Pacific Alaska Freightways, a trucking and intermodal operator with headquarters in Fife, Wash., acquired Seattle-based Southern Alaska Forwarding.
The acquisition gives PAF the opportunity to direct load more freight to Kodiak, an island community about 250 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.
“We’ve always provided service to Kodiak via SAF,” said Curtis Dorn, director of sales and marketing at PAF. The acquisition “cuts out a couple of extra steps.”
In the past, PAF would transfer Kodiak-bound freight to SAF in Anchorage. The buyout “allows us to bring (Kodiak-bound freight) into Tacoma, handle it once and serve (Kodiak) directly. It’s like another door for our cross-dock operation.”
The SAF Kodiak team will stay in place. “We know the SAF business model and we expect a seamless transition,” said PAF CEO Ed Fitzgerald.
PAF moves freight to Alaska via the Port of Tacoma and then onto consignees through terminals in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Soldotna and Kodiak. The company, once described as an “over-the-water trucking company,” uses a variety of modes to deliver freight, including truck, rail, barge and air cargo.
PAF also is looking East to secure freight long before it crosses the continental divide. Last year the carrier partnered with New England Motor Freight. The Elizabeth, N.J.-based regional less-than-truckload carrier hauls shipments from the Eastern Seaboard and Midwest to PAF’s terminal in Chicago.
PAF and SAF shared more than similar acronyms. PAF was founded by Rex Sears in 1961 and later owned by former president Joe Smith.
Their eldest sons, Ronald Sears and J. Alain Smith, founded SAF as a partnership in 1979. The younger Smith later left to run PAF, which he still owns.