The Port of Anchorage - page 3

Business View Magazine
years later, when a four-minute-thirty-eight second trem-
or shook the earth, and the Great Alaska Quake began
inflicting widespread damage throughout south-central
Alaska and beyond.
Ribuffo continues the story: “It decimated the docks in
Seward, and in Whittier, and in Valdez, and rendered
them useless, because they’re all right there in the Gulf
of Alaska and in Prince William Sound, and they were
all susceptible to the tsunamis which wreaked all kinds
of havoc as a consequence of the earthquake. The only
dock in south-central Alaska that remained standing was
the one in Anchorage. So, starting shortly thereafter, as
part of the reconstruction efforts, the big container ships
and cargo ships that used to go into Seward, began to
come into Anchorage, instead.”
And so, a terrible accident that no one could have pre-
dicted, and certainly no one would have wanted, was
the spark plug that ignited the economy of the last port
standing and the city whose name it bears. “After that,
it became the natural place to go,” Ribuffo relates. “And
as Anchorage became the center for commerce, any-
way – it’s the nexus for the Alaska Railroad; it’s where
all the freight-forwarding companies have established
their presence - it just seemed to make the best business
sense for Anchorage to be the hub for the better part of
all the water-borne freight that enters into south-central
Alaska, as well.”
Soon, the POA became home to two major ocean carriers
– Horizon Lines, Inc., and Totem Ocean Trailer Express
(TOTE). “At the time it was SeaLand, which morphed into
Horizon Lines, which is now Matson,” says Ribuffo. “They
were the first. Our relationship with them began in the
mid ‘60s, and it’s been a business relationship we’ve
held, ever since. In the mid-‘70s, TOTE was added, and
throughout that time the port grew, the dock grew, the
large gantry-container-handling cranes were added, and
TOTE, which has a roll on/roll off vessel configuration,
added facilities with big ramps so that they could off-load
and on-load their container ships by driving the contain-
ers on and off. And that’s how we grew from what was a
The Port of Anchorage
South-Central Alaska’s main maritime sea-
Anchorage, Alaska
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