Alaska Marine Lines Launches New Rail Service Dock in Seattle

An Alaska Marine Lines barge. Alaska Marine Lines’ new rail facility. Photos: AML.

Alaska Marine Lines (AML) has introduced a new rail dock in Seattle to accommodate an increasing demand for Alaska pollock in destinations throughout the Lower 48 states.

Much of that pollock was previously routed on vessels offloaded in Bayside, New Brunswick, Canada, followed by a short rail trip within Bayside, to connect to truck bound for eastern U.S. destinations. AML officials said the new dock, announced on July 5, offers a reliable and efficient shipping solution for seafood companies in Alaska.

The rail dock is designed to handle transfers from containers to refrigerated rail cars in a streamlined transportation process that enables customers to gain access to intermodal service options, AML officials said.

Craig Morris, chief executive officer of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) confirmed an increased demand for pollock.

“We continue to see a growing preference here in the U.S. by consumers for U.S.-caught wild Alaska pollock in their whitefish purchase,” Craig Morris, chief executive officer of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) said.

“Our work at GAPP through our partnership program to encourage brands to feature the name ‘Wild Alaska Pollock’ on front of package(s) and on menus has translated into both U.S. consumer demand for our fish from Alaska and a price premium for our domestic resource,” he remarked.

Each year, Lynden Air Cargo flies fresh fish from Naknek or Dillingham Sand Point and Cold Bay to Anchorage, from where Lynden Logistics arranges flights for air delivery across the globe.

The commercial fishing season for Lynden is an “all-hands-on-deck” event typically lasting from May through October.  Alaska Marine Lines’ first Western Alaska barge of the season left Seattle on May 5 carrying dozens of fishing boats destined for Dutch Harbor, Dillingham and Naknek.

Alaska Marine Lines transports frozen and canned fish from Naknek, Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, Cordova, Valdez, Dillingham, Sand Point, Southeast Alaska and False Pass, in addition to the fresh seafood transported by Lynden Air Cargo and Lynden Transport.

AML Seafood Sales Manager Tyler Maurer said the company moves an average of 10,000 containers of fish annually from Alaska to Seattle and Dutch Harbor. 

“Alaska Marine Lines moved about 5.5 million pounds of Pollock and Cod across the country from January to May (Season A) and is anticipating moving even more than that from June to October (Season B),” the company said in a statement.