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Question DetailsAsked on 11/25/2017

Who can move my household goods in a pallet to Anchorage alaska?

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3 Answers


You said "in a pallet" - s

Answered 2 years ago by LCD


We will try again to get this post to take:

You said "in a pallet" - so I am not sure if you meant "on" a pallet (which should be shrink-wrapped if shipping to Alaska), or you meant "in" something like a Pod or a Conex (shipping container - from 10-40 feet long).

If a small quantity actually on a pallet, then while some household moving companies (Moving is your Search the List category for that) can handle loaded pallets, most do not unless they load it onto the pallet at your place - which is sort of a waste to do in a moving van, but a good idea if shipping by Conex or Pod in case some water gets in. The normal way to do household goods is to load them in a moving van heading that way - sometimes (with the very long over-the-road trailers) handling maybe as many as 10-20 people's small shipments in one truck - typically scheduled so he is picking up multiple loads in the first part of the trip, then zigzagging across the country for a week or few dropping partial truckload shipments off along the way. Can take as little as about 4 days if trucker is team-driving (2 drivers) and yours is the last load picked up, to as much as a month if yours if the first of many shipments going on the truck.

Shipping to Alaska trailers go both over-the-road through Canada, and also out of the Seattle (Seattle or Bellingham) area on container ships which sail weekly to Alaska via two different companies.

If you are talking Pods you need to talk to regular trucking companies about handling that - usually shipped on flatbeds. Major companies shipping to/from Alaska include SApan Alaska, Carlile Transportation, Lynden - though your contact would likely be with another company getting the shipment as far as Seattle area, then another company picking it up from there to Alaska.

Conex containers also go by normal trucking companies - you can find commercial shipping brokers in most towns, and most of the nationwide moving companies also will use a conex for their convenience (usually for single-household shipments) or if they don't want to have to do an empty backhaul on a moving van. They can arrange for the conex to be delivered to your house (like if you are loading it yourself) and arranging for pickup and release at the other end is your responsibility if the moving company is not handling the loading and unloading - so that is a potential snafu point which catches a lot of people. Conex shipment is also sometimes cheaper for autos - especially if you don't want to foot the high bill for it to travel as interior cargo on a container ship to avoid having it inundated in salt water traveling by car moving company on a barge (which only sits a few feet above water level). There are some auto transport companies which truck through Canada - but cars going that way typically pick up a lot of rock chips and broken glass from the roads, particularly from graveled roads in Canada in the winter.

Also, regular household goods moving companies, using their own trucks or conex's as they choose, do not normally charge backhaul out of Anchorage (though do from villages in most cases unless they can pick up a return moving load) on the empty container because they try to schedule their shipments so they have a backhaul of household goods to put in it going back to Seattle - LOT of US Government civilian and military moves to/from Alaska, especially in the summer PCS season.

Arrange for it yourself and many companies charge you backhaul freight for the empty conex to get it back to the Port of Seattle or Bellingham - Anchorage (the arrival port for containers to the road system for most of Alaska including Anchorage) is not an authorized release point for many companies who lease containers, because shiploads of containers head north with consumables, but return shipping is far less in volume, meaning return trips have a LOT of empty containers not earning money. So be sure to check on drop/delivery/release charges for container or pods.

Also, you need to be sure any container used is international ocean voyage rated - the doors are far more waterproof, reducing the chance of water damage from waves (which get to 50 feet or so in the Gulf of Alaska in the winter and still 30 feet or so in even summer) breaking over the ship - so the containers get a LOT of opportunity in a 4 day or so trip to leak. And I STRONGLY recommend against shipping by barge (barge line or Alaska Railroad) because their containers really get inundated in shipping - require that it go by Tote (Totem Express) or SeaLand container ship.

You can see, arranging it yourself can be a hassle and some people get shocked by many hundred of $ or sometimes much more in unexpected charged for containers, drop and pickup fees (which I have seen as high as several thousand $ outside of Anchorage), etc. Oh - and if not moving to Anchorage itself, be sure a tractor trailer can actually drive to where you are moving - there are a lot of funny but sad stories of people arranging for shipment of household goods to "Alaska" then trying to get them delivered to where they are actually going to live - which might be as much as the better part of 1000 miles from the nearest road connection to Anchorage in some cases. If living in a remote village with barge service, many of those shipments do not pass through Anchorage - they go straight out of Seattle area on a very limited number of barge runs up the western coast and the Yukon/Kuskokwim river systems once the ice breaks up in the spring. So if an employment-related move, getting advise from your employer's HR department is a must - many will handle it ALL for you if company is paying for some or all the move, using a local moving expeditor expert.

