Our goal at NFTA is to provide you with a forum for transportation executives of industrial firms and transportation companies to consider and discuss: developments affecting the quality of transportation services, methods of enhancing transportation service, and government activity affecting the transportation industry and its customers has remained unchanged since 1905.
We believe the key to the longstanding success of NFTA is our membership, which today, is truly representative of North America. National Freight has always felt our membership circle should be kept smaller rather than larger, always selective, and with parity in numbers between shippers and carriers.
Initially, membership was restricted to Rail Carriers to the exclusion of other modes. Gradually, as the other modes matured, Motor Carriers, Steamship, Barge Lines and Leasing companies were brought into National Freight to the benefit of all concerned.
The first meeting of newly formed Freight Traffic Golf Association was held at the Fox Hills Golf Course on Staten Island, NY on June 28, 1905. Three months later, the name was changed to National Freight Traffic Golf Association and Articles of Government adopted which would guide the association for the next forty-three years. In particular, "It’s object shall be to hold golf tournaments with a view of encouraging a better acquaintance among traffic men of America who are directly connected with the freight traffic departments of industrial and transportation companies."
Three tournaments were authorized for 1906: Spring - Hot Springs, VA, Summer - New York, Fall- Chicago, IL
In January of 1907, the association moved south for the first time with a three-day event held at the Royal Poinciana Hotel in Palm Beach, FL. From that meeting on, the South would always be a part of National Freight. This move also signaled that the Association would be national and not merely regional.
The format of the three tournaments continued until 1918 when activities were interrupted by World War I. National Freight resumed in 1920 where it had left off, membership had grown to 600. In 1931 a three-week Spring Tournament trip to Scotland was planned. The ocean liner Cameronia was reserved in its entirety. These were heady times for National Freight. However cooler heads prevailed and the trip was torpedoed.
In the mid -30's National Freight shed its celibacy and resumed a regular schedule of meetings. Significant others were invited to attended their first meeting at the Greenbrier and progressively have become a great part of NFTA.
Meetings were again discontinued from 1942 to 1945. The President and Secretary retained office, enabling prompt activation of association activities after the war.
In 1948 the word "Golf" was dropped from the associations name based on the consensus that National Freight had outgrown its golfing emphasis and should replace it with a broader business involvement. What followed were specific business sessions with pre-arranged programs and prominent speakers. Additionally the men's golf tournament format was changed to a one-day event to enable additional hours for meetings and discussions.
Increasing attendance and membership pressure for a wider range of facilities dictated the need for an additional meeting place comparable to the Greenbrier. The Boca Raton Hotel & Club was selected and became the regular fall meeting place. During this period special trains from Chicago and New York became the traditional means of travel to The Greenbrier and Boca Raton.
In 1963, with an assist from the Western and Transcontinental Lines, National Freight made its first trip to Phoenix. Presently, meetings are held in Arizona every second year.
The Association Cocktail Party was instituted in the 60's to serve as the catalyst for the " get acquainted evening", a new members significant others breakfast was introduced and the use of name badges was instituted in 1968. More recently a separate new members cocktail reception was instituted.
After a 70-year absence, National Freight returned to Palm Beach in 1977, this time to The Breakers and began a relationship that continues to this day.
The name of the organization was changed again in 1978, by substituting the word "Transportation" for the word "Traffic" to be consistent with the object of the association.
Basically, the original object of NFTA was to provide an environment in which transportation executives could become better acquainted and thereby improve their ability to conduct their individual business responsibilities has remained unchanged. It is a premier transportation organization, providing opportunities within that framework for each member to direct his or her efforts towards improvement in our international transportation system.
Freight Traffic Golf Association, then, National Freight Traffic Golf Association, next came National Freight Traffic Association, now, National Freight Transportation Association and perhaps, International Freight Transportation Association.