Black Horse Carrier's roots go back to the 1880's to Des Plaines, Illinois where a company called Des Plaines Transfer operated with horses and wagons, moving then-common household items such as pianos, moving trunks, billiard tables, as well as farm and nursery products.
In 1925, sometime after Des Plaines Transfer replaced its teams of horses with motorized trucks, Conrad W. Niedert bought the business assets of Des Plaines Transfer. The purchase included two trucks; a Master, with motor #78833, and a Ford with motor #865492.
Shortly after the purchase Conrad's son Ferdinand also started operating a motorized trucking business, and after Ferdinand's untimely death in the 1930's the two businesses essentially merged into a single business. Conrad's other son, Ralph, entered the business in the late 1930's but elected to join the Navy at the outset of WWII. After returning from the war, Ralph re-entered the trucking business along with his father Conrad.
1940s - 1970s
In the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's the business flourished in and around the Chicago area. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, Ralph's two sons, Ralph Jr., and Gerry, joined the business and worked at expanding the business into LTL Assembly & Distribution, Full-Service Truck Leasing and Contract Carriage. Also, to get a foothold in the fast growing dedicated transportation business, made possible by deregulation of the trucking industry.
Gerry, in the early 1980's, formed Black Horse Carriers, Inc. (so named to honor the famous 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 7th Cavalry Regiment, to which Gerry was assigned while serving in the United States Army in Vietnam).
By the mid 1980's, the combined businesses had over 500 employees, six operating centers, and a fleet of over 1,200 trucks, tractors and trailers.
The deregulation of the trucking industry had changed the face of the business and after working for a span of 5 decades, Ralph Niedert Sr. decided the economic risks were becoming too great and it was probably time to retire.
On September 30, 1986, the business was sold in its entirety to Leaseway Transportation Corp.--a publicly-held company based in Cleveland OH, operating with over 25,000 employees, 40,000 vehicles, and with extensive transportation, warehousing and labor management operations throughout the country.
In the late 1980's, Leaseway was the victim of an overly optimistic leveraged buyout and failed in an attempt to become a privately-owned business. It eventually was sold, much of which to the Penske Corporation, including the little that remained of the old Niedert business, including Black Horse Carriers.
Black Horse Carriers operated in a very limited way while owned by Leaseway and Penske and eventually went into dormancy just before Ralph Niedert resurrected the business in late 1998 in Tully NY, after getting Penske's permission to again operate under the name of Black Horse Carriers. Gerry Niedert joined him in April of 1999 in Center Valley, PA merging the two operations and eventually adding operations in the Midwest solidly placing Black Horse Carriers back into the business of dedicated transportation.
In 2015, Gerry Niedert decided it was time for him to retire. He chose to sell Black Horse Carriers in December of 2015 to his Executive Leadership team. Today, Black Horse Carriers is owned and managed by Dave Anderson, Mike Arzich, Gary Baker, Dave Eaton, Tom Ferenchak, Ken Landego and Ken Thomson. Black Horse Carriers today remains true to its original strategy: providing high-value specialized transportation services by replacing the private fleets of shippers whose businesses demand efficient and reliable transportation services.