Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bush Shippping Part 1

We are frequently asked for shipping rates for our kit packages to rural Alaska. Shipping rates vary widely throughout the state. Barge shipping in the summer is generally the most cost effective if the service is available to your location. Since many towns and villages are on the coast or close to a river or other navigable waterway,  barge shipping is available to much of rural Alaska.
If your town or village is a regular stop for the barge, the cost is much less than if your location is a secondary town or village which means the freight has to be offloaded at another location to be lightered by a smaller barge to your location. These secondary locations may cost as much or more than the freight from Anchorage to the first location so air transportation may be a more feasible option for these areas although the cost for shipping by air is very expensive since it will generally require a charter and the village must have an airstrip suitable in length.
Yukon River villages are more reasonable in cost for shipping from Nenana but there is a substantial cost for trucking the Kit from Palmer to Nenana.
There are two main choices for barges to Western Alaska. Northland Services in Anchorage and Alaska Logistics in Seward. Northland Services is a larger company and services more locations. Alaska Logistics also services many locations and is slightly less expensive. It must be noted however, shipping to Seward by truck is going to be an added cost and needs to be figured into the equation.
Many other options exist for Kodiak and the Eastern side of the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutians. The Alaska State Ferry is an option for Kodiak, Cordova and many towns in Southeast.
Since there are so many different shipping options for different areas, I can only cover a few in this blog. In Part 2 we will cover some of the more remote locations and methods of handling freight. Once we know what kit you want and the finish options you have selected, we can submit for a quote on the cost of freight to your location.

"Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses."
Dale Carnegie

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Monday, December 8, 2014

2015 Pricing

In the past four years we have had only one price increase and it was last year. Unfortunately, we are going to be forced to raise the price slightly for 2015.  Material pricing has remained fairly stable but the small increase we implemented last summer simply was not enough to cover the increased costs since our last increase in 2011.  The increase will be 7 to 8% and will be effective January 1, 2015. Naturally, all contracts before that time will be honored at the existing prices on the website.  No one likes the price increases, especially us, because it is a hardship on our clients. After spending 35 years in the business I know it is a necessary evil to remain viable and to continue to give quality service to our clients in the future and past clients as well.
"There is more to life than increasing its speed."