CHERRY HILL, N.J--Like many established companies across the country, New Jersey-based NFI struggled to maintain its business throughout the economic downturn, especially in the early years of the recession. One of the country’s most diverse supply chain solutions companies, NFI’s ability to be nimble in the face of adversity and capitalize on acquisition opportunities are the reasons company Chief Executive Officer Sidney Brown says that annual revenue grew to over $900 million in 2010, three times where it was just nine years ago.
The completion of nine acquisitions in just ten years has positioned NFI as a nationwide third-party logistics services provider with 5,600 employees, over 18 million square feet of warehouse space, nearly 2,000 tractors and more than 7200 trailers.
In 2010, IPD Global, Inc., an international company based in Canada, was acquired by NFI to broaden services in perishable transport across North America. IPD’s 2009 annual revenue totaled approximately $50 million. “Through this acquisition and other growth, such as that generated by the expansion of our trans border services with truck and rail, NFI’s annual revenue for 2010 reached $900 million,” said Brown.
This year’s acquisition is only the latest in a long list made by NFI over the last decade.
In 2000 the company acquired Burnham’s Manufacturing Support and Dedicated Operations Division, a third party logistics provider in Atlanta, adding seven facilities.
In 2002 NFI acquired Core Carriers – a Southeastern US truckload carrier with 350 tractors and 900 trailers.
In 2004, NFI acquired Campos' Express located in the Northeast United States, adding 115 tractors and 450 trailers and a core service area of fourteen states within the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions.
In 2005, NFI’s distribution arm acquired the New Concord, Ohio, operations of General Warehouse and Transportation, a third-party logistics provider headquartered in Chicago, IL. That acquisition added 945,000 square feet of operations space to NFI’s asset-based logistics solutions.
NFI completed two acquisitions in 2006, including Crum & Crum Enterprises with its one million square feet in managed warehouse space; and Hunsaker Truck Lease, which added 1,000 pieces of additional equipment.
NFI added a new service for its customers with the 2007 acquisition of Quick Pak, a contract packaging and decorating company located in Cincinnati, OH. According to Brown, incorporating services such as promotional packaging design, sourcing, custom assembly fulfillment, POP display design and many other packaging specialties made NFI a “one-stop-shop for supply chains.”
In a move to expand its distribution division, NFI acquired Network Logistic Solutions in 2009, adding 516 employees and an additional three million square feet to the warehouse and distribution space for a total of 18 million square feet.
Chief Executive Officer Sid Brown, along with his brothers Ike and Jeff Brown, both Vice Chairman, adhere to the philosophy that their father, Bernard passed down to them- that “a business must continue to grow or it will die.” As such, Brown and his senior management team regularly identify opportunities for growth, expansion or acquisition.
Launched in Vineland in 1932 by Israel Brown, NFI began doing business with a single truck. Since that time, the company has not only grown and changed with the trucking industry, but has expanded into a full service third party logistics firm providing a broad range of services for the entire supply chain spectrum.
In addition to acquisitions, NFI has continued in the last ten years to create new divisions to meet the evolving needs of its customers, including a new Transportation Brokerage division that matches the transportation needs of distributors with available carriers nationwide, NFI Global to address the international needs of its customers and NFI Consulting which provides expertise to a variety of clients.
In 2010, a member of the fourth generation of the Brown family led the creation of NFI Solar, a business whose first phase is to utilize the company’s warehouse rooftop space to generate clean solar energy and help make NFI warehouses sustainable.
Finally, in 2009, after 77 years in the business, NFI put all of its divisions under its corporate brand. Those divisions are NFI Logistics, NFI Warehousing and Distribution, NFI Transportation, NFI Intermodal, NFI Real Estate, NFI Contract Packaging, NFI Global, NFI Consulting, NFI Transportation Brokerage, NFI Canada and NFI Solar.
Brown attributes NFI’s continued success in a challenging economic climate to the company’s entrepreneurial culture and ability to adapt. “We are flexible in our ability to respond to our customers, and we hold our people accountable for the results. In the last two years, we have gone through some of the most difficult times in our lifetime in terms of the economic situation. Our internal and external responsiveness allows us to follow up on ideas, thoughts and processes from our teams to figure out what to do to make things work.”
NFI, founded in 1932 as National Hauling, has evolved from a trucking company in a regulated environment, into one of the largest privately held integrated supply chain companies in North America. Today, NFI provides Logistics, Warehousing and Distribution, Transportation, Intermodal, Real Estate, Transportation Brokerage, Contract Packaging, Solar, Global and Consulting Services. NFI employs more than 5,500 people in the US and Canada. Revenues have surpassed $900 million and the company is well positioned to continue its explosive growth. Its market share predominantly comes from consumer and retail goods, general commodities and food and grocery. NFI is headquartered in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Adam Dvorin, 973-286-8290