Service Center Spotlight: Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Posted by Paige Brooks on September 5, 2018 - 8:01 AM
Dock at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, distribution center

Why Carlisle is critical to the ArcBest® network

The Carlisle ABF Freight Distribution Center (DC) operates 24/7, closing only on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Its location in central Pennsylvania makes it the ideal spot for East Coast distribution and allows the facility to directly service 85 locations, from Montreal, Canada, to Miami, Florida. More than 700 linehaul and city drivers, office personnel and dock employees collaborate around the clock to ensure customers are satisfied and that freight is handled with care and shipped out on time. With speed and precision, this team coordinates and transports thousands of shipments every day. Read more about Carlisle’s operation and how the employees are impacting their community.

Facility quick facts

The volume of freight traveling through Carlisle requires a significant amount of space for receiving, handling and shipping goods efficiently. Check out these impressive numbers to get an idea of this location’s size:

  • Covers 58.6 acres
  • 334 dock doors
  • 13,490 square feet of office space
  • 24,000 square feet of shop space
  • 153,690 square feet of dock space

Day-to-day operations

Whether it’s 3 a.m. or 3 p.m., the Carlisle DC lights are on. Different shifts come in over a 24-hour period to ensure freight is worked, turned and positioned for delivery. The biggest dock and yard crews work the morning shift to handle the hundreds of shipments that come in overnight. Once the afternoon crew arrives, they work the shipments coming in throughout the day and prepare trailers for linehaul drivers to transport that evening. And while their day-to-night schedules may seem steady, the logistics world is full of surprises and unplanned pick-ups and deliveries. “There’s no typical day for us,” says Carlisle Service Center Manager Josh Ebersviller. “We have dock crews, yard crews, city drivers and linehaul drivers who work all day, every day. They take pride in what they do for ABF and our customers.”

Controlling dock congestion

One of the main priorities of operating a large distribution center is minimizing congestion with so many shipments crossing our dock. Though sometimes challenging, Josh and his team have the tools and experience to keep freight moving. “We may have 90 workers or more on the dock trying to move freight. But, by working smart, making sure the yard flow remains constant, using enhanced routing programs and working together, we can prevent bottlenecks,” Josh said.

Overcoming the four nor’easters of 2018

When winter storms strike, the transportation and logistics world must have plans in place to still deliver goods timely and damage free. Winter 2018 was a rough one for parts of the Ohio Valley, the Mid-Atlantic States and New England. Within a matter of weeks, four nor’easters — strong storms from the Northeast bringing heavy rain and snow, strong winds and coastal flooding — hit these areas, leaving millions without power and causing many interstate closures on I-80, I-81, I-84 and I-380. While only one storm directly hit Carlisle, all four caused delays and other issues.

“The governor of Pennsylvania [Tom Wolf] closed the interstates to commercial traffic twice this winter. When you can’t run your linehaul fleet, it tends to cause backup problems for our DC and other service centers we receive from or deliver to. Which means we have a lot of equipment and manpower stalled,” Josh explained. “Customers are typically understanding. Once things are back up and running, our crews work extra hours to get back on track.”

Commitment, Integrity and creativity — Factors behind the team’s success

The team at Carlisle is committed to serving customers, honest about their work and creative in solving problems. These three words are the factors driving success in this location — read Josh’s reflection on each:

  • Commitment — “Our team is committed to making sure things get done correctly and producing excellence. Customers can expect us to strive to do things efficiently, timely and do it right the first time.”
  • Integrity — “When I walk the docks, you can tell the crews are doing the right thing when no one is watching. Working on a dock this size, they could just throw skids on a trailer and move on, but they’re taking the time to do things right.”
  • Creativity — “We had a customer who was shipping a long pipe, originally scheduled to be unloaded in Carlstadt, Pennsylvania. However, it ended up in Carlisle because we had the experience and tools needed to unload the freight. I told [dock workers] Rick Baumert and Jeff Kost they were the experts and to make it happen — and they did. It took about four hours, but they came up with a plan to unload the pipe from a trailer and reload it on a flatbed without damage. Less-than-truckload (LTL) with ABF Freight® is different than anywhere else. We’ll handle the impossible.”  

Giving back to the community

Carlisle’s team is also known for participating and sponsoring community events. Read about two organizations they partner with annually:

The Sgt. Mac Memorial Foundation

This nonprofit organization formed in 2006 honors the memory of Marine Sgt. Eric McColley who gave his life for his country, along with seven fellow Marines and two Airmen. Each year, ABF provides free transportation to support The National Wreath Project — an event during the holiday season that involves placing wreaths at the graves of Veterans at Quantico National Cemetery and Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania. Our drivers pick up wreaths around the local area and transport them to Quantico for placement.

Make-A-Wish® Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Another event in which Carlisle participates is the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s convoy of trucks in Gettysburg. Earlier this year, two drivers, Mike Boruta and Kevin Albertson, took their trucks to help raise awareness and money for children living with critical illnesses. During the event, kids had the chance to ride with our drivers on a specific route to learn about the trucking industry and big truck safety.

Awards and special recognition

Over the years, ABF Freight has recognized Carlisle and many of its employees for their excellence and devotion. For 2017, Carlisle received the President’s Quality Award — the most prestigious award a service center can be given. Many of the drivers also have received individual rewards for their safety records and outstanding skills. Awards so far in 2018:

  • Burt Cezar — 1 Million Miles Safety Driving Award
  • Dale Druckemiller — 1 Million Miles Safety Driving Award
  • Daniel Bowers — 2 Million Miles Safety Driving Award
  • Gene Hoffman — 2 Million Miles Safety Driving Award
  • Jerry Hudson — Bronze Safety Driving Award
  • Mark Turns — 2 Million Miles Safety Driving Award
  • Russell Lauver — 1 Million Miles Safety Driving Award
  • Samuel Reider — 1 Million Miles Safety Driving Award

Have shipping needs? ArcBest has solutions.

Though Carlisle is a unique location, it’s only one of the 245 ABF Freight service centers in the ArcBest network. With both domestic and international shipping capabilities, we can provide customizable solutions to fit your shipping needs. Call 800-610-5544 for more information or to get a quote.

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