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Ascend LLC acquires Fuchs Trucking

Earlier this week, Ascend LLC, an Atlanta-based dry van, full truckload carrier, said this week it has acquired Saux City, Wisc. -based Fuchs Trucking LLC.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. This marks the fourth acquisition has made this year.

Established in 1955, Fuchs Trucking initially hauled livestock and forest products, subsequently moving to serving building materials and furniture sectors by offering dedicated capacity with specialized dry van configurations. 

“There is no shortage of dry van companies in the market, so we have been patient in adding the best fleets to our network,” said Ascend CEO Michael McLary in a statement. “Fuchs’ geographic footprint and focus on the customer makes them a perfect complement to the Ascend network. We will continue to acquire regional truckload companies that align well with Ascend, layering in our technology and driver-friendly routes and policies while strengthening the network density. Ascend continues to become a carrier of choice for its growing customer and driver base across the South, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions as a result of our expanding, robust and reliable services.”

With Fuchs in the fold, Ascend now has more than 1,100 tractors and more than 3,200 trailers. 

“We are excited to combine forces with Ascend and build on our company’s excellent track record for service,” said Fuchs President Jay Doescher in a statement. “Together we will be best able to serve the rising complexity of our customers’ supply chains.  We look forward to growing together with Ascend and creating additional jobs in the Sauk City.  Additionally, we will benefit by combining with Ascend to expand our capabilities and improve our buying power, boosting our competitiveness in the regional truckload market.”

Ascend said that Doescher and one of his Fuchs partners will retain investment in the business, helping to maintain continuity.

Ascend’s McLary said the company believes strongly in its organic growth potential, and significant value can be generated by augmenting that growth through strategic acquisitions. 

“Fuchs Trucking is an excellent fit for a few reasons,” he said. “Fuchs and Ascend have high cultural alignment, a testament to the culture formed by the Fuchs family and carried on by President Jay Doescher since he partnered with the company in 2014.  We also like Fuchs because of the track record of high service it has established with its customer base.  Finally, the acquisition adds to our scale and network density, improving our buying power and providing greater network design / optimization opportunities.”

As for the main benefits of this deal for Ascend’s customers, McLary pointed to access to additional capacity.

“While we will continue to grow with legacy Fuchs customers and valued the company based on the strength of those relationships, we also believe there is significant opportunity to bring Ascend recruiting capabilities to bear in what is a new domicile for us to add drivers to the Fuchs base and increase the amount of capacity we can offer our customers,” he said.

The first step in the integration of Fuchs into Ascend, according to McLary, will be bringing Fuchs onto its TMS platform to increase visibility and realize network synergy opportunities. 

“We will also leverage their additional scale in procurement negotiations and planning,” he said. “Acquiring Fuchs augments our driver capacity, adds to our scale and buying power, and expands our service area to the greater Midwest.  It also fortifies our culture as we align with the Fuchs team on putting people first and doing the right thing for customers.”

Ascend made its market entrance in January through the merger and subsequent integration of Jackson, Tenn.-based Milan Supply Chain Solutions and Potonoc, Miss.-based J&B Services (Milan acquired J&B in October 2018), a regional transportation and logistics services provider. At the time of that deal, Milan had a network comprised of more than 400 drivers, utilizing a fleet of company-owned, late model tractors and trailers, serving shippers in the lighting, furniture, food, and automotive sectors.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

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