By PJ Cranmer :: May 23, 2018
The State of Alaska is unique in size, scenery, wildlife and way of life. It’s still considered today the “The Last Frontier”. The United States purchased this land from Russia on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million. Considered today as the biggest steal of our country’s life time due of the abundant natural resources, seafood, oil and gas, Alaska by herself is about 1/3 the size of the rest of the lower 48 states.
Alaska has a relatively small number of roads and highways compared to its land mass. In fact, more than 70 percent of the state is not accessible by road. Most of Alaska remains remote and is only accessible by airplane. This has resulted in Alaska having six times the number of pilots per capita than any other state.
The United States Parcel Service has been delivering parcel post mail throughout the U.S.A since November 7, 1776. Early in the 1980’s Alaska had a problem with food prices in the remote areas that were 5 times the prices in all other US cities. A gallon of milk could cost $10, soda $25 per 12 pack and a loaf of bread $5. Alaska senator Ted Stevens pitched a plan to have the U.S. Postal Service subsidize the cost of freight for groceries and household goods to the Alaskan Bush Cities. The U.S. Postal stepped up and allowed perishables products to be shipped parcel post at postage rates while paying the air carriers twice the amount of cost.
Imagine a pallet of milk, bread, meat, and canned goods stacked up, shrunk wrapped and postage attached and shipped for $0.40/lb. when the Post office pays the carriers $0.60/lb. It’s subsided but the people living out the remote villages can’t afford to pay more. These are often subsistence sustaining villages living off the wild game they can secure and their by-pass mail commodities.
Commodity Forwarders, Inc., has been doing bypass mail since 2003 and are a vital link for affordable groceries and household products to the Alaskan Wilderness.