If you take salt and chunk it in the water, you get saltwater or "saltchuk" in Chinook Jargon, a language developed by traders in the Pacific Northwest. And if you take Saltchuk Resources, you get a company involved in trade over the water, air, and land. Through about 20 affiliates, Saltchuk Resources operates air cargo, marine transport, petroleum distribution, real estate development, and marine services businesses mostly in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. Among the company's vast holdings are Foss Maritime, which does business on the East and West Coasts, and Northern Air Cargo, one of Alaska's largest air cargo carriers. Formed in 1982, Saltchuk Resources was originally a marine transportation company.
Though the company's roots are in the Pacific Northwest, it has extensive holdings in Hawaii through subsidiary North Star Utilities Group's subsidiary E Mau. E Mau owns Maui Petroleum, a refined petroleum product distributor, Hawaii Petroleum, a similar distributor on the Big Island, and Minit Stop Stores, a convenience store chain. It expanded its Hawaiian base in 2008 by acquiring the cargo business of Aloha Airlines after the carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.