Alaska Cargo and Cold Storage launch cold-chain facility at Anchorage Airport
Alaska Cargo and Cold Storage (ACCS) and the State of Alaska executed a 55-year lease agreement at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), marking a major milestone in the development of a more than 700,000-square-foot, climate-controlled warehouse facility. With 32.5 million cubic feet of capacity, the facility will provide ANC with a critical piece of infrastructure at the world’s sixth-busiest cargo airport.
“This project will improve shipping to and through Anchorage, create jobs, and show the world that Alaska is open for business,” said Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy. He added, “We’re excited about the potential this integral piece of the global cold chain has to make Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and Alaska a more attractive place for global companies to do business.”
ACCS is a joint venture of industrialist Chad Brownstein and McKinley Capital Management, LLC (McKinley Capital), which is led by Rob Gillam. Brownstein is the founder of Rocky Mountain Resources which has aggregated an industrial complex throughout the Mountain West. Gillam is the chief executive officer and chief investment officer at McKinley Capital.
Located on the Great Circle Route, ANC is within 9.5 hours of 90 per cent of key markets in Asia, Europe and North America. Illustrating this importance, during Covid-19 air travel disruptions, ANC was the busiest airport in the world on select days in 2020. Historically, a limited supply of warehouse and transfer facilities at ANC designates ANC’s air cargo support as “gas-and-go.” Brownstein and Gillam say the development of ACCS — located runway-adjacent and within a Foreign Trade Zone — will position ANC to be transformed into a key cold chain transfer hub for global air cargo carriers.
“We believe Alaska offers world-class development and investment opportunities,” said Gillam. He added, “ACCS is a clear instance. There are many industries that require cold storage. One example is Alaska seafood, one of Alaska’s biggest exports, and it’s shipped globally. For decades, almost no value-added or fresh production occurred in-state. ACCS will lead the way in changing that trend. Now, Alaska can capitalise on its valuable position as a hub between North America and Asia. We see this project as something with potential to increase air cargo traffic and spur local economic development. We’re confident ACCS will ultimately bring more dollars and jobs into Anchorage and across the state.”
“The addition of this facility with cold storage capabilities brings new opportunity for the global distribution tenants and customers already benefitting from the unique features of the Anchorage trade and tariff exemptions,” said Brownstein. “The facility will serve as the cold storage gateway between the Americas, Asia, and Europe, and further integrate Alaska into the global cold chain."
“Cargo carriers and their industry partners are recognizing the advantages of operating at ANC. ACCS’s new facility will strengthen our already powerful cargo network,” said airport director Jim Szczesniak. He added, “ANC offers daily, nonstop freighter service to more than 30 destinations and near daily service to an additional 20. This facility will allow perishables to be consolidated from North America and Latin America and then distributed to freighters bringing perishables closer to the consumer. Cutting the time from field or sea to the consumer will provide a better product.”
In September 2020, the US Department of Transportation awarded the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA), a $21 million BUILD grant to administer in support of the ACCS project.
“It’s incredible to be a part of this project that has the potential to improve Alaska’s position on the global supply chain,” said AEA executive director Curtis W. Thayer. He added, “Our partnership with the ACCS team enables AEA to deploy its expertise to assure that the best of cutting-edge technology will make the building a showpiece in energy-efficiency.”
The facility will be constructed in phases. The first phase will be roughly 190,000 square feet with plans to begin construction in the second half of 2021. When fully completed, the facility will offer cold and warm storage, quick cargo, and general warehousing options, logistics services, and auxiliary space for tenant offices.