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Sea urchins to Kombucha, Brown Line carries cool freight

Posted on Fri, May 29, 2020

Brown Line employee loading a truckBrown Line's 'bread and butter' is the I-5 corridor from Washington to California. Four days a week drivers make the trip hauling fresh and frozen fish, chicken and other refrigerated products up and down the coast.

"We also haul some lesser-known types of freight, like sea urchin and Kombucha," explains Riley Rosvold, Brown Lines Sales Manager. The round, spiky creatures are harvested for the eggs inside, called roe, which is used in sushi. Brown Line is the only carrier in the Pacific Northwest trusted to carry the high-value, temperature-sensitive freight.

Divers bring the urchins to the surface during the winter months and they are delivered to Brown Line for transport to Oxnard and Los Angeles, CA. They are then processed and the roe is flown to Japan.

Sea urchin"We are diversifying our freight hauls," Riley says. "In the past, Brown Line has been reliant on the seafood industry, but now we are moving into more dairy and vegan products." Offering both truckload and LTL service throughout the U.S. and Western Canada, Brown Line provides companies with a variety of delivery options.

"Natural foods businesses are turning to us for reliable and safe delivery of yogurt-based drinks, vegan protein drinks and probiotics like Kombucha fermented tea." Every Thursday, Brown Line drivers pick up approximately 30,000 pounds of LTL freight from Yakult USA in Fountain Valley, CA and deliver to locations throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada, including grocery stores in Oregon and Washington.

"Our freight is extremely time-sensitive due to short shelf life and expiration dates, so we have to be vigilant about traffic, deadlines and equipment," Riley explains. "Many customers shipping fresh and chill products have sell-by dates which are less than a week after production. It is a testament to our driving teams and dispatchers that our customers trust us to deliver their products at the peak of freshness and quality – especially in the congested Los Angeles area. Routing our trucks efficiently and effectively is imperative."

Jon Morris credits Brown Line with the successful startup of his company Ocean Life Enterprises of Anacortes, WA last year. "Not once during the entire season did we fail to deliver on time," he says.

Last year Brown Line took delivery of 12 reefer trailers featuring the TransTex Edge TopKit Aerodynamic System which provide a 5.5 percent improvement in fuel mileage. In addition, 17 fuel-efficient Freightliner Cascadia Trucks were purchased that average 8 miles per gallon. The state-of-the-art equipment helps drivers get the job done, protects the fragile freight and gives customers confidence in the company. "We get feedback that our clean and modern equipment is one more reason customers place their trust in us," Riley says.

Tags: Unique freight, Brown Line

Lynden Transport delivers new classrooms to Kaktovik, AK

Posted on Wed, May 20, 2020

Modular building on truckLynden Transport Driver James Delowsky (right) hauled a modular building from Edmonton to Kaktovik, AK to serve as a classroom for students after the school burned down in February. Kaktovik is a Native Alaskan Village along the Arctic Coast of the Beaufort Sea with a population of 250. The school and gym were the heart and hub of the community, according to JD Lavender, Branch Operations Leader for Willscot, Lynden's customer.

"The nearest school is 150 miles away so we need to get these buildings delivered as soon as possible," he says. "I have been impressed with the Lynden team and the drivers' attention to safety." Lynden moved 12 modules from Edmonton and 13 from Wasilla to Deadhorse. From there, they were transported to the remote village by Rolligons outfitted with special tires designed for the sensitive tundra.

Tags: Trucking, Lynden Transport, Shipping to Alaska, Drivers

Everyday Hero profile: Karter Koelsch

Posted on Tue, May 19, 2020

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Karter Koelsch, Freight Operations Lead at Alaska Marine Trucking in Juneau, Alaska.

Everyday Hero Karter KoelschName: Karter Koelsch

Company: Alaska Marine Trucking

Title: Freight Operations Lead

On the job since: 1998

Superpower: Organization

Hometown: Juneau, AK

Favorite Movie: Serenity: Firefly

Bucket List Destination: Galapagos Islands

For Fun: Date nights, hiking with my kids, playing on league softball and volleyball teams

How did you start your career at Lynden?
My dad knew Don Reid when he was the Port Manager at Arrowhead Transfer. Don called my dad and told him they needed part-time summer help, so starting in 1992, I was a swamper for the summer and then spent Sundays during the winter unloading Lynden trailers with Brian Lopez.

