Air Freight Forwarding: Connecting Remote Alaska To The Global Supply Chain

An air freight forwarder is a company that specializes in the transportation of goods by air. In Alaska, they navigate challenging terrains, limited infrastructure, and unpredictable weather to transfer cargo by air and ensure timely and efficient delivery of essential goods to remote areas. Let's explore the role of an air freight forwarder and why airfreight forwarding companies, like Alaska Air Forwarding, are a vital part of connecting remote locations in Alaska to the world's supply chain.

What is an Air Freight Forwarder?

Think of air freight forwarders as an intermediary between shippers and airlines that provide a range of services to help shippers get their goods from origin to destination as quickly and efficiently as possible. Air freight forwarders are not typically considered to be the last step in the supply chain. They play a crucial role in the middle of the supply chain as they plan routes, consolidate shipments, and arrange customs clearance, all while keeping up with cargo insurance and adhering to strict safety regulations. This expertise is important for remote communities, where air transport is often the only lifeline for delivering crucial supplies like food, medicine, and equipment.

However, in some cases, air freight forwarders may also handle the last-mile delivery of goods, particularly in remote locations where ground transportation is limited or impractical. In these instances, they may partner with local couriers or transportation providers to ensure that shipments reach their final destination.

According to the Alaska Department of Transportation, air cargo accounts for a staggering 85% of all goods transported to and from the state. This reliance on air freight is particularly evident in remote villages and towns, where ground transportation is often impractical or impossible due to harsh weather conditions and rugged terrain.

Ted Stevens International Airport (ANC) in Alaska is now the 3rd busiest airport in the world. Its location in Anchorage is a strong cargo transfer hub for North America, Asia, and Europe because it is essentially a halfway point between destinations (see map), offering unmatched access to these world markets. For air carriers, ANC is less than nine hours by air from 90 percent of the industrialized world, and, as of January 2004, a law permits air cargo to or from a foreign country to be transferred to another airline in Alaska without being considered to have broken its international journey.

Air Cargo Great Circle Route – Anchorage AIAS Source: https://dot.alaska.gov/aias/cargo.shtml

Air Cargo Great Circle Route – Anchorage AIAS Source: https://dot.alaska.gov/aias/cargo.shtml

Another part of Ted Stevens Airport is the world's busiest seaplane base, Lake Hood, which sees over 190,000 flight operations annually. Air transport is critical in connecting remote communities, where seaplanes often serve as the only means of accessing essential goods and services. It's an interesting place, and there's even a Lake Hood Webcam set up to watch planes land and take off and enjoy the scenery.

Beyond facilitating the movement of goods, airfreight forwarders play a crucial role in supporting Alaska's economy. They provide employment opportunities, contribute to local businesses, and connect remote communities to global markets. Their services are indispensable for industries like tourism, mining, and oil and gas, which rely heavily on airfreight for the timely delivery of supplies and equipment.

Air freight forwarder companies help to bridge the gap between remote communities and the global supply chain. Their expertise ensures the timely delivery of essential goods, supports local economies, and connects Alaska to the world.

Alaska Air Forwarding provides full-service air freight forwarding across Alaska, North America, and the world. We have 24-hour customer support and are ready to answer any questions you may have about your shipment needs. Contact us today!

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