NFI buys top Los Angeles trucking firm

nfisum13-12102017-0001
A look at NFI’s website. The Cherry Hill-based company has purchased California Cartage for an undisclosed sum.

NFI, the Cherry Hill-based trucking, warehousing and logistics company controlled by South Jersey’s Brown family, has purchased California Cartage and its affiliates. The company is the largest trucking firm operating from the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, NFI says, hauling imported Asian clothing and shoes and transporting computer products for export.

The deal gives NFI a total of 10,000 employees, 4,000 tractors hauling freight trailers, 41 million square feet of warehouse space at 250 locations, and projected 2018 sales of $2 billion at facilities in most major U.S. ports, making it the largest family-owned freight hauler for clients in North America, CEO and owner Sid Brown said in a statement.

California Cartage owner Bob Curry called the deal “a perfect fit.” The Browns and Currys, descendants of the men who founded the old National Freight Industries and CalCartage in the 1930s and 40s respectively, didn’t say how much NFI paid.

CalCartage has been the subject of reports in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers detailing how the company paid drivers minimal wages and called its employees “contractors” to avoid paying them industry-standard wages and benefits. The company’s contract haulers have been the subject of recent Teamsters union-organizing campaigns.