Asco of Amersham acquires two Mercedes-Benz Actros rigids from Prohire

Oriental food and beverage importer Asco Foods has taken on a pair of Mercedes-Benz Actros rigids from commercial vehicle contract hire and fleet management company, Prohire. The two 26-tonne trucks will be based out of Amersham and be used to deliver ambient and temperature-controlled foodstuffs nationwide. 

As a wholesaler of authentic fine foods from the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and the Asian region, Asco has witnessed increasing demand over recent years for its products and the order doubles the size of its fleet from two to four. 

“As our business has evolved, we are carrying larger volumes of bulk goods. That has resulted in needing the right payload and the ability to have the flexibility of ambient, frozen and chilled products in any pallet configuration from 2 + 12 to a straight 16 pallets”, explained director Sunny Chadha (pictured above).

“Having had experience of working directly with a main dealership for our transport requirements, we realised contract hire with full maintenance was the better way forward. The preference is to use a one stop shop like Prohire who can offer support for the flexibility we need,” he added.

“Firstly, it has a fleet of alternative vehicles as and when needed, so business interruptions are minimal.  Secondly, the team is very responsive and makes life easier for us from procurement to management to maintenance, genuinely going the extra mile to make sure the customer is happy.”

The new trucks employ Merc’s mid-size 10.7-litre OM470 engine, producing 326hp, and are fitted with a Carrier temperature-controlled body with Solomons dual compartment bodies and column tail-lifts. Both vehicles have been specified with full maintenance deal over a six-year contract, which puts Prohire in overall charge of its temperature-controlled fleet.

Prohire supplies commercial vehicles and full fleet support services to a wide range of business sectors including foodservice and catering, chilled food and pharmaceuticals, builders’ merchants, leisure retail and the brewing industry as well as to specialist logistics companies.

William Stobart and former SDC Trailers director Mark Cuskeran form MAW Engineering

Mark Cuskeran (pictured), the former managing director of Northern Ireland-based SDC Trailers, has announced a new joint venture with William Stobart, formerly of Eddie Stobart Logistics. The new company, MAW Engineering, will based just a stone’s throw away from the SDC factory, and will specialise in the manufacture of walking floor trailers and bodies.

Cuskeran left SDC in 2017, a year after guiding the company’s sale to Shenzhen-based CIMC (China International Marine Containers). He says he has now identified a key gap in the market and has teamed up with long-time business associate William Stobart to establish the new company. 

MAW Engineering is currently constructing a 50,000 square foot factory on a 6-acre site in Creagh Industrial Estate in Toome, Co Antrim, less than five minutes away from his former employer. 

“The new company will target a gap in the market and will allow both myself and William to bring our significant experience in manufacturing, transport and logistics to the table. I believe that despite all of the uncertainty brought about by Brexit, I am still very confident about the future, and we are entering a market place that we know well”, explained Cuskeran. 

“We are building a state-of-the-art factory which is ideally situated to cover our customer base. William and I have decades of experience across the sector, and there is a highly skilled and well-educated workforce in the area, so we’re very much looking forward to taking this venture forward”.

William Stobart also stepped down from his position of chief executive of the Stobart Group in 2017 and is equally enthusiastic about the new project. 

“I have dealt with Mark for almost 20 years in this business, and I know that his experience, contacts and business style make him an ideal person to take this venture forward with. I am very pleased to be involved with MAW Engineering, and I am confident that together we can build a business which we can be proud of, and which will also provide an economic boost to the area”, remarked William Stobart.