Lynden continued its tradition of donating transportation of food and supplies for the 2018 Yukon Quest 1,000-mile sled dog race this winter by participating in the annual Fairbanks Food Drop event in January. Alaska West Express Drivers Brian Ambrose and James Elliott picked up freight in Whitehorse to support the mushers and their dog teams. Lynden Transport is also an event sponsor. Canadian Lynden Transport Dispatcher Deanna Benson received a call from race organizer Alex Olesen one day. "He said his uncle was curious about how things were going with the shipment," Deanna says. "The uncle turned out to be Lynden retiree Steven Reilly. What a small world!" Image from the Yukon Quest video. View the video and the food drop process at https://youtu.be/t5ijcCWoTvk?t=45.
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Lynden Transport Account Manager Dennis Flajole (right) and Brown Line Sales Manager Steve McQueary spoke to students at the University of Washington in December as part of an annual transportation seminar hosted by the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation. It was Dennis' third year as a speaker at the seminar which Lynden customer Darigold sponsors each year. "The presentation was an excellent overview of the diversity of your organization and how important transportation is to both state and regional economies," writes Deborah Moore, Program Director for the foundation. "After the presentation the students had questions about issues we're facing in the industry," Dennis says, "but they were more impressed with the services we provide and the amazing places we provide them. Every year I have students express interest in working for Lynden. This year two people asked me for contact information and said they wanted to work for us in Alaska."
Knik Construction's Pete Kaiser won his fourth consecutive Kuskokwim 300 title Jan. 21 in Bethel, AK. Joar Leifseth Ulsom arrived in second place with Jeff King following in third. With the victory, Pete did what no other musher has done in 39 years. While Jeff King has won three straight races on two occasions, Pete's four straight Kuskokwim victories earn him a spot in the history books. He also eclipses Mitch Seavey on the career victories list, trailing only Jeff King.
This year's race took a new route. Teams faced rough ice over winding tundra trails, frozen creeks and wide open lakes. According to Pete, it was a struggle to get traction on the 140-mile route.
"When it's icy, the dogs have to focus so much more on each step," he says. "It's mentally taxing and entirely different from a snow-covered trail where they can zone out and move along at an easy clip. Overall it was a challenging race for them and for me."
Pete and his team are sponsored by Knik Construction and Bering Marine Corporation each year. For the first time in six years, Pete trained in Bethel. The region finally received enough snow to support the demanding regimen Pete and his dogs go through each year to prepare for the Kuskokwim race and the annual Iditarod. It's also where Pete lives and works.
"We live out here and train out here, so we're a little more comfortable than most with the Kusko, but it was still one of the toughest, if not the toughest, races I've ever done," he says.
Pete is now focused on preparing for the Iditarod which begins March 3 in Anchorage.
LTI, Inc.'s Sunnyside Wash Bay Crew received a prestigious certification from the Juice Products Association (JPA) for the cleanliness of the tankers Lynden uses for carrying food-grade products. The LTI, Inc. Sunnyside location is now one of only five wash facilities in Washington state to be certified by the JPA and one of only 39 in the U.S. The JPA is a national trade association with manufacturers representing more than 80 percent of U.S. juice producers. The Lynden team put in many hours of hard work to earn the designation.
"We face intense regulatory scrutiny in the way we clean and sterilize our special commodities tanks," says Jeff Harris, Sunnyside Operations Supervisor. "The JPA certification is the gold star of tanker cleanliness. Many companies will only allow their product to be hauled in tankers that have been washed at a JPA-certified facility. We can now proudly say that we are one of those facilities."
From January through November last year, the LTI, Inc. wash bay crew cleaned and sanitized 8,317 tanks in its wash bay plus 1,210 milk tankers. LTI, Inc. is required to carry paperwork for the last three loads each tanker has hauled which dictates the type of wash it receives: a rinse, a detergent rinse or a kosher wash that calls for temperatures up to 203 degrees for sterilization.
Each product a tanker hauls requires a specific type of wash. There is a lot to know, Jeff explains, and with trucks on the road around the clock, washing takes place at all hours. Harvest time is especially hectic for the team when almost all of the company's tankers are in use.
Jeff, along with HSSE Director Anthony Knapp and the wash bay crew, spent four months working on the certification process and producing an 18-chapter manual. The Sunnyside wash bay also had to be prepared for the audit which took many weeks of coordination and physical labor.
