Alaska Airport Is a Big Link for the Global Supply Chain

Alaska is sparsely populated with about 750,000 people. Still, the state’s largest city has emerged as a vital link along the global supply chain, and the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport takes full advantage of being within 10 hours by air to 90 percent of the industrialized world. The subarctic airport ranks fourth in the world for cargo and is a “natural place for refueling,” explains Alaskan journalist Will Swagel. “Some of the largest cargo planes have the range to fly non-stop from China to the US heartland without stopping. But more fuel means less cargo in their holds.” Air transport is on the rise – essential for the most sensitive, expensive or perishable goods – and represents about 1 percent of world trade by volume, 35 percent by value. Challenges for the airport include security, shifts in manufacturing centers and protectionist leanings that could put the brakes on cross-border trade. – YaleGlobal