By Heidi Zemach for SCN –
Whether you want a bulk order of food delivered from Costco, or you need your automobile delivered to a repair shop in Anchorage, there’s another service in town offering same day delivery and competitive prices.
“I think in the next five years we’ll see an economic boom that we haven’t seen in a long time,” said longtime Seward truck driver Dale Hoogland, pointing to several encouraging economic factors for businesses like his, including the upcoming industrial expansion at Seward Marine Industrial Center, the purchase of the Seward Shipyard lease by Vigor Industries, and Alaska Railroad expansion.
Hoogland and his wife and company business manager Justyne are hoping to fill a niche in the busy local transportation market by offering flexible daily truck deliveries between Seward and Anchorage. The Forest-Acre couple have owned the mom and pop freight and shipping business, Portage Transport, Inc., for the past 17 years. They recently added a new 23’by 9’ Mercedes Sprinter cargo van that can haul a flat bed with cars or construction equipment behind it to their growing fleet of trucks, which include vans and semi-trucks with refrigerated vans. Dale, and his son Travis make the journey to and from Anchorage daily.
“We see ourselves filling a niche for the Seward businesses with parcels pickups and delivery on a daily business. It will take some time to get used to having another option in town, but we plan to grow our customer base by providing a superior service at a competitive price, with a flexible schedule to meet the needs of our customers,” said Justyne Hoogland.
If a package needs to be picked up later in the day, or at any time, they can arrange it, with the help of other drivers on the road with whom they contract, she said. Generally, they begin their North-bound route at 8:00 or 9:00 a.m., and return with evening deliveries in Seward starting at around 7:30 p.m.
Dale is the son of Joanne and Jack Hoogland, of City Express. He has worked in the trucking industry with the family’s trucking company since age 14, first driving a truck at age 16 in the early days there were no CDL’s required. He has accumulated over 1,500,000 miles behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler to date, according to Justyne.
At first their primary market was hauling freight of all kinds up and down the Alaskan-Canadian Highway, travelling as far as New York for loads. They also contracted with other independently-owned freight hauling trucks and eventually evolved into a logistics specialist. They broker fish, and might truck fresh-caught wild Alaska halibut, salmon or cod from Icicle Seafood’s or Polar Seafoods processor in Seward north to markets in Anchorage and beyond. Incoming trucks from Anchorage might bring groceries to the local supermarkets, or even household goods for a family moving to town.
“Whatever our customer’s transportation needs, we can make it happen,” Hoogland said.