Utqiaġvik, Alaska: How Do You Stock Store Shelves In The Northern Most City in the U.S.?

Utqiaġvik, Alaska: How Do You Stock Store Shelves In The Northern Most City in the U.S.?

The city of Utqiaġvik, Alaska, (pronounced UUT-kee-AH-vik and formerly known as Barrow), is located on the edge of Alaska and is the northernmost city in the United States. Utqiaġvik has been inhabited for thousands of years by the indigenous people of the region, the Iñupiat. It is located above the Arctic circle, surrounded by permafrost and the Arctic Ocean. No roads connect this city and the rest of Alaska. If you want to get here, you have to fly in or wait for the summer season when the 24 hour sunlight helps the ice melt enough to travel by boat.

This lack of access is an important factor in the daily life of the estimated 4,500 residents, primarily the difficulty of getting goods on store shelves and the wait times and costs associated with it. Nevertheless, Utqiaġvik’s residents are deeply involved in their culture and have learned to draw on the local resources for generations. For them, it is simply a way of life. A local landmark, The Whale Bone Arch, symbolizes this connection to nature. Whaling has been an important part of the culture of the Iñupiat.

Utqiaġvik’s restrictive location almost certainly requires that goods, including perishables and medicines, be flown in by freight transport to the local airport, the Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport.  Up until just a few years ago, special planes called Combi’s were used to simultaneously bring people and goods in the same flight. They were modified 737’s with half cargo and half passenger areas and were more efficient for the flight demand level of the city than planes dedicated to cargo or passengers.

At Alaska Air Forwarding we’ve been shipping inventory freight for years and to remote areas of Alaska like Utqiaġvik. Since we have decades of experience we’re able to efficiently and quickly transport anything. We work with traffic managers, purchasing agents and vendors to arrange to pick up and transport of urgent cargo or work with your designated consignee/recipient.

Inventory we have shipped to remote locations like Utqiaġvik:

  • Perishables for restaurants and the grocery stores
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Computers
  • Clothing
  • Healthcare products
  • Magazines
    and much more!

You name it, we’ll get it shipped for you.

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