Macondray's long and proud history dates as far back as 1848, when a retired clipper ship captain moved from New England to California and founded a commission house bearing his name. Captain Frederick William Macondray, of Scottish blood and born in Massachusetts, retired from seafaring after decades of plying the trading routes between the United States and China. He headed to California after hearing news of the gold discovery, and is believed to have arrived by the ship Crescent City on July 1, 1848. The following month, he opened the office of Macondray & Co., Inc. in San Francisco.

Macondray started as a commission house that received merchandise shipped from Boston to San Francisco and imported tea from China. The business continued to flourish in trading and expand into banking and other concerns, eventually passing from the founder to his son and grandson, Frederick William and Atherton, and their business partner Barry Baldwin.

In 1898, when the Americans colonized the Philippines, Macondray was chosen among the companies to supply provisions to the US fleet in the new colony. Baldwin accompanied and oversaw the delivery in Manila where, as supply requests became more frequent, a local branch of Macondray was established. That August 1898, no other American commercial house had been in existence in the country; Macondray is undoubtedly the only one put up that time, and the only one that has survived to the present.

Today, Macondray continues its proud heritage through Macondray Philippines Co., Inc. (MPCI) – a name that reflects its strengthened commitment to the country it has called its home for over a century. Under Filipino ownership and management, MPCI has continued to turn challenges into opportunities and has pursued new avenues toward long-term growth.