Ryder System is expanding its customized dedicated contract carrier offerings in North America with the acquisition of Cardinal Logistics, a fellow FleetOwner 500 Top 50 fleet, the transportation company announced Feb. 1.
Concord, North Carolina-based Cardinal offers complex route structures across distribution centers, suppliers, stores, and freight brokerage services. The carrier, No. 50 on the 2023 FleetOwner 500: For-Hire, also has some last-mile delivery and contract logistics operations. Cardinal’s dedicated fleet business primarily serves consumer packaged goods, omnichannel, grocery, building products, automotive, and industrial businesses.
“With complementary contractual services in many of the same industries, we gain greater economies of scale, and we can provide even more flexibility for transportation networks when seasonality and fluctuating demand inhibit the continuous use of resources,” Steve W. Martin, SVP of dedicated transportation for Ryder, said in the deal announcement. “Combined with our end-to-end visibility and collaboration technology RyderShare, we can deliver tremendous value for customers looking for more dynamic and resilient transportation solutions.”
The acquisition will give Ryder more network density with another 200 operating locations, 2,900 power vehicles, and 3,400 professional drivers. Cardinal also comes with more than 7,000 registered trailers, according to FleetOwner records.
Based in Miami, Ryder is working with Kodiak Robotics on self-driving trucking technology. The two companies created an autonomous truckport in Houston that would be part of Kodiak’s plans to begin running humanless freight between Houston and Dallas that would eventually extend to Oklahoma City.
How Ryder plans to integrate Cardinal Logistics
Ryder ranked No. 22 on the 2023 FO500 and is moving up further on the 2024 list, which debuts on FleetOwner.com later this month. With the Cardinal assets, Ryder Integrated Logistics would have nearly 10,000 commercial vehicles within its operations.
Ryder expects the acquisition to benefit both Ryder and Cardinal customers. Ryder plans to integrate Cardinal operations, facilities, and equipment fully into its dedicated transportation, fleet management, and supply chain businesses. According to the company, those transitions are expected to gradually increase throughout the year, leading to full integration in 2025.
Tom Hostetler and Vin McLoughlin, who founded Cardinal in 1997 and started their transportation careers at Ryder in the 1980s and ‘90s, will join Ryder to help with the transition.
“We’ve come full circle, back to where we started, and that was purposeful,” Hostetler, the Cardinal chief executive, said. “We chose Ryder to continue our legacy because of the company culture. We experienced firsthand Ryder’s people-first, customer-centric culture, and that had an impact on us as we built our own company.”
Along with Ryder, Cardinal Logistics was named a 2023 Top Company for Women to Work For in Transportation by the Women In Trucking Association. “Cardinal is an industry leader in providing its workforce flexibility in scheduling and work environments,” Holly Hardie, VP of human resources at Cardinal, said last year. “Our leadership understands the unique challenges of women in the workforce and maintains a company culture that supports our success and work-life balance.”
After the acquisition announcement, Cardinal’s McLoughlin said: “We care deeply about our people and our customers, many of whom have been with us for decades. We also know Ryder. So, we know our people will have expanded opportunities in a larger, well-diversified company, and our customers will have access to an even greater breadth of products and services and the technology to support their continued growth.”