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Moving To or From Alaska: Information You Need to Know

When you are moving to Alaska or moving from Alaska, it’s important to consider your transportation options carefully.

Alaska moves are handled over highways, waterways and sometimes by air.

Over the waterways

Moving to Alaska over the waterways can expose your shipment to extra handling since it will first be loaded into a large metal “can” or container.  It can be either loaded into large wood crates (referred to as liftvans) or loose as is typically done when loaded into a standard moving van. Once the container is loaded, it is transported by a freight hauler from your city or town to a port in Seattle/Tacoma, Washington (for northbound shipments) or Anchorage, Alaska (for southbound shipments). The container is then unloaded at the wharf.  It waits there until it can be loaded onto a container vessel or barge.

Hopefully once the ship or barge leaves, there are calm seas so that containers are not lost from being tossed about. At the destination port, containers are then unloaded at the wharf where they wait for loading onto freight haulers.

If it is a loose-loaded “can”, it is often taken to the residence where a local agency takes care of unloading. If it’s shipped in liftvans, they are typically unloaded at a destination agency warehouse where they are reloaded on to a smaller flatbed truck and taken to the destination address. Then the liftvans are unloaded and finally your belongings are delivered into your residence.

By air cargo

Moving from Alaska by air cargo certainly has its place where access is a big issue. For smaller shipments, this might be an option worth considering when desiring to get into or out of inaccessible areas in Alaska to a major city in Alaska.

This is not a viable option in any case if you are contemplating the air cargo option to or from the Continental US. As mentioned before, a combination of transportation services (air cargo and over the highway, for example) might be most effective for long distance moves.

Over the highway

Moving to Alaska over the highway shipping has its limitations particularly in Alaska where not all communities are accessible by highways. In those cases, it may require a combination of local waterway shipping to a port accessible by highway such as Anchorage or it can be shipped by air cargo to Anchorage or Fairbanks. Air cargo is useful for small shipments and not very practical for larger households due to the high cost.

In most instances, using an over-the-road moving van means it’s loaded right at your door and unloaded right at your door at the destination whether in Alaska or in the Continental US.

The best way to move to Alaska

Our direct service to Alaska is the best in the moving industry. Moving household goods over the ALCAN Highway to Anchorage and Fairbanks is considered the most economical way to move to Alaska. Contact us by using the form below to receive information, and a quote, on our Alaska moving services.

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