After that I went to the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, earned my AA and then attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins. In 1996 I came back to Juneau and started working in the Alaska Marine Lines warehouse while I took classes.

I moved up to checker and then started driving box trucks and making deliveries. In 2001, after about 3 years of driving, they promoted me to the yard to load and unload barges, help customers and manage the daily work there.

What is a typical day like for you?
No day is typical. Our days depend on when the barges arrive. I'll check the barge schedules to see the estimated time of arrival. I wake up Sunday morning and look at the ETA. From Petersburg to Juneau is 12 hours so I have that much notice to get the yard set up for the barge – making sure the manpower is where it needs to be, setting it up so the trucks and customers can get in. We are the first ones in when the barges arrives and the last ones out, sending it on its way.

We also need to know what is coming up on the barge from Seattle. You want to get the barge in and out as quickly as possible so the crew doesn't miss a tide to get to the next port. We have containers that come off, but also flats of palletized freight that need to go into the warehouse for our warehouse crew to break down and deliver.

When the first northbound barge comes in, it takes six hours to get it unloaded and reloaded. Then it goes up to Haines, Skagway and Kensington. We have to clear the yard and set it back up with our southbound freight and empty containers we are sending back down to Seattle, making sure we leave enough room for the other ports. In between the barges arriving, we all head home for some sleep. It's not a 24-hour schedule but the hours can definitely vary depending on weather delays and other factors. Sunday to Wednesday is the busy time and Thursday and Friday are our recovery days where we prepare for the next week.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Weather. Wind is a big issue in Juneau. We have the Taku winds named after the Taku Inlet. We can sometimes get 100 mph gusts. It's tough to work in that kind of environment. We have to make sure everything is secure. One day we had to shut down which was the right call. We wear protective gear to protect us against rain and snow but it still gets pretty cold up here. Sometimes customers don't understand that we are dealing with weather and many other issues to get the barges up to Juneau. They have high delivery expectations and usually we meet those expectations, but we are also at the mercy of things out of our control. Right now we are the best friends of everyone in Southeast because we have continued to deliver toilet paper, masks and other essentials they need during the COVID crisis!

What are you most proud of in your career?
Every year our family goes to Hawaii and when I return to work some customers tell me they are glad I'm back. That always makes me feel good that I have regulars who like to deal with me. The most rewarding thing I have done is training some of our employees to operate a forklift or earn a Class A CDL. I really enjoy being a mentor.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I grew up in Juneau with my parents Ken and Marian and a younger sister Amber. My parents still live in Juneau and they have been helping us with online school and childcare during the COVID changes. My wife Deborah is a nurse and she is working from home so my parents have been taking our three kids and helping with classwork. Our three kids are Kaylee, 12, Fiona, 9 and Kendell, 5.

My dad taught high school English and American Government and also directed n musicals and the school newspaper. He was very popular with his students. You can't go anywhere in Juneau without someone knowing him. Three or four nights a week we would have kids at our house for extra help with schoolwork.

I grew up swimming and playing soccer, basketball and baseball. In high school I lettered and competed at state all four years in cross country, swimming, track, student government, and high school spring musicals. I also played competitive soccer in the summer leagues.

Both my parents grew up on farms in Michigan so we would go back and visit family there. When I was 4, my Dad did a teacher exchange in Australia. We stayed in Melbourne for a year. We all went back in 1987 to travel around and reconnect with people there. The U.S. had lost the American's Cup for the first time, so we went down and watched Dennis Connor get that back in Perth. We rented a van and went all over the country.

I live on Douglas Island so I cross a bridge to get to Juneau for work. Our house has 8-foot windows and a view. Those 8-foot windows really start to vibrate when we get the high winds.

