Marine Transportation Services airlifting cargo to communities impacted by cancellation of barge deliveries

News Releases

Hay River — October 9, 2018

Due to impassible ice conditions in the Amundsen Gulf, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) Marine Transportation Services (MTS) has confirmed plans to airlift cargo to Paulatuk, Cambridge Bay and Kugluktuk. MTS acknowledges the concerns of the communities involved and has committed to deliver essential cargo to all affected communities, based on available air transport. The number one priority for MTS is to replenish petroleum supplies in Paulatuk so that the community has sufficient fuel for the entire winter. Once completed, we will prioritize cargo for essential versus non-essential and on a commodity-by-commodity basis

Cargo is currently being organized in Inuvik according to the shipping manifest. On a temporary basis, cargo will be held in a secure weather-protected MTS storage facility in Inuvik. Cargo requiring protection from freezing will be kept in temperature-controlled storage.

While flight logistics are still being developed, it is anticipated that cargo deliveries will begin in the next ten days. It is unclear at this time how many airlifts may be required to complete the task. The Government of the Northwest Territories has committed to ensuring that there will be no additional charges to residents of the affected communities for the costs of air freight.

MTS has also hired an additional staff person to handle customer concerns and questions at the MTS Customer Service Desk in Hay River. MTS thanks customers for their patience, as there has been a high volume of incoming calls.

Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.


“While ice conditions along the Arctic coast have created a difficult end-of-resupply-season for residents, we are committed to ensuring that our communities receive their necessary cargo. The GNWT is taking this situation very seriously and we are working with our partners to find logistical solutions to deliver the necessary items in a reasonable and timely manner.”

-Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure


Marine Transportation Services

For all media inquiries, contact:
Department of Infrastructure Communications
Phone: 867-767-9082 (extension 32025)
Twitter: @GNWT_INF

For Customer Service inquiries, contact:

Marine Transportation Services Customer Service
Phone Toll Free: 1-844-574-2023