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Shipping Household Goods to Alaska

March 10th, 2017 - 8:45 AM

Shipping to and from Alaska

Getting your belongings to or from Alaska can be a bit more complicated than a state-to-state move in the lower 48. Because it requires either a trek through Canada or a barge on the Pacific, pre-planning and coordination are extra important. There are several ways to move to The Last Frontier (“you pack, we drive,” truck rental or van lines), but one is easy, efficient and more affordable. Take a look at how U-Pack® moves household goods to Alaska, the available shipping options, how long it takes to get there and how to get a quote to compare prices.  

Information on shipping to Alaska

How to ship household goods to Alaska with U-Pack

If you rent a truck and move yourself to Alaska, you’ll likely drive the Alaska Highway through Canada to get there (while it’s definitely a coveted adventure, it may not be as exciting in a rental truck). U-Pack alleviates that need. Instead, we deliver the moving equipment to you, you load it, then we pick it up and drive it to Tacoma, WA, where it sets sail to Alaska.

The basics of how it work:

  • We deliver an ocean container, ReloCube or trailer to your home.
  • You have up to three business days to load (in most locations).
  • If you’re headed to Alaska, we drive your shipment to Tacoma, WA, where it sets sail to Anchorage. If you’re headed out of Alaska, it goes to Anchorage where it then sails to Tacoma.
  • We deliver to your new location, and you have up to three business days to unload (or one day if you unload at our service center).

As you see, U-Pack takes care of the transportation, so you can travel however you want — by boat, plane or car. If you decide to take on the Alaska Highway (we hear it’s beautiful in the Spring and Summer, but treacherous in the Winter), make sure to have everything you need for crossing the border into Canada and then back into the U.S. when you reach Alaska. You can read more about what you need here: http://www.northtoalaska.com/

How long does it take?

A common question for Alaska moves is “how long will it take you to get there?” Great question considering it’s a long way from most points in the lower 48, and it requires sailing the ocean.

U-Pack can get your shipment to Alaska faster than most other Alaska shipping companies. Because shipments sail from Tacoma twice per week, on average, it takes 7-15 business days from origin to destination. When you compare to full-service movers, you may see transit times up to two weeks faster with U-Pack (or more in some cases). That’s a big deal if you hope to get moved in and settled quickly.

Wondering how long your move to Alaska will take? Get a free shipping quote to see the estimated shipping time and price.

Options for shipping to Alaska

As already mentioned, there are three equipment options for shipping to Alaska with U-Pack. The type of equipment you’ll use depends on what is available in your areas and your needs.   

  • The trailer: This is one of the most popular types of equipment used to move household goods to and from Alaska. It’s 28-feet long, and you only pay for the space you use (down to a 5 ft. minimum). That makes it ideal for any size shipment. Trailers are available for door-to-door shipping to and from most locations in Alaska. Read more about moving in a trailer.
  • The ReloCube: This is a great solution for small moves. The metal container is 6’ x 7’ x 8’ (external dimensions), and sits flat on the ground for easy loading and unloading. You can reserve as many as you’d like and only pay for the ones you fill. While door delivery in Alaska isn’t available with ReloCubes, you can load/unload at the service centers conveniently located in Anchorage and Juneau. Learn more about moving in a ReloCube.
  • The ocean container: The 40 ft. ocean container is ideal for shipping large homes (like a 4+ bedroom home). With this option, you pay by the container rather than based on the space used inside. We’ll often use ocean containers in areas where we don’t offer door-to-door service with the trailer.

Need storage? It’s available. You can store your belongings inside the equipment at the service center closest to your origin or at our service center in Tacoma. Call 800-413-4799 for more information on adding storage to your move.

What's the cheapest way to ship to Alaska?

Though truck rental has a reputation of being the “cheap” way to move, many find that U-Pack is a more affordable (and convenient) alternative — particularly because of the driving distance to Alaska. Factor in the cost of rental truck fuel, and the price goes up significantly. Just as an example, if you drive a rental truck from Denver, CO to Anchorage, AK, you can expect to pay around $1,050 just for fuel (check the rental truck fuel calculator for your move). Now, compare the truck rental rate + fuel to your U-Pack quote.

Military moving to Alaska?

If you’re in the military and looking to do a DITY move to Alaska, U-Pack can help. We ship to Fort Greely, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Eielson AFB, Fort Wainwright, and some areas off-base. Learn more about PCSing to Alaska with U-Pack.

Tip: If you’re doing a military move, be sure to let us know so we can plan for weight tickets and apply your military discount.  

More Alaska shipping-related information

There are a few things that fall outside of the household goods category that people often need to ship to Alaska. The three most common are: vehicles, firearms and ammunition.

  • Your car: While U-Pack ships lawn mowers, motorcycles and ATVs, we’re unable to ship cars. We often refer customers to Mr. Car Shipper® for auto transport — call 877-421-1284 for a quote.
  • Firearms and ammo: Guns and ammunition are included on the U-Pack Do Not Ship List, so they cannot be packed with your household goods. We recommend talking to your local gun shop, getting a parcel shipper to move just your firearms, or if you’re flying to Alaska, checking with the TSA on their rules for transporting firearms.

Have more Alaska shipping questions?

Call 800-413-4799 to speak with a knowledgeable moving consultant, or leave a comment below — we’re here to help.