What was your first job?
I mowed lawns for two neighbors. They each paid me in a six pack of coke and a case of beer for my Dad. That went on for a couple of summers until I rebelled. My first paying job was working in a tourist arts and craft gift shop called Annie Kaill in Juneau. I was the box boy. The coolest perk was the jelly beans. I was always eating them.

What would surprise most people about you?
I have visited almost 50 countries in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

I've had a bunch of sports injuries and broken bones, but once a doctor had to break a bone for me. I was skateboarding in Australia. I went down a hill too fast, bailed and landed on my wrist. The bone was bent, but not broken, so the docs numbed me up, held my arm and broke it for me. They had to make sure it would heal straight. That was in 7th grade.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I like gardening, landscaping and working with wood. I also play poker with a bunch of buddies. We play for money but the most I've ever won is $100. I also play league softball on a men's team and on a co-ed volleyball team.

What do you like best about your job?
The sense of accomplishment. Even though you are pretty worn out after, it's a good feeling to put all the pieces in the right place to receive a barge and then set others up to carry on after it leaves your port. We all pull together to deal with adversity, like plowing the yard out after a big snow, or an unexpected summer shuttle barge. I also enjoy our tie with Alaskan Brewery and the other breweries up here. We ship everything from bottles to kegs both northbound and southbound. This winter we supported a tram project in Hoonah through Channel Construction barges. It's always something new at Alaska Marine Trucking, and we are a key component in everyone else's success.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

New features added to Lynden's mobile app

Posted on Tue, May 12, 2020

Lynden's mobile appLynden's mobile app recently received updates, including expanded GPS map tracking and shipment detail. The app has also been updated for compatibility with iOS 13 and Android 10 and is available now in the App Store and Google Play store.

Improvements were based on customer feedback and include:

Date and time: “Received” and “Delivered” status updates now include dates and timestamps (when available) providing more detail than before.

GPS maps: In addition to written status updates, GPS maps are included with select active shipments. Most notable are shipments on Alaska Marine Lines’ barges which can now be tracked every mile of the journey. Maps are also offered for select truck shipments and show freight scanned into most Service Centers for all modes.

Equipment numbers: New in this release, the equipment number(s) for active shipments are displayed in the search results, throughout the shipment details pages, and on the available Excel export. This will be especially helpful to customers who ship multiple full container loads and need to quickly identify the shipment by equipment number.

Core features of the app include the ability to track shipments, receive status updates via email, and view and email documents like bills of lading and invoices. Visit www.lynden.com/mobile to learn more or download the app.

Tags: Lynden Mobile App, EZ Commerce

Lynden employees keep the freight moving

Posted on Fri, Apr 24, 2020

Lynden employeeLynden employees are stepping forward to meet the needs of customers, keeping the freight moving as Lynden companies have always done during difficult times. Lynden has maintained regular business operations since the COVID-19 situation arose in late February with no disruption to global shipments or supply chains.

"The safety of our people and serving our customers are our priorities during these challenging times. We've been keeping freight moving to Alaska since 1954, and we're not planning to stop now," says Chairman Jim Jansen. "Lynden companies provide critical cargo services throughout Alaska and beyond and we are committed to delivering essential supplies and services to our customers and communities."

Lynden barges, trucks and planes deliver cargo to all points in Alaska including providing a supply lifeline to much of the state whose only surface supply line is Lynden and its dedicated people. "Our customers need our support to keep their businesses operating during this time and we are also supporting state and federal agencies. Keeping delivery routes open and supplies moving is our main focus and goal," explains Lynden President Jon Burdick. "We have dealt with earthquakes, oil spills, floods and other obstacles. This situation is no different."

According to Alaska Marine Trucking President Scott Hicks, employees are demonstrating the Lynden can-do attitude each day. "I have been so proud of our teams in Alaska," he says. "They are a shining example of the personal commitment required to keep businesses open and the economy moving. I know Lynden employees are doing the same in all locations."

Safety is one of Lynden's core values and many protocols have been implemented to ensure employees are operating in a safe and secure manner throughout all Lynden areas. Lynden's safety teams maintain active communication with local and federal agencies and comply with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control.

