New tariffs on commodities take effect at the Port of Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The cost of operating some businesses at the Port of Alaska is expected to increase following new tariffs on commodities that took effect with the onset of the new year.

The Anchorage Assembly unanimously approved the tariff increases Dec. 17, The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Tuesday.

The tariff hikes include charges on fuel that will increase 4 to 5 cents per year to reach 56.3 cents per barrel by 2029. The final tariff on cement will reach $5.72 per ton in 2029.

The tariff increases for fuels and cement are equal on a per-ton basis, port spokesman Jim Jager said.

The tariff increases are significantly greater than normal updates to account for inflation and port operational costs.

The tariffs are expected to help pay for the construction of a new $200 million petroleum and cement terminal. The project will be the first construction of new dock facilities at the port since 2010, when severe damage was discovered and the original port expansion project was halted.

About $300 million of public money was spent on the project.

Representatives from fuel and cement companies that use the port have consistently argued against immediate major tariff increases.

Those companies have insisted changes should not be made to tariff rates until a construction and funding plan is in place for an overall port modernization project, not just a new terminal.

The Associated Press