Multimodal transportation provider J.B. Hunt Transport Services announced Tuesday that former Kansas City Southern President and CEO Patrick Ottensmeyer has joined its board effective last Friday. The addition expands the company’s board to 10 seats.

Ottensmeyer’s time at Class I railroad KCS spanned 17 years and included significant growth in revenue as well as improvement in its operating ratio from the high 80s to the low 60s. His time managing the North-South rail corridor witnessed several years of nearshoring investments in Mexico as manufacturers of automobiles, appliances and electronics built massive assembly facilities in the country.

He took the helm at KCS in 2015 and ran the company until its merger with Canadian Pacific was completed last year. He joined the railroad in 2006 as chief financial officer and headed the company’s sales and marketing efforts from 2008 to 2015.

He was the U.S. chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Mexico Economic Council from 2019 to 2023 and is credited with helping to form the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement.  

Ottensmeyer’s railroad experience and expertise comes at a time when J.B. Hunt (NASDAQ: JBHT) is making big investments in intermodal capacity.

Two years ago, J.B. Hunt announced plans to grow its intermodal container fleet by 40% by 2025 to 2027. It also announced further collaboration with longtime rail partner BNSF Railway (NYSE: BRK.B), which committed to expanding facilities and equipment capacity to support the joint growth initiative. A few months later, BNSF unveiled plans for a $1.5 billion facility, the Barstow International Gateway, which will serve the ports in Southern California.

The two companies launched a premium intermodal service offering, Quantum, in November.

Ottensmeyer is the third board member J.B. Hunt has added since 2021. He will serve on the board’s compensation and governance committees.

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