Groceries run low in Alaska after cargo ship problem


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Grocery stores in Alaska are running low on some foods after a cargo ship was delayed by a mechanical issue.

Tote Maritime Alaska’s North Star, which regularly ships groceries and other goods between Tacoma and Anchorage, was supposed to leave Jan. 14 and arrive on Jan. 17. A problem was discovered shortly before its departure.  

Tote Maritime Vice President Grace Greene couldn’t say specifically what the mechanical issue was, but said the North Star is expected to be fixed by early next week.

Groceries were moved to the company’s other ship, the Midnight Sun, and are expected to arrive soon.

“There’s not going to be a grocery shortage,” Greene said. “Anytime we have a disruption in our service, we work to make sure the priority freight is handled right away.”

Roughly 85 percent of all goods that arrive in Alaska come through the port of Anchorage, which receives four major cargo shipments a week.

“If there’s something — you eat it, wear it or use it — it comes here on the ship,” Greene said. ” So sometimes during delays like this, you can see some issues with getting enough products on the shelves.”

Many of the refrigerator and freezer shelves in Anchorage’s Natural Pantry grocery store sat empty for a couple of days because of the North Star delay, manager Jared Solberg told the Alaska Dispatch News. The store is still missing many dry goods, like boxed and canned food.

“It did affect us,” Solberg said. “Our chill and freeze items, we just got in today (Tuesday). We normally get them on Sunday night.”

Emergency officials say the North Star’s delay is a reminder of what Alaska could face if the port were cut-off in an emergency or natural disaster.

“If all routes of supply were cut off, we would have five to seven days’ worth of supplies within the state,” Jeremy Zidek of State Division of Emergency Management told KTVA-TV.

Zidek said there are other ways they could bring supplies into the state, but those take time. He said it’s important for everyone to have a degree of self-sufficiency.

The Division of Emergency Management recommends that Alaska residents have a five to seven day supply of food on hand.


5 thoughts on “Groceries run low in Alaska after cargo ship problem

  1. “The Division of Emergency Management recommends that Alaska residents have a five to seven day supply of food on hand.”

    Sounds a bit shortsighted. I’d feel a whole lot safer with at least a 2 – 3 month supply on hand.

    I was born in Fairbanks, but was less than a year old when my parents moved to L.A.

    1. “five to seven day food supply”? That would be three cans of pork and beans and maybe a little Beano! Water would be critical.

  2. Hey maybe Sarah Palin can endorse the…
    Food for Alaskans fundraiser.
    Cause she can see stacks of food and supplies in Russia from her fkng house.
    Well .., at least in between dealing with her btch slapping son’s future ex-wife.
    Keep an eye on her daughter in law..
    She’s going to expose some nasty sht about the Palin’s if things don’t work out.
    Like her mother-in-law being a psychopathic pill popping whore.
    If I worked for the Enquirer I’d be on this sht hard.

    1. “psychopathic pill popping whore.” I want to hear no more compliments to Sarah Palin’s lovely family of brain damaged folk. “Yep, we’re real ‘folksy’ up here in Brain Damage, Alaska.” 😆

      1. Fkng killin me Mill……stop it please!

        I’m gonna have to go to quick care to get my ribs stapled back together from lol.

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