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Vol. 14, No. 4 Week of January 25, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: Carlile’s new Kenworth hybrid electric/diesel truck unveiled at Port of Tacoma terminal

Whether equipment for rural hospitals or modules en route to Alaska’s North Slope, Carlile’s expertise and multimodal connections deliver peace of mind

Carlile Transportation Systems is a proven leader in transportation and logistics solutions. The company’s’ ability to adapt and grow to meet the needs of customers is key to its continued success.

Q. When was the company founded? Who founded it, and what was its original name?

A. Carlile Enterprises was formed in 1980 by brothers Harry and John McDonald. The first contracts included hauling urea from the Kenai Peninsula to the Matanuska Valley and delivering milk from the valley to Anchorage. Later, after a few moves, the name changed to Carlile Transportation Systems, and Jeff Allen, Linda Leary and Karl Hoenack joined the team and became co-owners.

Q. Where is your company located?

A. We are based in Anchorage and have terminals in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Prudhoe Bay, Kenai, Kodiak and Seward, Alaska; Tacoma, Washington; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Houston, Texas; and Forest Lake, Minnesota.

Q.  Who heads up your company, and who is on its senior management team?


A. Harry McDonald is CEO and Linda Leary is president. John McDonald is senior vice president, Jeff Allen is vice president of operations and Karl Hoenack is vice president of human resources. Linda Leary became president in 2008 and will lead the company into our next chapter.

Q. What services does the company offer?

A. Carlile is one of Alaska’s largest trucking companies with more than 200 company-owned trucks and 1,200 pieces of specialized trailing equipment to handle even the most unusual load. We offer truckload, LTL, heavy haul, haz mat, freeze and chill, warehousing, and logistics – reliable transportation via all modes.

Q.  What is the company’s primary business sector?

A. Our business comes from virtually all industry sectors. Major clients include oilfield, construction, mining, government, and wholesale and retail. We partner with other transportation companies including rail, water and air carriers to best serve our clientele.

Q.  How many employees does Carlile have?

A. All together we have about 650 employees. We have 325 in Anchorage, 125 in Tacoma, 75 in Fairbanks, 60 in Kenai, 25 at Prudhoe, and the rest are in Kodiak, Seward, Houston, Lake Forest and Edmonton.

Q.  Does Carlile have subsidiaries?

A. Carlile Logistics is a subsidiary company that offers logistics, warehousing and other value-added services in Anchorage and the Tacoma area.

Q.  Describe your essential equipment in general terms.

A. We have 350-plus tractors and 1500 pieces of trailing equipment. We also have a brand new Kenworth hybrid electric/diesel truck at our Tacoma facility (see photo).

Q.  Is your company expanding any of its operations and/or locations?

A. We have recently expanded our rail yard facilities and property at the Port of Tacoma.

Q.  What is your company’s main strength, i.e. its edge over the competition?

A. I’d say it is our personal relationships with our customers, along with our ability to customize all kinds of challenging logistical moves within Alaska.

Q.  What new markets, clients and/or projects did you attract in the last year?

A. That would be retailers that have moved into the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and new oil and gas service companies operating throughout the state.

Q. Has the company invested in any new technology in the last two years?

A. TruckMate is a major system acquisition that will be launched company-wide in 2009. It delivers technology that enables us to improve operational efficiencies, improve transactional velocity and use of resources, deliver superior customer service and ensure long-term profitability. It is faster, efficient just-in-time information that our customers will appreciate.

Q.  What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken? 

A. One that comes to mind was the bridge for the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It was constructed in Anchorage, and after completion the piece was too heavy for road restrictions and equipment. Special municipal permits were acquired, and the trailing equipment was enhanced to accommodate the extreme weight.

Q.   What do you see as the biggest obstacles facing your company?

A. Of course the current economic situation is a major concern. There’s also the matter of high fuel prices and misperceptions of customers and potential customers in the Lower 48 unfamiliar with distances, costs and logistics challenges associated with transportation in Alaska.


Q.  Does Carlile have an anniversary or other landmark event on the horizon?

A. We are excited that in 2010 we will celebrate our 30th year and look forward to solving our customers’ transportation needs over the “long haul.”


Q.  What is the average length of time employees work for the company? Are you hiring for any positions?

A. 60 percent have less than five years with the company; 40 percent have been with us more than five years. We’re always looking for good, experienced drivers.


Q.  What is your company’s safety record?

A. Our record is excellent. We earned the 2007 Fleet Safety Award of the Year for over 10 million miles without an accident.

Q.  Do you have a website?


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