Cincinnati nonprofit expands footprint

Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired has acquired a third-party logistics provider based in Florida in part hoping to place more people with vision losses in the company’s remote workforce.

CABVI, which provides services and job opportunities for people living with vision loss, said last week it acquired privately owned Route Transportation and Logistics, Inc., a 13-year-old fast-growing national trucking broker with 44 employees and about $40 million in annual revenue.

CABVI reported almost $11 million in revenue in 2021. Details of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, but CABVI had $27 million in cash and investments among its nearly $48 million in assets at the end of 2021.

It is the agency’s first for-profit business acquisition, a strategy being pursued by CABVI since it named Teri Shirk its new CEO in March 2021.

“For more than 100 years, CABVI has worked to help people living with vision loss live a full and productive life,” said Shirk. “The acquisition of Route supports our mission and allows us to offer new jobs here locally that might not have been available to our visually impaired clients before this partnership. The jobs are engaging, rewarding and offer visually impaired individuals with career opportunities in one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.”

Teri Shirk, right, president and CEO of CABVI and Craig Capello, president of Route Transportation and Logistics

Founded in 1911, the agency helps more than 4,100 people annually adapt to vision loss in the Greater Cincinnati region. Among those it helps, CABVI provides employment to about 80 people who have vision losses in a variety of social enterprises that generate nearly $8 million in annual revenue for the agency Those employees represent about half of CABVI’s total employee base.

The additional revenue generated from the acquisition will enable CABVI to bring new job opportunities to not only the Greater Cincinnati area, but it also expands its talent search nationally while continuing to help clients build a better future.

Route currently offers third- party logistics and freight management services throughout the United States and Canada. While Route’s leadership will continue to oversee day-to-day operation of the business, CABVI will help recruit, train, and support individuals in their Route jobs. Future positions will include account managers, customer service roles, sales positions, load/shipment coordinators, and compliance managers. 

The job opportunities with Route allow employees to learn more about the ever-changing world of technology, develop a deep understanding of the logistics trade and enjoy more opportunities for career advancement.  Additionally, Route’s remote work environment eliminates transportation concerns, a common work barrier for individuals with vision loss.

“Since we opened our doors in 2009, we have focused on building a culture centered around teamwork and growing the company together,” said Craig Cappello, president at Route. “As we experienced exciting success, we knew we had to find a way to use our business to positively impact people’s lives. Partnering with CABVI is a natural fit as it allows us to find smart, high-quality talent to continue our growth while at the same time supporting inclusion by providing access to dynamic and challenging jobs.”

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