The 34-year-old has 81 caps behind him but has been named in the England squad for the first time since Hodgson took charge last year.
The Manchester United defender has impressed for his club this season and is now back on Hodgson's radar after being included for the upcoming World Cup qualifying double-header against San Marino and Montenegro.
Southgate, taking in his role as ambassador for the StreetGames Football Pools Fives, reckons bringing Ferdinand back into the squad was an obvious step to take.
"I can totally understand why Roy would want to have an experienced player in that squad," he said.
"Centre-back is a position on the field where the positions are up for grabs more so than in any other position in the England side at the moment.
"Rio is an experienced player, playing regularly at Manchester United so why not involve him back in the squad?
"If you're playing week-in, week-out for Manchester United and they are top of the league, then those credentials speak for themselves really."
It remains to be seen if Ferdinand answers the call to link up with Hodgson's squad after being overlooked by the former Liverpool manager to date, but former centre-back Southgate believes Hodgson will have thought long and hard before calling on Ferdinand once more.
"I'm sure reliability is certainly important when you're going into a tournament but there are different times when different things are required," Southgate said.
"Roy will have looked at the last few matches and would have seen different performances and analysed the balance of his squad completely. He is a thoughtful coach so he will have been through a very clear process."
With Hodgson keen to give younger players the opportunity to prove themselves on the international stage, Southgate feels having experienced individuals such as Ferdinand in and around the squad can only help.
"I think we have seen that already," he said. "Although it is a positive we are going with younger players and moving forward, when you have positive role models in the squad like Steven Gerrard, that will be a big help to those younger players coming through. So if Rio can provide that then he would be a good addition to the squad.
"Quite a few of them [defenders] are experienced at club level if you look at Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill and Joleon Lescott, but they have less in terms of the number of caps and big tournament experience, but that only comes after being given the opportunity to play."