One of the things that is so fascinating about a 2.5PL logistics company, and quite often equally as challenging, is that you never have the same day twice. Customers’ challenges become ImEx Cargo challenges, and we are equally invested in the successful outcome.

Liam Kirkpatrick contacted us in late March to discuss a complex challenge for transporting ice from Alaska to New Hampshire.

Why would anyone need to fly ice from Alaska?  Why not just drive to the local store and buy some?


A little background…

2.5pl logistics company

Liam Kirkpatrick is a senior at Dartmouth College in Hanover, MA, and will soon have undergraduate degrees in environmental engineering and earth science.  He is a part of the school’s ICE (Ice, Climate, and Environment) Lab group that uses ice to understand how and why Earth’s environment changes to more accurately predict how it will change in the future.  Teams of students, field technicians, and PhDs travel to various freezing cold locations on annual scientific expeditions to extract ice samples for their research.

Liam and a team of three others will be on a four-week expedition in Alaska to collect ice cores that will be shipped to New Hampshire during the summer in New England.

The details and planning required for such an expedition are extremely complicated.

Just to obtain the samples requires the team to fly to Kahiltna glacier, ski part of the way up Mount Denali to collect samples, take a helicopter to a 13,000 ft. elevation base on Mt. Hunter, and helicopter back to the glacier to fly out.

With the months of coordination, effort, and funding required to obtain the samples, Liam wanted to be certain that the samples would reach the lab in their frozen state.

As the most extensive air cargo-passenger airline with its reliable reputation, it was logical to include Alaska Airlines for the longest leg of the 2.5PL logistics operation.

Special permission is required for people or businesses to ship cargo on passenger plans and ImEx Cargo worked with Liam to navigate the authorization process of becoming a Known Shipper.

Glacier Logistics 2.5PL

The 200 pounds of ice cylinders will fly via helicopter from Mt. Hunter to the Kahiltna glacier where they take a ski plane to a car and spend the night in a grocery store freezer.  A shuttle will take the samples from the store to a freezer at the University of Alaska and then to the Anchorage Airport to hop on an Alaska Airlines flight.  Before the ice cores land at Logan Airport in Boston, they will spend some time in freezers, and finally, they will be driven via car to their final destination at the University of New Hampshire.

We were thrilled to be a part of Liam’s research project. It has been truly fascinating and one of the many reasons we are passionate about 2.5PL logistics.