The Port of Skagway is the northernmost, ice-free, deep water port in North America. It serves as a year round transportation hub between Alaska, the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, Asia, and Europe.
Historically, Skagway has been the quickest route, both in and out of the Yukon. The Klondike Gold Rush put the valley on the map over a hundred years ago. The port also played a vital role during World War II, when U.S. Army troops were stationed in Skagway and the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway was used to help build the Alaska Highway and other strategic military endeavors.
Strategically located at the northern terminus of the Lynn Canal and at the start of the Klondike Highway, this inter-modal transshipment port provides a vital link between marine and highway transport into and out of the Yukon and Northwest Arctic regions via the Alaskan and Dempster Highways.
The port and highway offer the most cost effective shipping route both north and south, which provide a two day shipping advantage between the Yukon’s rich resource reserves and the Pacific Rim and south Asian markets. Other shipping opportunities include transshipment of fresh/chilled fish, seafood, and other value- added products to Europe via the Whitehorse International Airport.
Skagway’s development has evolved with the global economy by:
- maintaining its historic links to the Pacific Rim and the West Coast;
- exploring new routes to eastern and southern Asia; and
- adding new and exciting shipping opportunities to Europe.
Skagway’s summer tourism industry has also continued to grow, in particular the cruise ship sector. Skagway cruise ship visits continue to increase with each passing year: from 43,000 passengers in 1983 to upwards of 900,000 by the end of 2008. This remains Skagway’s economic engine, although it is expected that bulk ore shipments will continue. Skagway is also strategically placed to be a major port during the construction of the Alaska Gas Pipe Line, McKenzie Valley Gas Pipe Line, and the Alaska-Canada Rail Link.
Skagway’s facilities include three deep water docks, a pass-pass barge dock and storage yard, a floating dock shared by the City and the State’s ferry system and accommodates small cruise ships, ferries and other small commercial vessel,plus a small boat harbor capable of handling recreation and commercial vessels.
Skagway’s port has been developed to handle large sea going vessels and their ancillary needs. A skilled workforce and stevedoring crews are available to provide for all of a vessel’s needs. At present the port handles small and large cruise ships up to 1,000 feet, a large contingent of smaller commercial passenger vessels, and a flotilla of recreational vessels up to 120 feet.
WHITE PASS RAILROAD DOCK
The dock is 1,764 feet long and up to 100 feet wide with a total berthing length of 2000 feet. It holds two large cruise ships and has traditionally been used for containerized and general bulk freight. There is an 800 foot railroad spur onto the dock as well as 80,000 sq. feet (7,432 sq. meters) of uncovered storage space.
Primarily used for cruise vessels; it comprises of a single berth with a dock length of 650 feet and is capable of accommodating vessels up to 1000 feet. This dock has been used in the past to transship timber.
Traditionally used to ship base ore concentrates, berth bulk fuel barges, and cruise ships. The dock itself is 1600 feet and 1800 feet long with dolphins. The dock has a 64,000 pound (29,000 Kg) GVW vehicle ramp, 1,000 ton (907 metric tons) per hour loading spout, and dock side fuel headers.
AML BARGE DOCK & STORAGE
Barge service is provided on a weekly basis from Seattle departing Wednesday and arriving Monday night. The dock has 100 ton (90 metric tons) GVW pass-pass capabilities with two large forklifts of 30 and 45 ton lifting capacity. Storage is available at the dock – uncovered up to 100,000 sq. feet (9,300 sq. meters), and a small covered storage building of 2,000 sq. feet (185 sq. meters).
SKAGWAY ORE TERMINAL
The terminal has recently been rebuilt and refurbished to accommodate copper concentrate that has been shipped through Skagway since 2007. Currently there is 120,000 sq. feet (11,150 sq. meters) of open storage adjacent to the Ore Dock and is well suited for large bulk cargoes such as minerals, bulk dry goods, pipeline stock, heavy equipment, timber, and coal.
FERRY/CITY DOCK & STAGING AREA
Shared by state ferries, small cruise ships and other commercial vessels. The City side has a 2 ton harbor crane for loading and unloading freight and supplies. The dock and transfer bridge have 80 ton (72.5 metric tons) gross deck load capacity with a limited ro-ro barge capability.
The staging area is adjacent to the dock and is 120,000 square feet (11,150 square meters) of fenced uncovered storage. This area is suitable for containers, lumber, scrap metal, general cargo, pipeline stock, and winter boat and vehicle storage.
SMALL BOAT HARBOR
The harbor has 140 stalls for pleasure craft, fishing vessels, tugs, charter boats, fast ferries, and other commercial vessels. Water, power, pump-out facilities, and fuel are available. There is an 8 foot grid and a boat haul out trailer, launch ramp, a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot, telephones, restrooms, and showers.
Owned and operated by the State of Alaska the airport has a 3,550 foot runway, taxiway, a terminal building housing Wings of Alaska and Promech Air, runway lighting, a large apron, and areas sufficient for leasing and development.
PETRO MARINE BULK FUEL PLANT
This is a 4.6 million gallon petroleum product storage facility. A wide range of fuels such as aviation, automotive, heating, and marine diesels are available year round. The plant also carries a complete line of lubricants, additives, sorbents, and oil spill response products. This facility is the main distribution outlet for bulk fuels transferred to the Yukon Territory.