Are you looking for auto transport to and from Alaska? It’s a big state with lots to do. And yet, despite being the largest state in the U.S. by total area, its population is small, and its inhabited areas are few and far between. Couple this with the fact that it’s far removed from the other states in the country, and you find auto transport services to or from there can be expensive.

And yet, people ship vehicles to and from Alaska almost every day. And we help them do it! Though it is a big state with a small population, it is home to several major cities, including Anchorage and Juneau. There are others, but those are the two most popular destinations.

We’ll talk more about them later on. But you should know that Anchorage is typically the cheapest place in Alaska to ship a vehicle to or from. We’ll discuss why that is, and more, further down as well.

Alaska Auto Transport

A brief overview of Alaska

Alaska has long been the “last refuge” of the frontiersmen. Initially owned by the Russians, it came under American control in the mid-19th century. At the time considered a mistake, the purchase led to the discovery of gold in the state (then a territory). From there, it was only a matter of time before Alaska became a roaring trade and mining center.

Today Alaska is known more for its natural resources than its population. And while it is the largest state in the nation by total area, Alaska is home to just 776,000 residents. This makes it the 48th largest state by population. Much of its population lives in Anchorage, its largest city and economic hub.

Because its location is far removed from the contiguous United States, auto transport to and from the state must be done via ship. This is how most (but not all) goods make their way to Alaska. They come into the port in Anchorage (or Juneau, but usually Anchorage) and are then trucked out to where they need to go by local truckers. Auto transport works much the same way, but we’ll touch further on that.

How auto transporters get around Alaska

Alaska is unique in that it has no interstate highways linking to other states. And yet, it still has interstate highways! It follows the same logic as those in Hawaii and Puerto Rico – that is, the interstates are part of the interstate highway system but not actual interstates. In Alaska, they are two-lane undivided highways, which carry relatively light traffic due to Alaska’s small population.

There are no auto transport companies that operate in the contiguous U.S. that drive up to Alaska. To do this, they would have to pass through Canada. The issue, though, is customs and taxes – they have to pay them at both borders, both in and out. This means that companies based in the lower 48 would pay taxes when they enter Canada, when they enter Alaska, and then the same on the way back.

Therefore, auto shippers just don’t run routes through Canada. Instead, Alaska-based auto shippers are Alaska-only shippers that truck loads from the ports to wherever they need to go. However, they are typically costly due to the geography and the vast distances between cities. So, most customers who ship vehicles to Alaska pick them up at the port.

Auto transport to major Alaska cities

Anchorage is the main port of call for Alaska. Most goods that come into Alaska come in through Anchorage. This includes most vehicles that are coming from the lower 48 as well.

Anchorage is the only city in Alaska to which you can feasibly ship a car from the lower 48. Other ports, such as Juneau, exist, but they are more expensive to ship to. The main port we rely on to transport customers’ vehicles to Alaska ships to Anchorage. Considering that’s the port almost every car transporter uses, you’ll have to pick your vehicle up in Anchorage.

We can help you ship your vehicle from anywhere in the U.S. to Alaska. But it requires hiring an overland carrier to move your vehicle to the port. The port that ships vehicles to Alaska is based in Seattle, Washington. So your vehicle will be picked up wherever it is and trucked to the port in Seattle. From there, it will be shipped via boat to Anchorage.

Auto transport to rural Alaska

Now let’s talk about getting your vehicle to wherever in Alaska it needs to go. As we mentioned before, auto shippers in Alaska exist, but they only service Alaska. If you cannot pick your vehicle up at the port in Anchorage, you’ll need to hire someone to move it from the port to your door.

This is not something we do. We provide auto transportation to or from any U.S. state including Alaska and Hawaii, and we can do intrastate transport services for the lower 48 states. But shipments within Hawaii and Alaska require you to find a separate shipping company and have them move it for you.

Of course, you can always drive the vehicle yourself. This may be a cheaper option considering how vast and unending the Alaskan wilderness is. Juneau is a different story; you’ll have to talk to a rep about moving your vehicle to the port in Juneau and discuss whether it’s possible or not. This is because the only way to get to Juneau from Anchorage overland is to drive through Canada, which most shippers don’t do.

Auto Shipping During the Holidays

The role weather and seasons play

Everyone knows Alaska as this snowy, treacherous landscape. And while that’s mostly true, it’s also a beautiful state with lots of green, especially during the summertime. You can ship to or from Alaska any time of year, of course, though winter can be challenging due to the more precarious nature of the season.

During the summer months, the storms are few and far between, and the weather up the coast is generally fair. Since vehicles are shipped up to Alaska on big cargo ships, that’s a good thing. They will still operate in stormy weather, of course. But it’s a plus when the waters are calm!

Winter shipping is a bit more complicated. Delays can happen during stormy weather, impacting when the cargo ships can sail. They schedule shipments to leave every two weeks, generally speaking. If storms or bad weather make it impossible for the ships to leave on time, they’ll leave when they can. Otherwise, shipments to and from Alaska generally run on time.

Ship today with American Auto Shipping

Interested in shipping to or from Alaska? If so, we at American Auto Shipping can help! We know what it takes to get a vehicle to or from anywhere in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii. And while shipping to or from Alaska may be more involved, we know how it works and how to get it done.

If you need auto transport to or from Alaska, let us know! Give us a call any time at 800-930-7417 to speak to a representative. They can answer your questions, advise you regarding your overseas shipping needs, give you a quote, book your shipment, help you with your order, and much more.

Or, you can start with our free online quote form. It only takes a minute to complete and submit, and you’ll immediately see your price quote. You can book your shipment online or contact us to continue the process. But no matter what you’re shipping or where you’re shipping from or to, we can help you get it done.


Helpful Links for the State of Alaska

Alaska Auto Transport Services by Metropolitan Area

Anchorage Metropolitan Area

Anchorage | Chugiak | Eagle River | Eklutna | Girdwood | Fairfiew | Gateway | Lakes | Meadow Lakes | Palmer | Tanaina | Wasilla

Fairbanks Metropolitan Area

Juneau Metropolitan Area


Ketchikan Metropolitan Area

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