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Carlile To Carry Customers' Purchases From Wash. to Alaska

August 15, 2012|By Chris Klint | Channel 2 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Carlile Transportation Systems announced a new service Wednesday, allowing customers to have purchases from online or catalog retailers shipped to the trucking firm's terminal in Washington, then driven to its Alaska terminals via the Alcan Highway.

The company says its Carlile Package Express will accept packages up to pallet-sized loads -- 48 by 40 inches -- for Alaska customers at its facility in Tacoma, Wash. The items are then shipped overland to Anchorage in about three days, at what Carlile calls a significant savings over options typically offered by retailers.

“Carlile Package Express gives Alaskans a solution to high shipping costs for their purchases,” Linda Leary, Carlile’s president, said in a statement announcing the service. “If it can fit on a pallet, we’ll get it to Anchorage for about half the cost of air rates.”

To use the service, customers must form an account with Carlile and receive a member number, then either have retailers ship items to the Tacoma facility or deliver items there personally. When Carlile receives a shipment, it contacts the member with the cost to forward the shipment to Alaska.

In addition to Carlile’s Anchorage terminal at 1301 Whitney Rd., packages can be taken to Carlile terminals in Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak and Seward for a slightly higher charge. Customers can then pick up the items from those locations during normal business hours, or opt to have the items delivered directly to their homes at standard rates.

According to Peggy Spittler, Carlile’s marketing director, the service is primarily aimed at small businesses and residential customers, so it won't deliver to the company's Prudhoe Bay terminal.

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"Prudhoe, there's not really people that live up there," Spittler said.

While shipping from Alaska to the Lower 48 remains cheaper than northbound shipping, Spittler says Carlile Package Express is in a testing stage and won’t yet work with shipments from Anchorage to Tacoma.

“Not right now, but we’re certainly looking into it,” she said.

No formal system has yet been implemented to allow multiple orders to be combined into a single Carlile shipment. Spittler says the “Arctic Express” trucks which operate the service depart three times a week, however, and items that arrive in time to be carried on the same truck will be treated as a single shipment.

Spittler says trucking involves different parameters than other forms of shipping, and shipments will be billed by volume rather than weight. An online shipping calculator for the service listed a maximum size of 96 cubic feet and a maximum cost of $473.60 for Anchorage deliveries.

Carlile Package Express won’t ship items like perishable or temperature-controlled shipments; hazardous materials; coins, currency or jewelry; live animals or plants; or vehicles including snowmachines and motorcycles. The service also offers a maximum liability of $250 in the event of damage or loss, versus more extensive coverage included in standard shipping rates.

According to Carlile, most shipments won’t incur Washington sales tax from retailers that allow customers to set separate “bill to” and “ship to” addresses, since the customer’s address is in Alaska. The company advises confirming purchases’ tax status with the original retailers.

Spittler says arrangements can be made for shipping well-packed fragile items or larger objects that will fit on two pallets via Carlile Package Express by calling the company’s customer-service number at 1-800-478-1853.

Further information on the new service is available on Carlile’s website.

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