Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.
Among the long list of Italian families that have carved their mark into the Australian business landscape, the Cardaci name is synonymous with the transport industry in WA and is still behind one of the state’s oldest logistics companies, Centurion.
While Frank and Carl Cardaci, who commenced the family operation in 1968, proudly call Australia “home’’ today, their origins can be traced back to Sicily in Italy. Frank and Carl’s father, Leon, made several trips to Australia before the whole family emigrated in 1956 and settled in Kalgoorlie. He initially arrived in 1939, leaving 18-month-old Frank with his mother in Sicily. Carl was born in 1949 before his father made another trip to Australia in 1950. The brothers were aged 17 and seven when they arrived in Kalgoorlie where their uncle also had settled and owned a local restaurant. Frank later became a chef at the restaurant before the family moved to Perth in 1959.
He was then involved in bulldozer contracting with his father while Carl finished school and began work with a finance company studying accountancy part-time. It was during this time that the brothers purchased a repossessed truck with the initial intention to resell it for a profit. However, a short time later they bought a second truck and then applied for advertised subcontract trucking work. After two years they had a fleet of four trucks.
They bought their first property, a quarter acre block, in Bayswater and incorporated Centurion in 1971. A larger 1 acre premise followed, then another acre, and in 1982 they built a new terminal over 5 acres.
The brothers have fond memories of loading trucks through to 3am in the morning, completing the manifest by hand and, of course, chasing clients to pay their accounts.
With Frank and Carl now retired, today Centurion is guided by the next generation of Cardacis, Marc and Philip. Recently celebrating its 40th anniversary in the industry, it remains one of WA’s strongest, family-run businesses and is the state’s largest, privately-owned logistics provider.
Centurion today has a fleet of more than 780 vehicles and specialised pieces of equipment servicing metropolitan and regional WA. Its Western Australian footprint covers over 400,000 square meters, including company owned sites at Broome, Carnarvon, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Port Hedland, Kununurra, Newman and Tom Price. It offers a broad range of logistics services including full “end-to-end solutions”, lead logistics and offsite receiving for the energy and resource sectors, as well as general freight, warehousing, refrigerated services, retail distribution, logistic support, over-dimensional transport, heavy haulage, specialised projects and time critical services.
The business forms part of the CFC Group of companies which also includes a utilities infrastructure installation, maintenance company and a capital equipment distribution and sales business.