The private equity-backed trucking fleet Ascend LLC is launching itself today as a dry van, full truckload carrier focused on middle mile freight markets, after rolling up acquisitions in recent years of the trucking companies Milan Supply Chain Solutions and J&B Services.
With funding from the New York-based investment firm Wellspring Capital Management Group LLC, Ascend also said it had hired a new CEO to lead the effort, naming Michael McLary, a 30-year industry veteran of UPS and Amazon, to the job.
Ascend was originally formed by the merger and integration of Milan Supply Chain Solutions, based in Jackson, Tennessee, and J&B Services, based in Pontotoc, Mississippi. Together with those affiliate lines, the company will now focus on customers in the retail, fast-moving consumer goods, packaging, and industrial supply sectors.
In addition to its growing asset-based operation, Ascend has established a truckload brokerage service, complementing its asset-based operations by providing expanded capacity, broader coverage, and specialized options such as temperature-controlled and flatbed vehicles.
According to McLary, that combination will make the company a “carrier of choice” by providing the most reliable and predictable service available. “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,” McLary said in a 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.”
At the same time, Ascend aspires to be an “employer of choice” for drivers seeking a better work-life balance, the firm said. It will create its planning and dispatch operations around the lifestyle desires of drivers, adopting progressive policies such as guaranteed top-quartile pay and routes designed to make it possible for drivers to sleep at home whenever possible.
“Ascend’s leaders have designed the business with today’s market realities in mind, including a nationwide driver shortage and growing supply chain complexity as shippers seek to satisfy the ever-heightening consumer expectations,” Naishadh Lalwani, a partner at Wellspring, said in a release. “Ascend addresses these needs with innovative planning and dispatch methodologies that provide the flexibility required.”
What better way to start the week than with an exciting announcement? We are thrilled to announce that we are now Ascend. #Ascend #AscendTransportation #AscendTrucking #AscendLeasing #Trucking #TruckLife #Truckers pic.twitter.com/qcP1cHB7m8— Ascend Transportation (@driveforascend) January 3, 2022