In the year 1813 a young boy of 11 left his Scarborough home and ‘signed on’ to the sailing brig “British Volunteer”, to begin a life-time association with the sea and shipping.

Over the next 20 years John Good developed his seagoing experience on sailing ships trading in the Baltic, White Sea and Mediterranean, before finally gaining his Master’s Certificate.

In 1833 he returned to England and set up an office in Hull, founding John Good & Co. as Ship Chandlers, Agents and Brokers, utilising the connections he had built up with Baltic and Finnish ship owners.

John developed the company over the next 30 years, expanding into owning his own ships. After retiring in 1864, two of his sons continued to run the company, and in 1883, John Good & Sons obtained its first regular liner agency, for the Finnish Steamship Company’s new cargo and passenger services between Finland and Hull. The development of this Finnish trade helped the company to prosper, and in 1908, the company became a private limited company, John Good & Sons Ltd.

After this, progress was hampered by a series of fires and the national strikes at the beginning of the 20th century and compounded by two World Wars. The wars disrupted the shipping lines to Finland and the Baltic, and damage from the German bombing of Hull destroyed several working premises.

After the Second World War, the company rebuilt, and gained new agencies from across Europe during the 1950s. During the second half of the century, John Good & Sons expanded and kept at the forefront of the industry, adapting quickly to developments such as palletisation, containerisation and ro-ro. In this period, the company also diversified, adding road haulage services and additional warehousing to its offering.

Today, the company is still family owned, and continues to expand. Now offering a complete service, from ship agency, liner agency and freight forwarding to warehousing and distribution, John Good Shipping is recognised across the UK as a leading provider of shipping services.

Our Timeline


1801 John Good born in Scarborough

1813 John Good goes to sea joining ‘British Volunteer’

1826 John Good becomes Master of the ‘Jane’

1833 John Good sets up business at 60, Salthouse Lane, Hull as Ships’ Chandlers

1838 Moves premises to 19 High St, Hull

1854 Crimean War starts and trade with Finland halts

1869 Joseph and Thomas Good take control of the company, expansion in High St.

1870 Good Bros & Co formed. Partnership with Francis and James Reckitt.

1876 Death of John Good

1894 Ambrose Good (3rd generation) joins the company

1869 Suez Canal opens

1900 - 1949

1901 First Finnish travel programme issued by John Good & Sons

1908 John Good & Sons becomes private limited company

1909 Offices and warehouse in High St seriously damaged by fire

1910 Moved to new offices at Maritime Buildings, Hull

1914 First World War starts and Finnish business halts

1919 Ambrose Good appointed first Honorary Consul for Finland in the UK

1921 Atlantic Warehouse, Hull completed

1924 Cyril Good (4th generation) joins the company

1939 Second World War starts and Finnish business halts

1941 Offices at Maritime Buildings damaged by bombing

1942 Cyril Good killed in action in Libya

1946 Move to new offices in Scale Lane, Hull

1950 - 1999

1950 John Good & Sons Ltd opens offices in London

1955 Hellenic lines becomes John Good & Sons first general agency

1957 John A Good (5th generation) joins the company

1959 Offices opened in Ipswich

1960 New Head Office opens at 71 High St. Hull

1965 Offices open in Felixstowe

1968 First container terminal opens in Felixstowe

1969 Trans European Port Services formed in Hull. John Good & Sons largest shareholder

1970 Transtainer Systems formed

1974 North Sea Trailers formed as joint venture

1981 John Good (Shipping) Ltd formed

1982 Offices opened in Manchester

1984 John A Good appointed President of the ICS (Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers)

1985 John A Good appointed Chairman, John Good & Sons Ltd

2000 - Present

2001 Matthew Good (6th generation) joins the company

2003 John Rutherford appointed group Managing Director, Head office relocated to Maritime House, Hull

2005 Julie Good appointed Non Executive Director, Ipswich offices sold and moved to Felixstowe, Cooper House, Felixstowe opened, Kevin Harrison joins Good Travel

2006 London office moves to Brentwood

2006 Alan Platt appointed Managing Director of John Good Shipping Ltd, Major expansion of warehousing in Felixstowe and Felixstowe Warehousing Co Ltd formed, Matthew Good appointed director of John Good & Sons Ltd and John Good Shipping Ltd

2007 John Good Denizcilik (Turkey) formed

2007 Shareholding in Welton-North Sea Trailers sold

2008 John A Good retires as Chairman appointed Non Executive Director, John Rutherford appointed Chairman, Tim Good (6th generation) appointed Non Executive Director, Trans European Port Services becomes wholly owned subsidiary

2009 FOCS logistics formed as joint venture, Matthew Good becomes joint Managing Director, John Good & Sons Ltd with John Rutherford, Good Travel Management opens Grimsby office

2010 Alan Platt appointed director of John Good & Sons Ltd, DAN Shipping and Chartering acquired

2011 Alan Platt and Matthew Good appointed joint Managing Directors John Good & Sons Ltd, Mercian Travel, West Midlands acquired, Matthew Good dies suddenly, Matthew Good Foundation formed

2012 Alan Platt becomes sole Managing Director of John Good & Sons Ltd, Good Travel Management opens Leeds office, CBI Transportation acquired, John Garnier appointed Finance Director, John Good & Sons Ltd, Seamus Jennings appointed Sales Director, John Good & Sons Ltd

2013 Regent Travel, Stockport acquired

2014 Seamus Jennings appointed joint Managing Directer, John Good Shipping Ltd with Alan Platt, John Good Group builds new head office in Hull

2015 Matthew Good House officially opens in January as new head office for the John Good Group

2015 Cougar Freight Services acquired – June

2016 Seamus Jennings appointed sole Managing Director, John Good Shipping Ltd

  • As a first time importer from the Far East, the process can be quite daunting. John Good has provided exceptional service and support right through the process. I would highly recommend John Good Shipping to any other business looking to source product direct from factories around the world.

    Customer Testimonial

  • We are very fortunate in having the support, professionalism, commitment and quality of service that John Good Shipping has provided us over all these years. We would strongly recommend them to support your business needs as an Agent in the Port of Felixstowe.

    Customer Testimonial

  • Thank you for your help and participation… and the level of involvement and assistance… the professionalism of the team at John Good Shipping has been displayed at each opportunity presented.

    Customer Testimonial

  • I just really want to comment on John Good Shipping as a company. I got in touch with them when I was at the bottom to the learning curve for importing and they were - and still are - very supportive. Thank you!

    Customer Testimonial

  • We began using John Good Shipping in October 2000 and have since passed two customs audits without any problems. The staff are dedicated in helping us achieve an efficient process.

    Customer Testimonial



  • For many years John Good Shipping has provided port agency services to Hamburg Sud in the UK. In light of this close cooperation, we at Hamburg Sud UK are pleased to commend the services of John Good Shipping and to wish the company continued success.

    Customer Testimonial