Jeff and Anthony consider the wash bay crew unsung heroes for the hard work they do every day. "I couldn't be prouder of Jeff and this team," Anthony says. "They are a multi-talented group of individuals with an outstanding work ethic and keep our equipment spotlessly clean to protect our customers and the public."
Tags: LTI Inc.
Lynden Air Cargo received the Governor’s North Star Award for its long history of assisting in humanitarian relief and environmental disasters worldwide. The 2017 North Star Awards were announced this week by Gov. Bill Walker in Juneau. Lynden Air Cargo was recognized in the Transportation and Humanitarian Exchange categories and was one of only four companies to receive the honor. For more than 30 years, the Governor's North Star Awards for International Excellence have recognized Alaskan companies and organizations engaged in successful international business and activities.
“We are honored to receive this prestigious award which we share with our employees and the Lynden family of companies,” said Rick Zerkel, Lynden Air Cargo President. “All of our employees – in the air and on the ground – pride themselves on providing safe and reliable service while opening new international markets and opportunities to Alaska. We are also proud of our service in assisting victims of natural disasters and our environmental cleanup response. Wherever Lynden Air Cargo flies, it proudly represents Lynden, but also its home state of Alaska.”
Lynden pioneered service to Alaska in 1954 and today serves customers in every sector of the Alaska economy, including energy, mining, seafood, retail, military and government. Lynden Air Cargo’s fleet of L-382 Hercules aircraft transport everything from groceries to cars within Alaska through weekly scheduled flights and oversized cargo worldwide through charter flights. Its Hercules aircraft have responded to fires, earthquakes in Haiti, supported a peacekeeping mission in the African Congo and, most recently, mobilized relief flights to help those affected by Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria in the Caribbean. Flight crews worked in situations where there was little information about airport conditions and contaminated fuel supplies.
“Since 1986, these awards have honored Alaskan companies that engage in successful international business and activities, and this year’s honorees should be proud of the role they play in connecting our state to the rest of the world,” said Governor Walker. “This diverse group of organizations is emblematic of the spirit of the North Star Awards.”
The 2017 North Star honorees include:
• Chena Hot Springs Resort (Tourism)
• Hecla Greens Creek Mine (Trade, Export of Goods)
• Lynden Air Cargo (Transportation, Humanitarian Exchange)
• U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Alaska (Trade, Import of Goods and People)
Lynden is starting off the new year by offering customers improved online shipping tools. Beginning this month Lynden will introduce Shipment Updates, a new feature that makes it easier for customers to keep track of shipments throughout the shipping process – from receipt by Lynden to delivery.
Customers may choose to receive email updates for all of their shipments or only for the individual shipments they specifically request. The real-time shipment updates are the latest in a suite of online enhancements under development to make it quicker and easier for customers to interact with Lynden. The new feature is available to Lynden customers and can be accessed through either Standard Tracking or EZ Commerce. Customers will be able to include any email party (such as suppliers or their own customers) on the update messages so everyone can see when a shipment is received, enroute and when it is delivered. For more information on how to start using Shipment Updates, please visit www.lynden.com/updates.
Users of Lynden's EZ Commerce tracking will also see new features in 2018. Applicable shipments will display additional information, providing detail down to the individual pieces of freight on a shipment, including the equipment identification number and type of equipment it is located in. This information will help customers better manage their freight and inventory and will be especially useful for projects or more complex moves. The freight-level detail feature will show automatically in the coming weeks whenever a customer tracks shipments within EZ Commerce.
Delivery receipts are also getting a refresh to better fit customer needs and create a standard look across Lynden companies. The format will be more efficient and easier to read and understand. The new receipts will be rolled out gradually to customers and will include options such as the ability to have multiple shipments on one delivery document, or deliver partial shipments.
"Our goal is to provide Lynden customers with a set of best-in-class self-serve tools, giving them ultimate control and visibility of their shipments," explains Ann Suver, Vice President, Information Technology. "We are proud to offer these new features for our customers."
"When we ask customers for feedback, we often hear that they want more control over their shipments and transparency into the freight movement," says Director of Marketing & Media Ryan Dixon. "Lynden has done a great job of responding to our customers by developing a new self-serve style of tracking, more information about the freight they are shipping and giving them more choice with receipt documentation."
Phil Maxson recently returned from the EBOVAC-Salone Labs at Kambia District Hospital in West Africa. That's where Lynden's customer, Clinical RM, is working on a clinical trial of Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone. Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species.
