How To Ship A Car To Alaska – Forbes Home

The cost of car shipping to Alaska will differ depending on a number of factors including where you ship the vehicle from, where in Alaska the vehicle goes, the type of transport (or transports) you need and the size and weight of your vehicle. Because of the size of its port, Anchorage is the most common destination for car shipping from around the U.S. and most companies will either only ship to and from Anchorage, or will broker a deal with a second transport company to get your car to and from Anchorage to other parts of Alaska.

Matson, one of the largest providers of container shipping across the Pacific Ocean, offers car shipping from Tacoma to Anchorage at a cost of between $2,000 and $3,000. This would, of course, not include the cost of getting your car to Tacoma or Anchorage, depending on where you start from.

Alaska Car Transport, another provider of automobile transportation to and from the Last Frontier state, estimates approximately $3,000 from the Western U.S to Anchorage and $3,500 from the Eastern U.S to Anchorage.

Make sure to check out the top car shipping companies in the U.S. before making your choice on who to work with.

Vehicle Drop-Off and Pick-Up Options

Most moving companies offer two types of vehicle delivery services: door-to-port and port-to-port. With door-to-port, the company picks up your car from anywhere in the continental U.S. and you pick it up yourself at the Alaskan port. Dropping your car off at a mainland port and picking it up at the Alaskan port is called port-to-port. Due to longer shipping distance and more complicated logistics, door-to-port shipping tends to be more expensive.

Some companies offer door-to-door car shipping for those who don’t have the time to cruise down to the port themselves. You can expect this to be the most expensive and hard-to-find option for shipping your car to Alaska. Third-party Alaskan transport companies are often used to transport your car from the port to your new home. Always read the fine print in any contract so you know who is responsible for moving your car if you are not around to watch.

Enclosed vs. Open Ground Transport

During any part of the journey on the ground, you will usually have two options for ground transport: enclosed carriers or open. Open-air transport means your car will be placed on a car carrier outside in the elements. Most vehicles are shipped using this method. With enclosed transportation, your car is transported inside a trailer without being exposed to the elements. This method costs about $1,500, about 40% more than open transportation, and is recommended for expensive, custom or luxury cars.

“Roll on Roll off” vs. Container Shipping

When it comes to ship shipping methods, you also have two options. When you drive your car directly onto the vessel then secure it to the ship deck, this is known as rolling on, rolling off or RoRo. Although your car is inside the ship (and therefore protected from the elements), it will be exposed to the interior of the ship and will be parked amongst many other cars. When the ship reaches its destination, your car will be driven off the vessel and into the port. This type of shipping is most common for smaller ferry trips between smaller Alaskan ports unable to load and unload traditional shipping containers. RoRo is also generally less expensive than larger container shipping.

With container shipping, your car will be stored inside a container, then loaded onto the ship. Several cars could be housed in a container, or if you want your car to travel alone, you could purchase a single container. Both of these options are more expensive than RoRo, with single container shipping being the most expensive way to allow your precious vehicle the joy of experiencing the open ocean.

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