A proposed marine shipping buyout of Northland Services by Lynden Inc. is one step closer to approval.
Though the two companies have third party competition elsewhere, Northland and Lynden subsidiary Alaska Marine Lines handle virtually all commercial marine shipping in Southeast. If they merged as-is, Lynden would have an illegal monopoly in Southeast, according to the Department of Law.
The department’s lawyers have filed a plan in court that would leave Southeast Alaska with two competing carriers, but their operations would be intertwined.
The plan requires AML to assist Sitka-based Samson Tug and Barge with an expansion into Southeast. The specifics are confidential, but Samson would buy assets from AML, lease space aboard AML barges, have a guaranteed barge charter from AML during peak shipping seasons, and have the option to rent AML terminal facilities and storage in Southeast and in Seattle.
The filing opened a comment period that ends Sept. 27. After that, a superior court judge in Anchorage must decide if the deal can go forward.