Metro Customs Brokers, founded in Champlain and Rouses Point in 1994, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Omnitrans, a company, based in Quebec since 1976, that provides logistics services—the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities and supplies. Metro provides industry leading customs brokerage and freight forwarding solutions to U.S. and Canadian exporters. For the last six years, Metro has maintained offices at 1 Lincoln Boulevard, Rouses Point, where it currently employ 45 — 43 U.S. citizens and two Canadians. Metro’s other U.S. offices are Garden City and Buffalo, New York; Blaine, Washington; and Los Angeles, California.
- Metro is a leader in service excellence and customs compliance and is licensed as a non-vessel operating common carrier. It is a member of:
- National Customs Brokers & Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)
- Northern Border Customs Brokers Association (NBCBA)
- Long Island Import Export Association (LIIEA)
- Los Angeles Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Association (LACBFFA)
MEET STEPHEN SEGAL, PRESIDENT OF OMNITRANS
“I have been with Omnitrans for 32 years,” said Segal. “I started as the Controller for the company when we were only 13 people, with one office in Montreal. Today, I have the privilege of being president of a wonderful group of companies with 11 offices in three countries (Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, Canada; Rouses Point, Garden City, Los Angeles, Buffalo, and Blaine, United States; Shanghai, Qingdao, and Shenzhen, China). Previously, I was the Executive Vice President, and had overall responsibility for Metro from its beginning. It is our incredible senior Metro management team, led by Michelle Garrow (Director of U.S. Operations) and Stephen Venturini (Vice President of Customs Brokerage and Operations), who drive Metro’s success on a daily basis.
Born in Plattsburgh, Segal has lived in Montreal for the better part of his life. He earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Concordia University, an M.A. in Accounting from McGill University and then his CPA (Certified Public Accountant).
For the most part, Segal works out of the Montreal office along with Chair Martin Goldenberg and Executive Vice President Blair Katz who drives the direction and corporate performance of Metro. Segal’s job also involves travel. Following our interview, he was off to Shanghai to meet with the senior team of the three Chinese offices for discussions on planning and related matters.
A CONSTANTLY CHANGING BUSINESS CLIMATE
With its recent acquisition of Import Commodity Group in 2016 (with offices in New York City and Los Angeles), and the opening of its three offices in China in the same year, Metro has significantly expanded both its U.S. Customs brokerage and global international freight operations, making it a much stronger and broader logistics service provider.
“The strategic positioning of our Canada- U.S.-China presence, supported by a team of close to 300 dedicated, experienced employees servicing over 3,000 clients, has made us a proud company to both work and do business with,” said Segal. “We are very optimistic about the future of our business and the continued growth in both cross border and international trade. We are privileged to have an incredible team and are excited with the ongoing evolution and refinement of our service offerings, enhanced technology, business growth, and our workplace environment.”
FUTURE UNDER USMCA
I asked Segal if he expected approval of the USMCA will change the way Metro Customs Brokers does business. “We don’t believe there will be a major change in the nature of our Canada-USA cross-border business and trade with the eventual implementation of the new agreement,” he responded. “It is our belief that the business communities in both Canada and the U.S. will welcome the certainty and reinforced foundation that a strong trading agreement brings to our two great countries.”
ENJOYING JOB SATISFACTION
What does Segal like best about his job? “Working with our incredible staff and clients, developing even stronger relationships with them, and having the opportunity to build and refine our business on an ongoing basis. Another great thing is the opportunity to create and build thriving business relationships and friendships with strategic partners, such as the Northeast Group in Plattsburgh. Through this wonderful strategic relationship that has existed for many years, we have been able to offer our clients an honorable and reliable service provider that also shares the goals and values of excellence, client care, honesty, integrity, as well as the highest levels of unparalleled service.”
WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
With a look toward the future, Segal explained: “Our goals are quite simple: to grow and strengthen our business and services and ensure that our company continues to be a great place for our people to work and build their careers, and be the best strategic partner to both our clients and companies we do business with. We are privileged to be an active business member of this wonderful community and are proud of our incredible team and business partners who all form a part of the magic that makes our company a success.”