PCS to Alaska Quick Guide

Making a military move to Alaska 

When you’re an active member of the U.S. military, anticipating Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders is a way of life. Sometimes, those orders — like those to Alaska — take you outside the contiguous United States (OCONUS), which can make the process more challenging than moves within the Lower 48 States (CONUS).  

If you’re eligible for a Personally Procured Move (PPM), you might wonder about finding the right mover to help the process of relocating to the Frontier State go smoothly. That’s where U-Pack® comes in. We handle military moves often and put together this guide to help you with a stress-free PCS to Alaska. 

U.S. flag flying in Alaska during a PCS move.


PCS process for Alaska 

Completing a PCS move to Alaska has similar steps to a PCS move within the U.S. (CONUS) but with a few extra things to keep in mind. The main difference is the travel allowance, but you will need a passport if you’re driving through Canada on a PPM or stopping there during a ferry trip. 

The first step is to visit the local transportation office (TO) to confirm your orders. While there, you’ll learn if the military will handle your moving arrangements as they do for most OCONUS moves or if you qualify to choose a PPM (typically allowed for Alaska and Hawaii PCS orders). If you’re going with a government move, the TO will take care of all the arrangements. For a PPM, keep reading for more information. 

Planning a PPM to Alaska 

Many service members choose a PPM to earn extra money because the government reimburses for what the military would have spent on the move. You get to keep the difference if your actual cost is less than the allowance, and generally, self-service moves are cheaper than full-service ones. 

Confirm moving entitlements  

During your visit to the TO, confirm your orders, weight allowance and travel entitlements (lodging, per diem, mileage, pay advances, etc.). If you have dependents, you’ll need their entitlements as well. 

Choose a reputable Alaska military mover 

A PPM gives you control of the moving process. You get to choose the mover and the date, decide how to pack and load, and you can get your belongings faster. There are two options for a PPM to Alaska: a self-moving service like U-Pack or truck rental. 

By choosing U-Pack, you’ll handle the packing, loading and unloading. We’ll transport your things, deal with Customs and get the weight tickets you need for reimbursement (just let us know you need them when making your reservation!). Then you can focus on traveling with your family. Get a free U-Pack moving quote today! 

With a rental truck, you’ll have to pay extra for fuel, deal with passing through Customs and handle getting weight tickets. Since you’ll have to drive through Canada, you’ll have to find a company that allows one-way moves with truck returns in Alaska.  

Make personal travel arrangements 

To get to the Frontier State, you can fly, drive or travel by ferry from Washington State. If you’re driving to Alaska or making a ferry stop in Canada, all family members will need a U.S. passport. You can apply for a special issuance passport with no fees to travel through Canada. Just be sure to note that it’s not for leisure travel — only for executing orders or related travel. 

We recommend planning early, especially during the summer when tourism travel is high to get hotel reservations and airline or ferry tickets when needed.  

Learn more about the state and travel options with our Alaska moving guide

Ship a vehicle (if needed) 

Most orders for an OCONUS move will allow vehicle shipping. If you’re not planning to drive (or have multiple vehicles and want to ship one), we refer customers to Mr. Car Shipper® at 877-528-9627. 

You can include a motorcycle, dirt bike, or ATV in your U-Pack household goods shipment as long as you drain the fuel first. Refer to our Do Not Ship List for complete guidelines about what can be loaded into the moving equipment. 

Which Alaska military bases does U-Pack serve? 

U-Pack serves seven Air Force, Army and Coast Guard military bases.  

  • Eielson Air Force Base 
  • Elmendorf Air Force Base 
  • Fort Greely (Army) 
  • Fort Richardson (Army) 
  • Fort Wainwright (Army) 
  • Marine Safety Unit Valdez Coast Guard Base 
  • USCG Juneau (Coast Guard) 

We also provide service center unloading for ISC Kodiak Coast Guard Base through our partners at Lynden Trucking. 

Ready to plan your PPM to the Frontier State with U-Pack

If you have questions about making a military move to Alaska with U-Pack, leave a comment below or call us at 844-362-5303844-594-3077. Request a free, no-obligation quote online or call us to speak to a moving consultant. We’re happy to help, and thank you for your service!