NFI adds to cold chain logistics and intermodal brokerage with deal for SCR

Deal for intermodal brokerage and logistics firm comes amid strong growth in Pacific Northwest market.

NFI, a fully integrated North American supply chain solutions provider, completed the acquisition of SCR, an intermodal-focused brokerage company, to enhance its suite of end-to-end supply chain solutions, particularly its cold chain logistics services. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 1988, Seattle-based SCR is a non-asset logistics provider for truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, air freight and flatbed services. The company specializes in freight services for the food and grocery sector.  

SCR will join NFI’s brokerage team, which encompasses 200 employees in nine offices across North America. NFI Chief Executive Officer Sid Brown said the ability to expand the company’s cold chain capabilities and an expansion into the Pacific Northwest were among the factors in the decision to acquire SCR.

“Our shared vision and commitment to customer service makes it a perfect fit for NFI and we look forward to integrating the two companies to further expand our services and better serve our customers,” Brown said.

The business of handling perishables in the Pacific Northwest is getting a major boost from the high-tech boom in the Seattle metropolitan region. The U.S. Census Bureau said Seattle had the fastest one-year population growth in the U.S. between 2015 and 2016 and the second fastest population growth since 2010.

The Seattle region saw $2.179 billion in meat, seafood, fruit and vegetable imports in the first 11 months of 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau trade data, up 5.7 percent from the year earlier period.

 ( Source: U.S. Census Bureau )
( Source: U.S. Census Bureau )

The Pacific Northwest is likewise a major transshipment center for seafood coming down from Alaska and fruit and vegetables grown in Washington and surrounding states. Netherlands-based NewCold, which opened a refrigerated warehouse in Tacoma last year, is opening a new refrigerated warehouse in Burley, Idaho in the second quarter.

Amid a seasonal lull in freight movements, the Reefer Tender Reject Index for Seattle hit a nearly one-year low of 10.64%. (SONAR: RTRI.SEA)

 ( Source: SONAR )
( Source: SONAR )

“Our services and culture align with those of NFI’s, making it an ideal company to grow with,” said Scott Rooney, chief executive of SCR. “We look forward to providing further opportunities to our employees and customers with NFI’s end-to-end supply chain solutions and large footprint throughout North America.”

Founded in 1932 and privately held by the Brown family, NFI generates more than $2 billion in annual revenue and employs a workforce of more than 10,500. NFI owns facilities globally and operates 50 million square feet of warehouse and distribution space. Its lines of business include dedicated transportation, distribution, transportation management, port drayage, intermodal, brokerage, global logistics and commercial real estate. NFI is headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

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Michael Angell, Bulk and Intermodal Editor

Michael Angell covers maritime, intermodal and related topics for FreightWaves. His interest in transportation stretches back several generations. One great-grandfather was a dray horseman along the New York waterfront and another was a railway engineer in Texas. More recently, Michael has written about the shipping industry for TradeWinds, energy markets for Oil Price Information Service, and general business topics for FactSet Mergerstat and Investor's Business Daily. When he is not stuck in the office, he enjoys tours of ports, terminals, and railyards.

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