You made the decision to embark on an exhilarating adventure, and you’re moving to Alaska, The Last Frontier – congratulations! A move to Alaska is exciting, with new experiences just waiting to be discovered. Now, how will you get all your household goods to this pristine wilderness? Moving to Alaska isn’t like moving to a state in “the lower 48” – you can move some things over the road, but depending on where you’ll be residing, there may not be a direct route, and Alaska is known for having a plethora of unpaved roadways. Even though you may not be able to drive everywhere in this vast state, you do have several options for shipping household goods to Alaska, including using professional air cargo services when a lack of paved roads or waterways present a transportation obstacle. Shipping household goods to or from the continental U.S. using air cargo services is a viable option when moving items to or from remote or inaccessible areas of Alaska to a major city for further transport. Because of the expense, however, using air cargo services is best for small shipments but may not be the most practical use of your moving dollars when relocating a large household. A combination of several types of transportation services will likely be the most effective method of shipping household goods to Alaska.
Air Cargo Basics
Most air cargo services have very specific guidelines on what they will and won’t accept, and how items should be packed. When preparing your personal household items for air cargo transport when moving to Alaska, there is important prep work that must be done. This work includes:
- Research and adhere to size restrictions for airplanes.
- Shop around for pricing, and visit each company’s website for online quotes, rules, regulations, and tariff information.
- Calculate shipping costs — include any upcharges for delivery to a remote or “bush” location.
- Pack everything to be able to hold up under 8 to 12 physical handlings, tolerate at least 30 seconds in the rain, and withstand a 12-inch drop to any surface.
- Take a full inventory, including dimensions and weight, of all boxes to be shipped via air cargo.
- Make a detailed list of all items contained in each box or container shipped, take photos, and keep this information in a safe place.
- Properly label all items and containers, including destination and return addresses.
- Add a contact phone number to all paperwork so you can be reached in an emergency.
Your household goods will be transported from your home to the air cargo facility, flown to Alaska, and transported to their final destination. Pack everything securely, and don’t include anything that shouldn’t or won’t make the trip, such as:
- Anything requiring protection from heat or cold
- Antiques, artwork, or museum quality articles
- Stocks, bonds, cash, rare coins, stamps, cash equivalent
- Hazardous materials (anything flammable, corrosive, infectious, radioactive, explosive, or batteries of any kind)
- Firearms or fireworks
- Fragile items
- Jewelry, furs, precious metals
- Live animals or plants
- Liquids or perishable items
Shipping Terms to know and understand
If you’ve never used an air cargo service, you may find yourself confused by the terminology used. Here’s a trusty guide to help you navigate cargo-speak and ensure you’re speaking the same language when shipping household goods to Alaska:
- Air Waybill: A non-negotiable contract between the shipper and the transporter.
- Consignee: The person whose name appears on the Air Waybill as the receiver. This can be the name of a moving company if you’ve contracted for a mover in Alaska to handle receipt and delivery of your household goods to their new location.
- Continental United States: The 48 contiguous States, Alaska and the District of Columbia.
- Contiguous United States: The 48 adjacent States, and the District of Columbia.
- Legal Holiday: Any local, state, or national legal holiday.
- Seal: A device used to secure the contents of a container. If a seal is broken, this will show that the container or package has been opened during transport.
- Shipper (or Consignee): The name of a person or company that appears on the Air Waybill as the responsible party contracting with the transporter for the shipment of goods.
If you’re moving to Alaska, Golden North Van Lines provides a cost-effective option that offers you peace of mind. We will save you time, money, and worry over your move because our team of experienced professional movers will help you stay organized, avoid injury, and arrive at your destination ready to begin your Alaskan adventure. Put your trust in Golden North Van Lines and rest assured that we will treat your household goods as if they were our very own.
With offices in both Anchorage and Fairbanks and decades of experience successfully moving households and businesses to and from Alaska, Golden North Van Lines is the Alaska moving company you can trust. If you’re moving to Alaska, contact us today for a free quote and let us help you prepare for a successful move.