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History

With nothing more than a vision and a $35 down payment on a Model A Ford truck, Jim Ryder started a business hauling concrete in 1933. Five years later, a beverage distributor in Miami leased five trucks from him, and Ryder’s full-service leasing business took off. Since then, our company has grown into something we’re extremely proud of: a Fortune 500 industry-leader with annual revenues of more than $6 billion. It’s been quite a journey, and we’re excited about the future, but we’ll always stay true to our humble, entrepreneurial origins.

Topic Collection

1930s: The Beginning

1933
Jim wears two wristwatches to remind customers of his commitment to on-time deliveries.

1934
A second truck, a 1934 Ford V-8, doubles the size of the fleet.

1937
The fleet expands to 15 trucks.

1938
Ryder signs a five-truck lease deal with Champagne Velvet Beer, increasing Ryder’s fleet to 20 trucks. By the following year, the fleet grows to more than 50 trucks.

1940s: Expansion

1941
During World War II, Ryder hauls supplies for the U.S. government.

1942
Revenue tops $100,000 for the year.

1945
Ryder provides a dedicated fleet and drivers for daily distribution of The Miami Herald, Ryder’s longest-standing customer.

1949
Ryder’s fleet grows to nearly 500 vehicles. To keep fleets moving beyond Florida, Ryder creates on-site shops at customer locations and opens a network of service locations that pioneer the practice of preventive maintenance.

1950s: The Big R

1952
Ryder acquires its much larger customer, Great Southern Trucking Company, and rebrands its entire fleet with the “Big R” for national reach.

1952
Ryder becomes one of the first transportation companies to join the computer age with the purchase of a 29,000-pound, water-cooled UNIVAC computer to expedite accounting and data processing.

1952
Ryder loads trailers of cargo onto railroad flatcars for the first “piggyback” operation in the southeastern U.S.

1955
Ryder System, Inc. incorporates as a public company and issues 160,000 shares of common stock at $10 per share.

1957
Ryder expands truck leasing and rental operations into Canada.

1959
Ryder is recognized as a leader in the transportation industry by BusinessWeek.

1960s: Establishing Our Brand

1960
Ryder is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

1967
Ryder Preventive Maintenance customers are supported by a new written and hands-on Mechanic Certification Program.

1968
Ryder launches its “one-way” consumer truck rental business to target self-move customers.

1968
Ryder’s commitment to safety and fuel conservation begins long before these concepts became “buzz words.”

1969
Beverly Nannenga becomes Ryder’s first woman driver.

1970s: Fueling Growth

1971
Ryder expands operations to the United Kingdom. 

1971
An innovative approach to maintenance secures Ryder's position as an industry leader.

1973
New headquarters location opens.

1978
Revenue exceeds $1 billion.

1979
More than 13,000 “one-way” rental trucks keep America moving.

1980s: New Horizons

1980
Motor Carrier Act passes, recasting the structure of the U.S. transportation industry.

1983
Tony Burns is named President and Chief Executive Officer, and adds the role of Chairman when Les Barnes retires two years later.

1983
Ryder celebrates 50 years in business.

1983
Truck leasing expands to Germany.

1986
Ryder names full-time executive to lead its environmental program.

1987
Ryder Distribution Services (RDS) implements North America’s first large-scale Just-In-Time supply delivery system supporting a new state-of-the-art auto plant in Kentucky. RDS ends the decade topping $250 million in annual revenue.

1989
Full Service Lease (FSL) revenue rises to more than $1.5 billion.

1990s: Sharpening Our Focus

1992
Ryder establishes a distinct International Operations business unit.

1992
Ryder links its network of hundreds of maintenance facilities with computers and automated diagnostic tools.

1994
Ryder de Mexico launches with a ceremony at the summer home of Mexico’s president. Operations in Argentina and Brazil open the following year.

1995
Ryder is first named to FORTUNE® magazine’s listing of the 500 largest public companies in the U.S.

1996
Ryder sells familiar yellow “one-way” consumer rental business, and re-brands its fleet with a new logo and colors to focus on commercial customers.

1997
A survey in FORTUNE® magazine names Ryder the most admired company in the trucking industry.

1999
Chairman and CEO, Tony Burns, hires former Burlington Northern Santa Fe executive, Greg Swienton, to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer.

2000s: The New Millenium

2000
Operations are reorganized and Greg Swienton’s role expands to President and Chief Executive Officer.

2000
Ryder opens web-enabled transportation management center in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas to manage customers’ freight shipments through a network of more than 1,500 providers of ground, air, rail and ocean freight shipping.

2001
Ryder launches its Asia-Pacific headquarters, following the acquisition of Singapore-based Ascent Logistics.

2001
Company launches online tracking tools, and web sites including RyderFleetProducts.com and UsedTrucks.Ryder.com.

2002
Ryder is the first transportation industry to receive the National Safety Council’s highest honor, the Green Cross for Safety medal.

2002
Tony Burns retires from the Board and Greg Swienton is named Chairman.

2003
Ryder acquires U.S.-based General Truck Leasing and RUAN Leasing Company, and expands international operations into Chile.

2005
Ryder opens smaller, more efficient global headquarters in Miami.

2006
Ryder celebrates 35 Years in the U.K.

2007
Ryder marks its golden anniversary in Canada with the acquisition of Ontario-based Pollock Nationa Lease.
 


2007
Affordable integrated wireless, GPS, and computer technology increases the safety, security, and efficiency of customers’ fleets

2008
Ryder celebrates its 75th anniversary.

2009
The company publishes its first Corporate Responsibility Report, highlighting Ryder’s progress in environmental innovation, governance, safety and security, and charitable giving.

2009
Ryder announces its national charitable partnership with a $1 million donation to the American Red Cross.

2009
Ryder becomes certified as a Third Party Logistics Provider (3PL) in the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) for logistics operations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

2010s: Innovating for the Future

2010
Ryder selected as fleet partner in groundbreaking heavy-duty natural gas truck project in Southern California - the first time natural gas vehicles will be deployed into a large commercial truck rental and leasing operation.

2011
Ryder opens its first natural gas vehicle maintenance facility in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. and begins taking delivery of heavy-duty natural gas vehicles.

2011
Ryder acquires three truck fleet management businesses in California (Carmenita Leasing, Inc., The Scully Companies, Inc., and B.I.T. Leasing Inc.), increasing the company’s presence in the western U.S.

2011
Ryder joins the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes program and becomes a member of the Veteran Employment Advisory Council.

2012
Company launches RydeSmart® 3.0, the next generation of its innovative onboard telematics system to provide greater usability and vehicle intelligence to fleet management end users.

2013
Chairman and CEO Gregory T. Swienton retires and Robert E. Sanchez, Ryder’s Chair of the Board and President is named Chief Executive Officer.

2014
Ryder unveils its first advertising campaign in nearly 20 years, using a new tagline “Ever better” to highlight its expansive array of services for business.

2015
The Company introduces the industry’s first ever female-friendly vehicle package for lease, including 15 unique specifications to better meet the needs of female drivers.