Logistics lead the way in Niles
Michael Nervick, CEO of AFN Freight Company, poses for a portrait on the trading floor at the company January 17, 2013. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:17AM
At AFN, employees are treated with the same consideration as customers.
This idea is one of the main reasons why the award-winning logistics and supply chain company has been so successful the past 10 years, according to CEO Michael Nervick.
The company that started out with only three employees now has 200 employees and Nervick said that they will hire about 100 more employees this year.
AFN specializes in freight brokerage, transportation management services and third party logistics.
“We help manufacturers and major retail vendors get their products on their shelves more efficiently,” explained Nervick.
The company, located at 7230 N. Caldwell Ave., matches retailers and manufacturers with motor transportation companies in order to make that happen.
“We have a philosophy that we treat our carriers the same way we treat our customers,” said Nervick.
Some of the services AFN provides are full truckloads, intermodal (rail) services, expedited services, high value shipping, outsourced transportation management, warehousing and more.
The company has been in business since 2003 and in Niles since 2009.
The facility, which was previously located in Deerfield, includes a large brokerage floor where employees focus on talking to the shippers and looking for carriers to haul the freight. Nervick said the goal is to help manage a facility for a shipper and make things easier for shippers and carriers.
“It’s been fantastic,” said Nervick, about their location in Niles. “Turnover has improved. The morale in this office has been a lot better.”
AFN works directly with major retailers such as Wal-Mart, CVS, Sears, TJ Maxx and more. It works with six of the 10 largest retailers in the United States.
“Illinois is one of our top five states we do business in, but we do the whole county,” said Nervick. “Chicagoland is a hub for transportation.”
Nervick said that competition is pretty high with a good number of brokers in the area (there are a couple other logistics businesses in Niles, according to the Niles Chamber of Commerce). Nervick believes that providing top-notch customer service has been the key to their success.
“We treat the different people that we work with as customers,” Nervick said. “We want to treat them the same way we want to be treated.”
In 2011, the Chicago Tribune rated AFN a top 100 employer. That’s the kind of business Niles wants, Chamber Executive Director Katie Schneider said.
“They are definitely a growing company,” said Schneider. “They do a lot of on-site training. We’re really happy to have them here in Niles.”