Five Top Questions to Ask Before I Ship Cargo to Alaska
Over the past 50+ years shipping cargo to Alaska, we have heard a number of questions from customers about how to go about shipping cargo to Alaska. When you’ve been doing something as long as we have, you tend to hear A LOT of interesting questions; in fact, there’s really no question that hasn’t been asked of us. However, despite the fact that we’ve been asked a myriad of questions over the years, there seems to those that always get asked, so we took some time to discuss among ourselves and determine the top five questions people ask us when they want to ship cargo to Alaska.
TOP FIVE QUESTIONS
1)“I have to ship something to_________, can you actually ship there?” More often than not, this is the first question we get asked and rightly so; Alaska is a huge state geographically and is full of varied and rugged terrain so shipping cargo to certain parts of Alaska is extremely challenging. Not only can the terrain be challenging but the weather can pose problems as well. This being the case, one of the first things that anyone should ask any cargo company is whether or not they can actually get their cargo to the appropriate destination. Alaska is made up of various regions within the state; some are easily accessible while others are not. Cities, such as Fairbanks, Juneau, and Anchorage are major ports within the state that are easily accessible and are through-ways to other, more remote parts of the state. It’s important to know that your shipping company has ways to get to these more remote parts of Alaska.
2)“How much does it cost to ship this to Alaska?” The next question we are asked is the cost of shipping cargo to Alaska. Of course, the cost depends on the size, weight, and destination of the cargo. One of the first tasks that our staff does when we are approached by a new customer, is to quote them a price based on the information they have given us about their cargo. The size and weight of the cargo itself plus the destination will factor into the shipping cost. If the item can be shipped directly from point to point it will be less expensive than if there are a number of transfers.
3)“How long will this take to get there?” This is another famous question. Of course, the time frame it takes to get there depends on the time of year and the final destination. During the warmer summer months, cargo flows a bit more smoothly and quickly. The winter months pose a much greater challenge due to weather delays. It is important to find out if the cargo company can work around the inevitable weather delays that are so common in Alaska. Here at Alaska Air Forwarding, we have a large network of companies we work with to ensure your shipment arrives at its destination within the time frame that you require.
4)“Is _____ my only shipping option?” Many people think that if cargo needs to ship outside of the continental US that only one option, such as air or ocean are available but this is not the case. When shipping to Alaska, it is important to understand that there is more than one option and sometimes all three options are needed to ship certain cargo. For example, if we are shipping heavy-lift cargo that needs to arrive in a matter of days, it will be much more efficient to ship via airfreight rather than ocean. We have the means to do that here at AAF, whereas other cargo companies may not offer that option. It is not uncommon for us to use a combination of shipping methods such as ocean, to ground transport to airfreight to deliver to a remote part of the state.
5)“Can I ship hazardous material?” The short answer to that question is YES! If it’s legal, we can ship it. However, shipping hazardous material is no small feat and when it’s needed there are many guidelines to follow. It is important to work with a shipping company that knows and understands the very specific rules for shipping haz-mat. Not all shipping companies will ship hazardous material but we do! Here at Alaska Air Forwarding, we have a haz-mat professional on staff and we are very confident when it comes to shipping hazardous material.
As we stated above, these are by no means all the questions we get asked, but they are definitely the most common and we believe the key questions that everyone should ask when they are shipping cargo to Alaska.
We are a premier cargo company and we have the ability to ship almost anything to every part of Alaska. Contact us for a quote; we’ll be happy to help you.