Our Story

Our Story

The History of NFI is a History of Family

Four Generations of Excellence

Family owned and operated since 1932.
Bernie Brown said it best “You must be a risk taker. Try new things. Be entrepreneurial.”

NFI has grown in talent, locations, and solutions over the years, but the hard work and perseverance of the Brown family has remained.

The First Generation

Israel Brown
In 1932, Israel Brown established National Hauling out of Vineland, New Jersey. Israel was determined to succeed and a trucking business hauling gravel was his chance. Through hard work and perseverance, what Israel started as a single truck company has expanded into a leading, multi-faceted third party logistics provider – servicing all of North America.

Long before that, fleeing religious persecution in Europe, Israel arrived in America at the age of eighteen. Israel served in the Army during World War I and later owned a construction business during the Great Depression. Each new experience brought him new knowledge that he applied to his next endeavor. Israel and his family embodied the American Dream.

The Second Generation

Bernard Brown
Joining the business in the 1940’s, Bernard ‘Bernie’ Brown spearheaded the growth of NFI from a small trucking company to a national player that is NFI. In the early part of his career, he created contracts with the government to haul supplies that supported the military through World War II. Bernie continued to expand the business and by the 1970’s National Freight transformed from a New Jersey-only transportation company to a regional player. Bernie was a trailblazer in the industry and was at the forefront of federal transportation regulations in the 1980’s. His work led to the acceptance of high-cube trailers and the expansion from traditional trailers. Bernie’s entrepreneurial spirit did not start and end in transportation as he saw the natural extension of his business and invested in warehousing and real estate.

Business was a huge part of Bernie’s life, but it was not the only thing that defined him. He was a man who cared deeply about his family and his community. Today NFI is still grounded in the values that Bernie established.

The Third Generation

Sid, Ike, and Jeff Brown
Today NFI is led by brothers, Sidney Brown, CEO, Ike Brown, President – Vice Chairman and Jeff Brown, President – Vice Chairman. Under their leadership, NFI has become one of the largest and most successful, family-owned and operated, third party logistics companies in North America. Through organic and acquired growth, NFI has diversified and continues to enhance our supply chain expertise to provide our customers with unmatched end-to-end solutions. From electric trucks to autonomous robots, Sid, Ike, and Jeff also have spearheaded the investment into new technologies to evolve the supply chains of the future.

Inspired by their father, Bernard “Bernie” Brown, NFI is a business rooted in family and the Browns have created a culture where employees, associates, and customers are a part of a family that supports and cares for one another. NFI has faced adversity and our resilience has been a testament to the hardwork and dedication of our people.

The Fourth Generation

The Future
NFI looks ahead with a strategy set up for success. Our values guide us and the spirit of our history inspires our growth as the fourth generation of the Brown family has joined the business and continues the legacy to this day.

Before working at NFI, each fourth generation member interested in joining the business must first work at another company for a minimum of four years. At that time, they begin an extensive rotational program to gain hands on experience in each aspect of the business, working in various roles and geographies. Not only is G4 involved in the interworking of operations, but also influencing the strategic vision of NFI. The fourth generation has brought new perspectives and experiences to the business and under guidance from their fathers and the NFI leadership team, the next generation is looking to further NFI’s growth.

Decades of Growth

Through organic and acquired growth, NFI has diversified into multiple service offerings, including dedicated transportation, distribution, brokerage, transportation management, port drayage, intermodal, global logistics, and real estate. NFI continues to invest in enhancing our supply chain expertise to provide our customers with unmatched end-to-end solutions.

California Cartage Company

California Cartage Company

In 2017 NFI acquired California Cartage Company which expanded NFI’s North American presence and grew expertise in port drayage, transloading, deconsolidation, customs exams, and warehousing solutions. Today, NFI Cal Cartage is the premier U.S. port logistics provider operating at the country’s busiest ports.

SDR Distribution

SDR Distribution

NFI acquired SDR Distribution in 2023. This addition doubled NFI’s distribution footprint in Canada, extended its reach, and broadened its customer base in the fashion and retail industry.

G&P Trucking

G&P Trucking

In 2019, NFI acquired G&P Trucking Company, Inc. to expand our transportation presence in the Southeast. Specializing in asset-based transportation, port drayage, and freight brokerage, the G&P business complimented NFI’s suite of solutions. Adding new locations and talent, NFI G&P continues to provide logistics expertise throughout diverse industries.

Additional Acquisitions

Additional Acquisitions

NFI has strengthened its suite of supply solutions and capabilities through a series of additional acquisitions, including MCO Transport, Forward Freight, Dominion Warehousing, SCR, and CAI Logistics. The integration of these companies has helped NFI enhance our offerings while remaining committed to exceptional service and innovation.

Our business is built to support yours

Since 1932

NFI has come a long way. Learn More about our full suite of supply chain solutions today.

We’re hiring growth-minded people with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for teamwork and innovation.