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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are you a port authority?
A: No. The Port of Anchorage is an enterprise department under the Municipality of Anchorage. As an enterprise, the Port is distinguished from other types of municipal departments, largely because it creates enough revenue to support its operations along with paying annual fees to the municipality. The Port Director is appointed by the Mayor.

Q: What does the port do?
A: The Port is the gateway for commerce in Alaska. We like to say if you eat it, wear it, or drive it, it came through the Port of Anchorage. An estimated 90% of the merchandise goods for 85% of Alaska's populated areas pass through our facilities. This includes gasoline, heating oil, diesel, cement, business supplies and most of what you find in the grocery stores. Additionally, the Port is one of only 19 commercial ports around the national designated as a Department of Defense Strategic Seaport. The designation was bestowed upon the port in recognition of the ports vital role is supporting overseas deployments, fuel for the JBER, vehicle transportation and goods used in day-to-day business and the commissary.

Q: I want to ship something through the Port, who should I contact?
A: You will need to contact one of the shipping companies that do business at the port, a full list of which is available here.

Q: How do I do business with the Port?
A: The Port of Anchorage is a department of the Municipality of Anchorage. As such, we are obligated to follow the procurement rules as outlined in Municipal Code when acquiring both goods and professional services. It is in your best interest, therefore, to register as a vendor with the Municipality so that you are notified of any invitations to bid or requests for services in your area of expertise that are being announced.

Prospective vendors must register with the Muni at: and by filling out the bidder's application.

Q: How does the port pay for its operational costs?
A: The Port of Anchorage generates enough revenue to cover all of its operational costs. No Anchorage property tax dollars are used at the Port of Anchorage. Instead, the Port contributes revenue to the municipality in the form of annual tax payments and intergovernmental charges.

Q: Does the Port of Anchorage "silt up?"
A: The Port of Anchorage does require annual dredging in order to maintain its operational depth of -35ft, however this dredging is fully financed and conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and does not effect port operating costs.

Q: How long has the Port of Anchorage been in service?
A: The Port of Anchorage opened in 1961 and has been continually in service for the past 50 years. The Port was the only Port in southcentral Alaska to remain open after the 1964 earthquake and has served as the central point for the movement of waterborne freight throughout the state.

Q: What is the Anchorage Port Modernization Project?
The Port of Anchorage's (POA) three shipping terminals have surpassed their useful lifecycle. Terminal 1 is more than 50 years old, and the piers on Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are in a deteriorating condition. While maintenance on the existing facilities is ongoing, the POA is identifying and updating plans for modernizing the Port's facilities through the Anchorage Port Modernization Project (APMP).

Plans for the current project include:

  • Replacing Terminals 2 and 3
  • Improving seismic resilience of the Port
  • Replacing existing obsolete infrastructure and incorporating modern technology
  • Enhancing operational efficiencies
  • A 75 year project lifecycle

Project Management

The project is contracted through MOA and is overseen by the Executive Committee comprised of MOA and POA leadership chaired by the Municipal Manager. The project is managed at POA by the Port Engineer.
The MOA has contracted with CH2M HILL to provide professional project management, environmental, permitting, and construction management services for the project.

Next Steps

CH2M HILL is in the process of working with project stakeholders and subject matter experts to develop preliminary design concepts for review and consideration. Based on information provided in the resulting Concept Design Study, the POA will identify a recommended concept to submit to the MOA for approval. After approval of the conceptual design, the project will move into final design, permitting and ultimately construction.
Project Benefits

  • Increased throughput capacity and operational efficiencies
  • 100' gauge ship-to-shore cranes will allow for larger container vessels
  • Greater seismic reliability, and improved post seismic event operational capability
  • 75 year design life to reduce current maintenance requirements

Q: What has been completed to date?
A: The APMP has completed a number of significant accomplishments to date including securing all construction and environmental permits, a lengthy, complicated and expensive process. The project has also created 65 acres of new land, constructed a 5-mile long haul road from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and created and operated gravel pits on the adjoining military base. Additional work includes the installation of a new rail line around the back of the port property, upgraded and buried power, and the replacement of drainage, roads, and water treatment systems within the existing port property. Security systems have been upgraded to meet federal requirements and include the construction of several security checkpoints and a security operations center. In April, 2011 the POA received 48 acres of industrial property from the United States Army through the transfer of ownership of the former Defense Fuels site at the POA.

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