"No transportation company in Alaska has a more essential and critical responsibility than we do," Jim says. "Without our service, many Alaskans would not have food and the other items essential to life. We can only meet their needs if our people are healthy, which is our No. 1 priority."

"As this situation unfolds, we are striving to offer a calm port in the storm by continuing to do our jobs as usual," Jon says. "Lynden has always responded in times of need and this is, unfortunately, one of those times. We are grateful for our dedicated employees who are dealing with additional challenges in their everyday work. They are the ones who allow us to serve our customers with minimal disruption."Lynden employee

Tags: Alaska Marine Trucking, Lynden employees, Trucking, Shipping in Alaska, Alaska, Shipping to Alaska

Everyday Hero profile: Matthew Malmkar

Posted on Mon, Apr 20, 2020

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Matthew Malmkar, Dispatcher at Brown Line in Mt. Vernon, Washington.

Everyday Hero Matthew MalmkarName: Matthew Malmkar

Company: Brown Line

Title: Dispatcher

On the job since: 2016

Superpower: Seeing the big picture

Hometown: Grant, Nebraska

Favorite Movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Bucket List Destination: The island of Madagascar

For Fun: Travel, following politics and finance, and playing poker at casinos

How did you start your career at Lynden?
After leaving the Navy in 2014, I earned my CDL and was looking for a new career. My brother Michael was a Brown Line driver for many years, and I started driving with him as a team in 2016. We drove together for four months and then a family medical situation required him to move back to Nebraska so he left the company. Together, we drove to Los Angeles, Houston and Alaska a few times for Brown Line. I kept driving locally and was then promoted to dispatch at the end of last year.

What is a typical day like for you?
I live 45 minutes away in Oak Harbor, WA, so I have a commute to work in Mount Vernon, but I don't mind because I am very proud of my waterfront property. My back yard is a state park with beautiful views of the water. I picked a job to be close to where I live.

My typical day varies. We are going through a big change to implement new software for our operating system so my hours are flexible these days. I often arrive about 10 a.m. and work until 8 p.m. I have sometimes needed to stay until 2 a.m. to take care of changes. It's a big hurdle for everyone here, so we are all pulling together.

What has been most challenging in your career?
In dispatch, we sometimes deal with urgent issues the minute we sit down to start the day. Dispatchers are often in the eye of the storm. It's always helpful to see things from the other person's perspective (driver or customer) and where they are coming from. It takes a whole team to do the work we do every day.

What is your military background?
I served in the United States Navy from 1993 to 2014. During that time I was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and flew off an aircraft carrier in S3B Vikings aircraft. I started in the military as an enlisted and retired as an officer. I earned my pilot's license while in the military.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I received the Driver of the Month and Driver of the Year Awards for Brown Line and am very proud of that. I also have been asked to train other employees, which is a privilege. Brown Line management promoted me from driver to dispatcher last year. It was, and still is, my plan to move up the ladder and into operations here.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I was born in a small town in Nebraska. I am the oldest of three. I have a younger brother and sister and my parents live with me in Oak Harbor. I'm single with a 23-year old daughter. She just finished college at Western Washington University in Bellingham and still lives there.

What was your first job?
I refueled planes at a dirt airstrip in Nebraska. I have always been interested in aviation.

What would surprise most people about you?
I am pretty good at poker and have made a lot of money playing in casinos. I just returned from a trip to New Zealand and Australia. In my 20-year military career I have flown over a lot of countries and was stationed in Japan for six months. One place I haven't visited is South America. I would love to see Argentina and Brazil.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I like to play games. I have played a lot of poker at casinos over the years and have made a profit the past two years from my games, but I don't play that much anymore.

One of my goals is to have a tranquil balance of life and work. There is always stress, but you have to know your limits and when you are running low on reserves and nearing burnout. If you are facing an obstacle, you have to keep the faith that you can make it up to and past the peak and over to the other side.