My recommendation - maybe not the absolute cheapest, but if arranging this on your own go with a commercial interstate moving company (Bekins, North American, Atlas my recommendations for Alaska) and let them make all the arrangements - including loading, any in-state transfers or pickup of container from the ship, unpacking, container or pod release, etc.

Or if truly on a pallet, like with a DIY move, you can use a regular Moving company if they can handle pallets, have them load and ship without a pallet (to Alaska they commonly use wood boxes about 4 feet square by truck height which are nailed shut during transport - loaded/unloaded while on the truck) which eliminates the need for a forklift to unload the pallet at the other end.

Or for only one or two pallets you can ship by a normal LTL (Less Than Truckload) trucking company which specification that it is ground-to-ground shipment - meaning they pick up the pallet off the ground and load it, and unload at the other end, using a pallet mover and liftgate on the trailer. This is different than FOB - Freight On Board - which means YOU are responsible to get it on and off the truck. This is the normal freight rate designation - FOG costs more by a hundred or so at each end typically. A LOT of people get stuck with the truck showing up with FOB shipment and the truck does not have a liftgate or that was not paid for, so they have to pay for a transfer to another truck and redelivery another day - plus a couple hundred or more $ added fees. Be sure to check also on maximum allowable weight - commonly ranges from 2200-4600# depending on pallet size and whether going by air or not, per pallet.

BTW - if shipping yourself - check rates - generally Household Goods category is MUCH cheaper than regular freight rates, but you cannot mix commercial goods (like from a home business) with HHG to get the preferential rate. Those would have to be handled as a separate shipment at higher applicable rate (though might be picked up and delivered same day).

Be SURE each box/pallet is clearly labeled with name and destination address and delivery-time phone number as well as shipment number and item number sticker. And be sure if your cell number will work where you are moving - don't count on it even in Anchorage even with major carriers - coverage in Alaska is SPOTTY even in cities for different carriers.

One last thought - the #1 thing you need if moving to Alaska - buy the current (is updated annually) copy of The Milepost (travel guide for Alaska), and get the free Alaska Travel guides from the state tourism office.

One last thought - if you happen to be moving a lot of books, Media Rate with USPS is by far the cheapest to/from Alaska - takes about 10-14 days travel time minimum (can be much more to remote villages) depending on how your shipment date matches up with ship departure dates.

Hope this helps some - having been through this myself a few times. You can also google a lot of Alaska moving resources online - just be sure they are Alaska based, not by some Sunset magazine writer writing from a deck chair in sunny California.

One other thing - Worldwide movers and Allied Van Lines both have good "moving to Alaska" web pages and guides - google for those. There are also a LOT web-guides for military and federal government moves - obviously the actual moving arrangements will differ if you are not moving that way, but a lot of the pre- and during- and post-move hints are very useful.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD


Oh - BTW - be sure to read up on insurance in previous questions in the Home > Moving link under Browse Projects, at lower left - normal homewoner's insurance does not cover your move at all, and noirmal moving company insurance covers a pittance and is usually $0.60 per pound PER ITEM - meaning they determine the weight of the item and you get 60¢/lb coverage on that item if damaged/destroyed, or repair cost, whichever is less. So even if your shipment is $10,000# you do NOT have $6,000 of loss/damage insurance - you would get that only if the entire shipment got lost or destroyed. A 20# large screen TV, for instance might only give you $12 of insurance under standard coverage - though you can buy more from the carrier, sometimes a rider on your homeowner's policy, or independent insurance brokers. Also check on storage coverage - normally only covers up to 2 weeks total origin + destination storage time at most.

What other though did I have - oh yeah, moving cost typically $1.50-3.00/# to major on-the-highway cities in Alaska (far more by air), and up to about $10/# commonly to villages, so bear in mind what you might be able to leave with friends/relatives if a short-term move, or for older/worn items possibly replace once there (at typically about 10-20% higher prices than normal lower-48 prices).

Oh - and if shipping August-May and certainly during Oct-Apr count on everything freezing - so no liquids (including your snowglobe collection).

Guns can be a problem too - conventional rifles and shotguns (no assualt or combat-type) can be shipped through Canada properly labelled and locked up, but no assualt rifles, many types of ammo, no handguns through Canada. Some movers will not take handguns at all even in locked gun case or vault so you may have to ship them firearms dealer-to-dealer via FedEx. More advance prep time and arranging for them to hold till you get there - plus typically about $50/gun or so shipping and processing fee per gun.

Another after-thought - everything has to be wrapped - no item-to-item contact, because the long truck or sea trip has so many repetitive cycles of motion it will wear into items where they make contact - without separate wrapping (paper on normal items, padded paper or moving blanketsor bubble wrap on antiques and furniture) on each item you WILL get abrasion damage - even rub marks on plates stacked without paper between, so everything should be packed per international shipment standards.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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