People often ask, "Is there a Peter Baker?" or "Who is Peter Baker?"
Answering the first question is straight forward - yes, Peter Baker is very much a real person and is still actively involved in the business. However, the second question takes more explanation.
Peter was born to Bill and Lucy Baker in Wellington in 1949.
Through his early years he spent a lot of time with his father, who had over forty years in the transport industry. In fact, Bill was the proud owner of three trucks and was a partner in Wellington-based, Kiwi Calltainers. Peter would often accompany his father on his journeys between the wharfs, warehouses and Wellington suburbs (Peter is pictured below third child from left with Bill's hands on his shoulders).
So, it would be fair to say that transport was in his blood right from an early age - he loved it!
Peter served an apprenticeship in his teenage years, and during this time also enjoyed success as a New Zealand Cycling representative. In his first year as a senior, he placed an impressive second in the 1970 New Zealand Cycle Championships (Peter is seen below leading the pack - not for the first time!).
Not long after, Peter started exploring opportunities in the transport business with guidance from his father. An opportunity presented itself to purchase a small transport business from an uncle, and soon Peter was the proud owner of a 1964 Bedford truck. Peter then began to service a customer-base between Wellington and Lower Hutt. It was 1972 and Peter Baker Transport was born!
Business soon started to expand as Peter worked long hours and delivered excellent service with the personal touch. He also secured lucrative glass work between Wellington and Auckland, which allowed him to upgrade his truck and expand the business taking on his frist employee, Terry Horgan. Terry is still with PBT today.
(Pictured above: Peter in his 1964 Bedford. First picture below: Peter is pictured in front of one of the early depots with father Bill in the centre and brother Steven on the right. Middle picture: Sydney Street depot in Wellington in 1972. Bottom picture: Fleet shot in Wellington in 1986).
Over the years Peter grew the company to a total 26 branches nationwide. He also added five other companies - PBT Couriers (1994), PBT Bulk (1995), PBT Sprint (2004), PBT Logistics (2004) and PBT Metro (2007). (Below, Peter poses (reluctantly) for the launch of PBT Couriers).
In 2005 - after 33 successful years - the name Peter Baker Transport gave way to PBT Transport. It was a move designed to bring all the businesses under a single banner - PBT. The change also coincided with a fresh new PBT brand, offering convenient integrated service for the movement of small, large and bulk freight items.
Today, Peter is still very actively involved in the business as Chairman. The business too remains in private ownership and is proudly 100% New Zealand owned and operated.
Peter's focus is also directed to activities outside the business. Much of his time and energy are channelled into his young family and assisting children. PBT has annual commitments to a variety of children's causes.
Three decades on and Peter still strongly remembers and appreciates the loyalty of many of his customers over the years. And for his customers, they too appreciate the real difference of dealing with someone who started the business, who understands the business, and who still owns the business.
(Pictured above: Peter Baker (right) with Air New Zealand CEO, Rob Fyfe, celebrating the overnight courier freight service partnership entered into by both companies in 2006)