Brauner International is a family-owned Customs broker and freight forwarder whose customer-centric outlook and two guiding principles of integrity and service have remained the focal point of the business since we opened our doors in 1931.
Now under the guidance of the third generation of the Brauner family, we have offices in Jersey City, JFK Airport and Miami, Florida meeting the needs of importers and exporters around the world from our offices located at some of the largest airports and seaports in the world.
Brauner International, or “Brauner & Company” as it was called when we opened our doors, was founded by a German immigrant born in Hamburg in 1899. Curt August Herman Brauner (pictured) was a top student and earned an apprenticeship in the most prestigious trade school of his time in the Hamburg system, Freight Forwarding.
Upon completing his apprenticeship, Curt Brauner worked in Leipzig and London and in 1925, obtained an immigration visa and worked his way across the Atlantic as a deck hand and arrived in New York with his brother, Bruno.
He landed a job with a Swiss forwarder, Rohner Gerhig and began to learn the Customs brokerage trade. As forwarding was in the doldrums, he studied for, and passed, the Customs broker exam in 1931 and shortly thereafter, established his one-person firm, Brauner & Company.
Times were tough, but the tough climate imposed by the Smoot-Hawley tariff created an opportunity for a Customs broker who knew how to navigate the laws of the day. World War II then further depressed the industry and many forwarders and brokers were called to military service. Curt, owing to his age and having four children, was exempt.
At the end of the war, the world clamored for American products, and Customs brokers and freight forwarders were in high demand and so once again felt the pinch for skilled employees.
In June, 1951, Curt’s son Harold graduated from Fordham University and joined the firm. Soon after, the Korean War was in full swing, and Harold was called to duty as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Upon returning from Korea in 1953, Harold picked up where he left off and the company prospered and grew.
We opened our JFK office in 1964 in Cargo Building 80 and two years later, Curt signed a lease for offices in the as-yet-constructed World Trade Center. Brauner International was one of the first tenants of 1 World Trade Center in 1971. Brauner remained at the WTC until shortly after the 1993 bombings when we relocated our corporate headquarters to Jersey City.
Sadly, Curt passed away in 1969 before seeing the move to the WTC, but the company was safely in Harold’s stewardship. In 1982, the next generation of Brauners entered the business when Harold’s son Matthew joined after graduating from the University of Michigan. Matthew went on to get his MBA from Farleigh Dickenson in 1988.
In 1985, Harold’s son William joined and in 1997 became manager of our Miami office. In 2006, Matthew was appointed President, Harold is the Chairman of the Board and William is Vice President.
The Brauner family has long been involved in local and national associations that represent Customs brokers and freight forwarders.
Board member of American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI)
President of the New York Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association.
President of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America and remains a board member to this day.
President of the New York – New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association.
Board member, National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America.