There’s not a lot of questions out there that throw this writer for a loop, but this might be one of them. Can one ship a car to Alaska by rail? Perhaps in the past, when rail services were more prominent and trucks weren’t ubiquitous, perhaps. After all, getting cargo to Alaska is treacherous, and today most auto transportation to Alaska is done via overseas shipping.
Today, however, you really can’t ship a car to Alaska by rail. At least, not as an individual. But even then, manufacturers often ship their cars to the port and then ship up overseas to Alaska and deliver them at the port. It’s not something that’s done via rail anymore.
Why You Can’t Ship a Car to Alaska by Rail
The two biggest issues with shipping any vehicle to Alaska are cost and time. In terms of cost, it’s not the cost you pay, but rather the cost the shippers have to pay. This is why every vehicle shipped to Alaska (almost every vehicle) is shipped overseas. The cost for the company doing the shipping is so much lower. If you were to go overland to Alaska, you’d have to pay import/export fees as well as fuel. Note too that it’s a long drive – or rail trip – up to the major cities of the state.
And in terms of time, it’s going to take a while to get the vehicle there overland. Overseas there are no barriers other than the open ocean; most shipments up to Anchorage are on the ocean about a week. To get to Anchorage overland will likely take longer. And considering that time is most definitely money in auto transport, that’s important. As a result, rail services to Alaska are just not feasible, especially when it comes to shipping cars.
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