Ascend is the name for a new dry van truckload carrier that aims to bring service and reliability to the rapidly expanding middle-mile market by focusing on technology and drivers.
Formed by the merger of Milan Supply Chain Solutions and J&B Services, Ascend and its affiliates will serve the retail, fast-moving consumer goods, packaging, and industrial supply sectors. These businesses typically require products to be shipped regionally and quickly.
Michael McLary, a 30-year industry veteran of UPS and Amazon, is CEO of the new company, supported by a board of directors made up of senior industry executives with over 150 years of combined experience from Amazon, FedEx, and UPS.
“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 in a news release. “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.”
Planning Around Driver Lifestyle Needs
Company officials say they are designing planning and dispatch operations around the lifestyle desires of drivers, designing routes that make it possible for drivers to sleep at home whenever possible. Ascend has adopted several progressive, driver-friendly policies to ensure it can attract and retain the best drivers, 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,” McLary said.
In addition to its large and growing asset-based operation, Ascend has established substantial 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. This flexible network capacity is paired with Ascend’s large and broadly staged trailer fleet and its power-only options for an array of services.
Ascend is backed by Wellspring Capital Management Group, a middle-market private equity firm.