within the state safely and efciently. For many logistical purposes, Alaska is basically an island. It’s connected to Canada and the continental United States by a single road and lacks a robust manufacturing industry in-state that could supply goods. More than 90% of Alaskans rely on ocean shipping services for everyday necessities. “Almost everything is brought to Alaska from the lower 48 states, typically by ship several times each week,” Totah says, adding that Odyssey provides reliable ocean service between Seattle and Anchorage. Odyssey, which annually moves cargo valued at $60 billion, operates terminals in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Kenai-Soldotna and provides a range of ocean freight consolidating and freight forwarding, trucking, logistics, and warehousing and distribution services. Weathering the Cold The extreme Alaskan weather— average January temperatures in Fairbanks range from -17° to 1° Fahrenheit—along with heavy snowfall and seasonal ooding adds to the challenges. Most equipment purchased to operate in Alaska has to incorporate heaters that can warm the engine blocks and ensure they turn on when needed, no matter the temperature, Totah notes. The salt spread across the roads to melt snow wears away at equipment. Some parts of the state, like the North Slope and Prudhoe Bay, are accessible by road only in winter, when the ground is frozen. Alaska’s population is not only small— about 740,000 people—but half live in the three cities of Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. The remaining residents are scattered in villages across the state. Another challenge “is the lack of transportation infrastructure,” McKallor says. Most of the state isn’t connected to the road system, so many shipments must combine multiple transportation modes. “Lynden applies new approaches to connecting these remote communities,” he says.
he state of Alaska offers so much. “Alaska is beautiful, and that drives tourism,” says Chris Rye, vice president of operations with TOTE Maritime Alaska. “In the summer, Alaska gets daylight for 20 hours a day. The winter has fewer daylight hours, but also has the Northern Lights.” With more people working remotely, it’s possible some, and particularly those who enjoy the outdoors, will seize the opportunity to relocate to Alaska. “My colleagues there love it,” Rye adds.
resources, Alaska is home to multiple military bases. The Frontier State presents multiple logistical challenges. “Outside of war zones, Alaska is the world’s most challenging logistical laboratory,” says Darren Prokop, Ph.D., professor of logistics with the University of Alaska Anchorage. In Inbound Logistics ’ 10th edition of its supplement spotlighting Alaska, we explore the state’s resources and the challenges presented by its location, geography, and climate. We also highlight the logistics providers committed to serving their Alaskan clients with grit, dedication, and expertise to move products to, from, and
At more than 663,000 square miles, Alaska is about one-fth the size of the 48 lower states combined. East to west, it measures about 2,500 miles, or roughly the distance from Savannah, Georgia, to Santa Barbara, California. Substance accompanies Alaska’s size and beauty. “The state also has enormous energy, mineral, and seafood resources,” says Alex McKallor, executive vice president and chief operating ofcer with Lynden, a provider of logistics and transportation solutions. “Alaska is strategically important to the United States,” says Jason Totah, president of logistics provider Odyssey International and Odyssey Alaska. Along with its reserves of oil and other natural
Odyssey annually moves cargo valued at $60 billion, operating terminals in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Kenai-Soldotna. The logistics provider offers a range of trucking, logistics, ocean freight, consolidating and freight forwarding, and warehousing and distribution services. Odyssey provides reliable ocean service between Seattle and Anchorage.
April 2022 • Inbound Logistics 45
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