Alaska Air Forwarding Ships COVID-19 Vaccine Freezer to Remote Alaska

At Alaska Air Forwarding we often talk about specializing in shipping air freight to remote areas of Alaska. Recently we were called upon to help get a very critical item from Washington State to Utqiaġvik, Alaska, America's northernmost city. Because that location is so remote, shipping anything there requires advanced planning, especially if the cargo is large or requires special handling. The cargo this time was one of the specialized freezers used to ensure proper storage of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine doses.

When it was realized that the freezer, which was loaded into a container for transport by cargo ship, would not arrive off the ship before the vaccine shipment itself would arrive, the original shipping vendor called us for assistance. Here is an excerpt from an article published by the Bristol Bay Times.

The Span Alaska team then repackaged the refrigerator to be shipped on an airplane and contacted Alaska Air Forwarding. The refrigerator is over 7 feet high, so it needed to be sent on a cargo-specific airplane.

But there are only two cargo flights per week from Anchorage to Utqiaġvik, so if they missed a flight, it would be days until the next, potentially too late to save the vaccines. Knight, in Washington, and Elkins, in Utqiaġvik, stayed in close contact with each other and with the cargo crews at each transfer station.

"We had to make sure we had points of contact at the various airports to make sure it got off one plane and onto the next in a timely fashion," Knight said. "It was fun. You know, you get that rush of adrenaline when you have to accomplish something important quickly."

Alaska Air Forwarding was proud to assist in getting the oversized freezer to medical teams in Utqiaġvik, especially knowing the implications and importance of the cargo. As we’ve said before, we’re the shipping company with the expertise, knowledge and experience to get your equipment and goods to Alaska quickly and efficiently. If you have freight shipping needs, let us give you a quote!

Read the full article here.

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