Bowhead Transport returns with service to the Arctic

Bowhead Transport’s Unalaq barge passes near Kaktovik, Alaska with a polar bear on the shoreline.

Bowhead Transport is a familiar name to residents of the North Slope. The company first offered cargo transport services in 1984, and many a car or refrigerator has made its way north on the decks of its reliable barges.

Bowhead paused service to the Arctic in 2019, but is returning this year, with celebratory special rates for North Slope residents.

“We are coming home!” said Chris Palle, Bowhead’s director of strategic planning and business development. “The last few years we’ve been building a more expansive, diversified market through the state. During that time, we made improvements that help us keep our daily transport costs lower, with a long-term plan to keep customer rates lower than our competitors.”

Bowhead Transport will deliver its first full load of containers to Prudhoe Bay in August. Its second full barge delivers cargo to Pt. Hope, Utqiaġvik and Kaktovik in early September. “We can’t wait until the day we round the corner of Cape Lisburne,” Palle said. “Northbound, we transit past the walrus off Point Lay, spot Bowhead whales near the shores of Utqiaġvik, and marvel at the Kaktovik polar bear. History in the Arctic seas runs deep and we’re proud to be part of that story.”

“At Bowhead, we always say, ‘We are of the sea.’ As a subsidiary of Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corporation, our home waters truly are in the Arctic. This is a long-anticipated homecoming.”

Bowhead Transport is offering special backhaul rates from Prudhoe Bay to each Arctic community, Residents should reach out soon if they want to get on the schedule.

Call (800) 347-0049 or email for backhaul rate inquiries.

Barge on water loaded with cargo including heavy equipment. Snow capped mountains in background.
Bowhead Transport’s Spruce Barge receiving cargo in Adak, Alaska.