Building on strong results from other acquisitions, Cherry Hill-based NFI announced Tuesday it has acquired the West Coast operations of Gilbert Co., a subsidiary of Maersk.
NFI added 4 million square feet of West Coast warehouse space to its holdings, which now total 21 million square feet in North America. The new acquisitions, all in California, include four warehouses in Chino, a facility in Santa Fe Springs, and a cross-dock in Mira Loma; they will be integrated with NFI’s already-established regional facilities in Chino, Ontario and Perris.
“On the West Coast, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are the biggest ports in the country,” CEO Sidney Brown said. “It’s a natural expansion of our footprint in Southern California, and since it’s the largest port of entry for goods coming from Asia, this gives us the ability to service our customers in a much more comprehensive way, in terms of flexibility, size of space that we control and also the size of the workforce.”
NFI said it will add Gilbert’s high-end apparel and footwear customers to their client list, as well as “Gilbert’s expertise in store delivery operations.”
The 79-year-old integrated supply chain company, previously known as National Freight Industries, has made 11 different acquisitions over the past 11 years, with the Gilbert purchase being the second in 2011. Brown says NFI has acquired $85 million in revenues from Gilbert. Terms of the merger are not being released to the public.
Brown, whose family started the company in 1932, said the current management in place in California will oversee the merger and no jobs from New Jersey will move west.
Because the two companies’ properties were nearly adjacent, Brown said, the integration of the Gilbert facilities will be quick. “As of Wednesday, we took over, as of Thursday all of the facilities had our signage on it — and I would say it will take 60-90 days to get fully integrated.”
NFI has taken an aggressive business approach to surviving the economic downturn by combining all eight divisions of the company under one brand and continually updating its trucking fleet.