Port opens new Alaska terminal

While international trade through the Port of Tacoma continues to grow by leaps and bounds, the Port’s domestic trade with Alaska – which accounts for about 30 percent of the Port’s total trade volume – is also strengthening.

On Jan. 23, Carlile Transportation Systems will celebrate the grand opening of a state-of-the art facility with 50,000 square feet of cross-dock and 14,000 square feet of office space on a 16-acre tract of land. The port terminal located on the Hylebos Waterway has to both rail and water access. The 80-door cross-dock allows trucks to deliver freight on one side and load up on the other. The Tacoma terminal is four times the size of the previous terminal.

The new Carlile Tacoma Port facility replaces the terminal in Federal Way, Washington. The terminal is open for business 24-7.

“The new state of the art multi-modal facility allows Carlile to better serve its Alaska client base and expand into the busy Pacific Northwest market,” said Linda Leary, Carlile vice president of sales.

Carlile Transportation’s secured warehouse and cross-dock facility has some of the latest technological advances in security. The digital security network of 80 cameras boasts over two terabytes of storage. Physical access to the terminal is limited by computer-controlled doors and gates fitted with proximity card sensors.

Communications is an integral part of logistics and the terminal has the most extensive network in Carlile’s system. Thirty-two miles of Ethernet and fiber optic cable in the office, warehouse, and yard connects over fifty workstations and servers to the corporate network which spans western North America, from Houston, Texas to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Wireless networking throughout the terminal, combined with wireless handheld computers and printers, will enable a new generation of logistics applications.

The new terminal allows Carlile to offer niche services to its growing customer base, including:

— Rail load/off-load

— 75 foot public scale

— Covered flatbed loading area

— Container freight station (US customs bonded facility)

— Heavy haul/lowboy services

— Bulk commodities

— Third-party logistics

— Project lay-down

— Industrial shrink-wrap

The company’s fleet of trucks hauls everything from construction equipment to frozen food, from the Lower 48 to the northernmost state. Carlile’s logistics department also manages and tracks multi-modal transports that could include trucks, trains, air cargo barges and ships for the company’s customers. “Moving the terminal to the port made sense because so much of our business from the Pacific Northwest destined for Alaska funnels through Tacoma and the new location gives us rail, ship and truck access from one location. We also have the option to expand internationally from the Port of Tacoma.” said Leary.

Alaska is Tacoma’s third largest trading partner with $3.5 billion in trade moving through the port in 2004.