According to the ADN article published Nov. 23, “Barge shipping price hike expected to raise Alaska consumer prices,” Alaskans will now absorb an extra 5% in shipping costs for freight arriving in Alaska by barge starting at the end of January 2021. This amounts to a “tax” on every Alaskan forced on us with no local oversight or control and a very dysfunctional appeal process.
As described in the article: “Alaska freight prices are overseen by the federal Surface Transportation Board without directly regulating how much shipping firms charge. The board only reviews the reasonableness of rates if consumers file formal complaints.” So how effective is a “formal complaint” filed by a single Alaskan, or even a few of them?
Once again in Alaska history, the shippers of freight to Alaska who hold a virtual monopoly “get the gold mine,” while the Alaska consumer “gets the shaft.”
— Lynn Willis
Have something on your mind? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to submit via any web browser. Letters under 200 words have the best chance of being published. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters. Letters are edited for accuracy, clarity and length.