GAC Group has established a base on the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole.
The company has formed an alliance with local specialists Pole Position Spitsbergen.
The partnership, GAC-Pole Position, ensures GAC has representation in the region enabling the company to meet a growing range of client needs, particularly those in the oil and gas sector where the search for new sources is continuing to progress further north.
The northerly location means that in addition to GAC’s usual range of shipping, port agency and logistics services, the company now offers some highly specialised services – including polar bear protection for vessels intending to berth outside of the island’s settlements.
Erland Ebbersten, GAC’s regional director said: “With GAC-Pole Position, our well-established portfolio of services in Hammerfest has been expanded to include North Pole logistics support for clients travelling there, whether it’s by helicopter, on skis or with a team of huskies.
“Arctic tourism logistics involve shipments of snowmobiles, tented camps, extreme weather clothing and equipment arriving by air and sea. As a partner in GAC-Pole Position, GAC’s services now even include provision of expedition guides and field chefs.”
At 89 degrees north, there is an ice-drifting platform for transfers, provisions and terminal services. GAC-Pole Position also handles services on all flights in and out of the archipelago, thanks to a contract with the Norwegian Airport Authority, Avinor.
Pole Position Spitsbergen was established in 2005. As well as field and cargo logistics services, the company handles more than 150 ship calls each year from its centrally located office at the Port of Longyear. Pole Position Spitsbergen operates 24/7, throughout the year.
Longyearbyen is a unique logistics base with daily commercial international flights, daily cargo flights and weekly cargo ship arrivals. As Spitsbergen is a customs and immigration free zone, it is an attractive port for crew change and provisioning for the shipping industry.