Ascend today launched as a dry van, full truckload carrier that the company said in a statement "brings high-performance service and reliability to the rapidly expanding middle-mile market."
Ascend and its affiliates will focus on the customers’ needs in the retail, fast-moving consumer goods, packaging, and industrial supply sectors. These businesses typically require products to be shipped regionally and quickly, according to the companmy.
The new company was formed by the merger and integration of Milan Supply Chain Solutions, based in Jackson, Tennessee, and J&B Services, based in Pontotoc, Mississippi, and is backed by Wellspring Capital Management Group LLC.
Ascend also announced the appointment of Michael McLary, a 30-year industry veteran of UPS and Amazon, as CEO. McLary will lead the management team supported by a board of directors comprised of senior industry executives with over 150 years of combined experience from Amazon, FedEx, and UPS, according to the company's statement.
“Shippers are placing large warehouses close to urban locations, which increases the need for regional service to connect supply-chain nodes, which is our focus,” said McLary. “The company has built a robust and reliable network with the density to support planned and unplanned customer needs in the South, Midwest, and Mid-Atlantic regions.
"Our goal is to transform the regional truckload sector by leveraging technology, building density, and offering driver-friendly routes and policies. We have created a company that will be the carrier of choice to customers by providing the most reliable and predictable service and will be the trusted partner in the transportation sector.”
Ascend has designed its planning and dispatch operations around the lifestyle desires of drivers, which the company said will make it be the employer of choice for drivers seeking a better work-life balance. This is accomplished by designing routes that make it possible for drivers to sleep at home whenever possible. Ascend said it also has adopted other driver-friendly policies to ensure it can attract and retain the very best personnel in the business, including guaranteed, top-quartile pay.
“With a nationwide trend of unfilled driver positions, Ascend offers progressive employee policies that help us retain a sufficient number of high-quality drivers who provide the high standard of service shippers should expect of their carrier," said McLary.
Ascend has also established truckload brokerage services. The brokerage offering complements the company’s asset operations by providing expanded capacity, broader coverage, and specialized options such as temperature-controlled and flatbed vehicles while ensuring premium service levels. Pairing this flexible network capacity with Ascend’s trailer fleet and its power-only options results in an array of services to meet customers’ needs.
“We are thrilled to partner with Michael and the rest of the Ascend team to offer differentiated solutions to our customer base who place their trust in us," said Naishadh Lalwani, a partner at Wellspring. We look forward to supporting the company as it executes its aggressive organic and acquisitive growth plan to be a leading regional truckload carrier."