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Shipping bypasses planned and otherwise expected in winter season

As Kodiak enters the winter season, delays in shipping are becoming more commonplace. This string of recent container ship bypasses was particularly severe, combining unplanned bypasses due to weather with a planned bypass around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Michael Murray, store director of the Safeway in Kodiak, says more bypasses of that nature are coming.

“There will be two anticipated or planned complete Alaska bypasses right after Christmas, the week of New Year’s and then the week after,” Murray said. “We do this annually.”

According to him, Matson container ships come to Alaska twice a week. They originate in Tacoma, and arrive in Anchorage before coming to Kodiak on Mondays and Wednesdays.

“The bypasses are not fun,” Murray said. “We put a lot of work in to planning either ulterior modes of transportation including flying or the ferry when it’s available. And Matson works very, very diligently to alleviate any discomfort to our operation and probably others on the island that they can.”

Sometimes container ships bypass us for planned weeks, or if weather is severe. In those conditions they either come to Anchorage and sail back down to Tacoma without stopping in Kodiak, or skip Alaska altogether.