Much of Western Alaska relies on the yearly supply of goods that spring barges bring in after a long winter. One of the region’s main barge companies, Northland Services, has recently been bought by the worldwide transportation company, Lynden. But as KYUK’s Sophie Evan reports, the companies say not much will change from the merger.
Northland President and CEO, Larry Stauffer, explains why Northland was sold, “an equity investor needs to turn its investments on occasion and that’s simply what’s happening,” says Stauffer.
Lynden’s ad states that it provides solutions to transportation and logistic challenges by shipping via air, land, or sea. One of its 16 subsidiaries is the barge company Alaska Marine Lines. President Kevin Anderson, sees the Lynden purchase as a new prospect for the company.
“the opportunity to open up new markets, we don’t have any scheduled service into your area, and Northland obviously has summer service into Bethel,” says Anderson.
Northland President Larry Stauffer says shipping rates will not change and business will continue as usual.
“this new purchase will have no affect on how we’ve done things in the past or how we’ll be doing them in the future,” says Stauffer.
Anderson says Northland will keep its name and management team. Northland’s first barge of the season is already heading to Bethel even though the Kuskokwim River ice is still solid. Stauffer says it left Seattle on Friday, May 3rd.
“we’re hoping for a good season and we’re on the edge of the ice trying to find our way to Bethel right now, so it won’t be long before we’re in town,” said Stauffer.