Inbound Logistics | April 2022

budget comes from oil revenue. Next is tourism; the state attracts 1.1 million visitors each year. Nearly 6 billion pounds of seafood are harvested each year off Alaska’s coastlines. The state is one of the world’s top producers of wild salmon. Forestry is another thriving industry, given Alaska’s 28 million acres of commercial forest. Somewhat surprisingly, about 15 million acres of Alaskan land can be farmed. With sunlight stretching long into the night in the summer, produce can reach mammoth sizes. Cabbage grown in Alaska’s Matanuska Valley, for instance, can top 90 pounds. Alaska also is home to multiple military bases, and TOTE is among the logistics providers that specializes in military moves across the Gulf of Alaska. This includes cold-weather training cargo, and brigade-sized and division-level moves. “When the military is moving equipment from Alaska to the lower 48 states, our vessels and experienced team give them ideal operations to work with,” Rye says. “We’ve moved tanks and helicopters, among other equipment.” TOTE provides shipping updates via EDI and manually, as needed. Its employees understand military moves and provide knowledgeable support. Tackling Challenges Alaska poses unique challenges, yet the logistics providers doing business in the state, as well as their clients, pride themselves on tackling these obstacles to deliver the products their customers need. Throughout the pandemic, for instance, Matson maintained reliable supply chain service. “To date, Matson has not ‘blanked’ (canceled) a single Alaska sailing and has continued to deliver critical supplies, including PPE,” Dreyfus says. A few years ago, Lynden’s barge service expanded into multiple Arctic villages, like Barrow and Wainwright. “We mean it when we say we cover the entire state of Alaska,” McKallor says. “We have earned a reputation for being able to get it there, no matter where ‘there’ is.” n

Span Alaska is a leader in moving less-than truckload (LTL) and less-than-container (LCL) freight across Alaska. It provides over-the-water shipping twice weekly via containership, or weekly via barge, from the Port of Tacoma, Washington, to the Port of Anchorage.

containers, insulated containers and flat racks. Technology offers end-to-end transit cargo visibility. Rail Transport The mainline track of the Alaska Railroad is about 470 miles long, anchored on the south by Seward and on the north by Fairbanks. It’s one of a few railroads that handles both passenger and freight traffic, with more than a half million passengers riding Alaska Railroad trains each year. Yet, freight generates more than half of its operating revenues. The Alaska Railroad moves major commodities, including petroleum products, chemicals, oilfield supplies, gravel, coal, and dry goods. Supply Chain Education Considering the challenges of moving shipments to, from, and within Alaska, it’s not surprising that the University of Alaska Anchorage has offered a BBA in global logistics and supply chain management and an MS in global supply chain management for more than 20 years. Prokop says faculty have published widely, showing how Alaska meets its logistics challenges and uses logistics and supply chain management

to enhance its economy and the quality of life of its residents, and to maintain a key role in U.S.-Asia trade. Since 2011, the Alaska Performance Scholarship (APS) program has awarded Alaskan high school students who excel more than $98 million in scholarships they can apply toward in-state secondary education. In 2020 and 2021, more than one-third of students were eligible for the scholarships. A primary goal of the program is to keep high-achieving graduates in Alaska. One to six years after graduation, APS recipients were 8% more likely to remain in the state than their non- APS counterparts. More than two-thirds (71%) said the scholarship influenced their decision to attend school in-state. The Workforce and Military Education doesn’t stop at graduation. “Alaska-based companies devote many resources to train personnel for the unique challenges involved in doing business in Alaska,” Prokop says. Examples include teaching employees about the requirements of Arctic engineering and mining. The oil and gas industries account for the largest component of Alaska’s economy; nearly 85% of the state’s

56 Inbound Logistics • April 2022

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