-year-old Barbora Mrvisova of the Slovak Republic for the Kids Earth Fund, a charity that raises money to help children who suffer from the result of war, poverty and environmental contamination. The money donated for this artwork will go to a school in Cambodia that supports children with HIV.
Jim Thompson said: “I have always had a special feeling about Japan and it is a country close to my heart. So it was an honor to meet Mayor Hayashi, to celebrate our anniversary together and to say thank you to the city where it all began.
“I started the company in 1965 from small beginnings and with very little capital – so to see it grow into an international global business is very special. It’s really a huge anniversary that I never thought I’d see and I’m very proud of all the people that helped us to get to this point. We will be celebrating the anniversary at all of our offices right across the globe.”
Mr Thompson was accompanied in Yokohama by his daughter Jennifer Harvey, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Crown Worldwide, who was born in Japan and acted as translator during the visit
Mayor Hayashi, who coincidentally began her own business career in 1965, is the first female mayor of Yokohama, elected in 2009, and is regarded as one of the most influential women in Japan. Her previous roles have included president of BMW Tokyo, president of Tokyo Nissan Auto Sales, chairperson and CEO of the Japanese supermarket chain Daiei.
Mayor Hayashi said: “Congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the founding of Crown Worldwide. I am honoured that this occasion coincides with the 50th year of my business career as well. Your company started in Yokohama and has grown to prominence in the logistics industry. I am grateful for your special thoughts about Yokohama.
“Mr Thompson, you and others in your company support in diverse ways those who are active beyond national borders, making various contributions to society. In Yokohama, there are many young people and companies who desire to step out and become active abroad, as your company did. The city encourages and advises them on studying abroad, starting a business, and business management. As a model for them – in full view on this, the 50th anniversary of its founding – I hope your company will continue to grow and prosper.”
Jim Thompson’s visit was the first in a long list of events to mark Crown Worldwide’s landmark anniversary. Each of the company’s 265 offices across the world will celebrate in their own way, including taking part in a ‘Golden Relay’ of events to raise money for charity.