Why is it So Hard to Ship a Vehicle to Alaska?
To ship a vehicle to Alaska, there are a lot of steps that both you and the broker that you book with have to walk. It’s not that it’s hard – it’s mostly that it’s time consuming and expensive. The main difference between shipping a vehicle from a city in the contiguous 48 to another city in the contiguous 48 and shipping from down low to Alaska, mostly the fact that it takes a few extra steps. Auto transporters on the road won’t run up to Alaska through Canada – the fees and costs are simply too high, and there’s little American traffic going north to Canada, so there’s nowhere to pickup or deliver vehicles. Plus, many American carriers would have to be licensed in both countries, have their paperwork up to date, passports, licenses, and so much more that it becomes cost prohibitive for American truckers to cross the border. Some do, most don’t, which means to ship a vehicle to Alaska requires going overseas.
The easy part of shipping up to Alaska is getting your vehicle from wherever it is in the U.S. to the port in Seattle or Tacoma, Washington. Both cities have large ports with companies that can ship a vehicle to Alaska. The vehicles have to go overseas, which requires them to go to the port and be loaded onto a large cargo ship, often one that ships a lot of different types of cargo. Naturally, operating such a large ship through the chilly waters of the northern Pacific is expensive. This requires you to not only pay the overland portion to the carrier that ships your vehicle to the port, but also the overseas cost, which usually will run over a thousand dollars all told.
This is why it’s also important to hire an auto shipping broker to help you ship a vehicle to Alaska. A brokerage is going to be able to organize everything for you and make sure that you only have to meet the carrier at pickup and then pick your vehicle up at the final destination port. They will usually take payment of the entire shipment up front, so be prepared to put that on a credit card – it’s not cheap because it can’t be, the entire process is crazy expensive for the companies that are actually doing the shipping and they have to make sure they make a profit, even a small one, in order to keep their company open.
If you are interested in getting a vehicle to Alaska, take a minute to fill out our free online quote request form. It only takes a minute, and what’s more is that you’ll only get quotes from companies that can actually ship a vehicle to Alaska, so you know that no one will be wasting your time (or the other way around). We recommend you speak to one of their representatives in order to learn more about how they ship a vehicle to Alaska, and also to better understand the costs associated with it. It takes time – usually a couple of weeks, but maybe even up to a month, to get your vehicle up there, so be prepared to wait, and your broker can also help you with tips to that effect. You can also contact one of our agents any time, toll-free, at 800-930-7417 should you have questions or concerns.