June and Mike Curtis were working for a courier company that offered daily pick-up, delivery and ship-out services for a bank in Fairbanks.
The same day that courier company went out of business, the bank offered them a contract if they started their own company.
Mike said he found he liked driving around and meeting people. He had previously worked on the trans-Alaska oil pipeline and later retired from a power plant.
June, who was born in Fairbanks, had experience being self-employed from when she cleaned homes and offices.
“We enjoyed the interaction with people, so the simple courier business seemed to suit us as we both really liked what we were doing,” Mike wrote in an email.
They settled on the name JMC of Fairbanks. That was 2005. The company has since grown and currently employs four drivers who operate a 16-foot box truck, a one-ton cargo van and two smaller vans.
“We have sent freight and packages all over the state and to every corner of the U.S.,” Curtis wrote.
They deliver bank materials, title company paperwork, medicine, lab samples, dialysis samples, vaccines, eyeglasses, company payrolls and a variety of general freight from clothing, oil field equipment, media supplies, lab supplies, snowmachine parts and computer parts.
Rates are based on size and weight and vary, starting at $15.25 for in-town courier service. They serve Fairbanks, North Pole, Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base.
The company is deemed an essential service during the COVID-19 outbreak because they deliver drugs and lab samples and contract with the military bases, according to Curtis.
“Every time we deliver or pick something up, we wear gloves and use hand sanitizer,” he wrote.
The biggest impact to the courier service from the outbreak is no longer having to get a signature for freight or packages. Traffic at the airport has slowed dramatically. On Wednesday, there were no flights in or out of Fairbanks after 5:30 a.m., Curtis said.
He credits the growth of JMC of Fairbanks to word of mouth.
“We didn’t think about growing our business,” he wrote. “We never advertised but we were very fortunate, word of mouth got around about us, and we started to have companies contact us about our services. Before we knew it we needed more than just us to accomplish everything we were taking on.”
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.