What do you like best about your job?
The challenge of trying to keep the loads and drivers going where they need to go. I have been a driver myself, so I think I make a pretty good dispatcher. My experience with the military helps, too. Organization and communication are key in my past role in the Navy and my new role in dispatch at Brown Line.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Brown Line carries fresh produce for community hunger program

Posted on Thu, Apr 09, 2020

Brown Line truckThe Harvest against Hunger program connects farmers with hunger relief efforts in communities across Washington state to reduce hunger and food waste. This past year, Brown Line provided much needed transportation services for the effort. "With our support, Harvest against Hunger provided over a million pounds of healthy produce to hungry individuals and families across Washington and beyond," says Brown Line President Bill Johansen. "Our team takes pride in helping those in need in our community."

Tags: Community Service, Brown Line

Lynden companies provide community support

Posted on Wed, Apr 01, 2020

Bristol Bay Angels basketball team with Don Hansen and Mike MorrisLynden's Cora Fong-CongelliereLynden companies showed their support to local organizations this winter in Alaska and California. Alaska Marine Lines Account Managers, Mike Morris (above, far left) and Don Hansen (above, far right), pose with the Bristol Bay Angels basketball teams at the Alaska Marine Lines Sockeye Classic in Naknek, AK. Alaska Marine Lines is the primary sponsor for the tournament, which rotates between Naknek and Dillingham each year.

Members of Lynden International's Los Angeles team gave back to the community at the Genesis Invitation Golf Tournament. Lynden team members, Cora Fong-Congelliere (right), Kelly Sayles and Stuart Nakayama served beverages at the tournament with all proceeds supporting Breast Cancer Angels. The Angels program provides financial and emotional assistance to breast cancer patients and families as they undergo treatment.

Tags: Lynden International, Community Service, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden employees

Statement on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Posted on Sun, Mar 29, 2020

The Lynden family of companies continue to maintain regular business operations. We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, and while a concern we take seriously, we have procedures and plans in place to mitigate the effects of a larger outbreak on our operations.

Safety is a core value of Lynden, and we have key personnel dedicated to ensuring we operate in a safe, secure, and environmentally responsible manner. We maintain active communication with local and federal agencies and closely monitor recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We are communicating with employees working in areas affected by COVID-19 and adjusting practices to ensure proper precautions are taken.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns about our services or contingency plans.

 

COVID-19 IG

Lynden HazMat experts conduct training in the most remote location yet

Posted on Wed, Mar 18, 2020

Lynden Training Center's Don WerhonigLynden Training Center's Tyler Bones and Don Werhonig traveled to Sainshand, Mongolia last year to teach HazMat Operations Training to 67 students representing National and Local Emergency Management Agencies (NEMA and LEMA), the Mongolian Railroad and military personnel. The training and exercises were coordinated by the U.S. Army Pacific as a way to coordinate interagency response, humanitarian assistance and improve the Mongolian first responder's ability to conduct response activities. Both Don and Tyler volunteered for the trip supported by Lynden.

"We were asked to be involved in this exercise and exchange because of our experience with transportation, hazardous materials response and training. The State of Alaska's sister country is Mongolia, which is why they reached out to Alaska participants," Tyler explains. The Mongolian Railroad connects Russia and China and hazardous freight is hauled through Mongolia daily. The local fire departments have very limited training on handling a hazardous materials incident, so Tyler and Don prepared them for a potential disaster involving a railroad incident that releases hazardous materials into a community.

The exercise and training was not only attended by U.S. and Mongolian personnel, there were also representatives from Japan, Australia, Kazakhstan and 20 other countries.

"For me, Mongolia drew several parallels to the way we live our lives here in Alaska. The people work hard, have a passion for emergency response, and take their jobs very seriously. I made long term friends while working there."

"They are protecting their communities with minimal equipment, old apparatus and huge hearts," Tyler says. "This training has reminded us that professional emergency responders exist throughout the world." Lynden Training Center is available to provide remote training worldwide, but this was the most remote location ever visited by the trainers.

Tags: Alaska West Express, Lynden Training Center, Hazardous Materials Training

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