Lynden International has been assisting government and non-government organizations with transportation and logistics in West Africa since the Ebola crisis in 2014. "This particular project involves Lynden transporting human blood samples from the clinical trial to the U.S. and Europe for testing," explains Phil, Lynden International's Director of International Operations.
Due to the difficulty in keeping the samples frozen and stable during the long transport back to the U.S., Lynden is using Liquid Nitrogen Dry (LN2) shipping containers to maintain a temperature of minus 150C for up to 10 days. The containers are more commonly known as 'dewars.'
"Each LN2 Shipper can accommodate up to 405 2ml vials, and is equipped with a GPS-temperature sensor so at any time, (except when on an aircraft in the air), we can monitor the temperature and see exactly where the unit is anywhere in the world," Phil says. "First we ship the charged, but empty containers into Sierra Leone and then deliver them to the laboratory which is about three and a half hours from Freetown, Sierra Leon's capital city."
Once the lab has loaded all the samples into the special canister containers (see photo at right), Lynden handles the shipping of the units to various labs located in the U.S. and Europe.
Lynden International handles the transportation of over 400 shipments per year into and out of Africa for various organizations; many of these are temperature-controlled products requiring specialized handling.
Students on the Kenai Peninsula are riding in style thanks to new Apple Bus Company buses delivered via Alaska Marine Lines. "We moved 88 buses from Seattle last Spring," explains Matt Jolly, Alaska Marine Lines Central Account Manager.
Apple Bus Company is a pupil transportation provider based in Missouri. Apple's 10-year contract with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is expected to save the school district around $1 million over the next decade compared to the previous contract with another vendor. The buses also feature improved heaters and safety signage.
The first batch of 10 buses were driven to Seattle and loaded at the Alaska Marine Lines Seattle terminal for the voyage to Whittier. School district drivers picked them up from there and drove to the bus barn in Soldotna. "We secured the buses on flats and put them up in the racks on the railbarge or loaded directly in the key if space was available," Matt explains.
Alaska Marine Lines also moved over 180 school buses the previous year for the Anchorage School District. "We are happy to support Alaska schools and students by moving the buses where they need to go," Matt says. "Wanema Arndt of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District even went to Whittier and watched our crew work one of the inbound barges."
Matt commended the operations crews in Seattle and Whittier for making exceptions for the bus deliveries. "Customers don't typically pick up freight in Whittier," he says. "We're not set up with customer service people there. It's a handful of operators and a mechanic essentially. It took a concerted effort to communicate between the Seattle terminal and Whittier pro numbers for each voyage so appropriate paperwork was on hand to properly deliver the buses. A big shout out to all of the operations people who made this happen."
At Lynden, special handling can mean many things. In this case it involved a personal escort with special military clearance to accompany a shipment from Fort Dix, NJ to Moldova, a small land-locked country in Eastern Europe. "This particular project was a perfect fit for us," explains Daniel Gotham, Lynden International's Director of Business Development for Western Russia/CIS. "The customer, DCMA Hartford Defense Contracts Management Agency, is part of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) shipping platform. Lynden Air Cargo is a CRAF carrier and Lynden International is Lynden Air Cargo's exclusive forwarding partner for all CRAF shipments through U.S. Transportation Command.
Lynden International QHSE Manager Gregg Bergstrom accompanied six pallets of cargo to Moldova for DCMA. "Our experience in shipping to U.S. military locations and points worldwide came into play for this project," Daniel says. Gregg learned about the project on a Thursday and needed to leave on Monday due to previous delays with paperwork and the original contracted escort.
"My first response was 'I've never heard of Moldova' followed by 'what can I do to help?'" he says. Gregg escorted the freight from Fort Dix to JFK Airport by truck then to Vienna by air. From Vienna, it was back to truck transport through Romania to the final destination in Moldova. "It was my first time escorting cargo. It was an interesting experience, and I'm glad I could help," he says.
Alaska Marine Lines was honored as a 2017 Philanthropic Business of the Year by the Juneau Community Foundation this fall. Alaska Marine Lines has donated shipping services and financial assistance to Juneau charities for many years. The award was presented to Alaska Marine Lines President Kevin Anderson at the annual awards dinner in recognition for transportation services donated to the Juneau Housing First Collaborative project in Lemon Creek. The project is a 32-unit apartment facility for some of Juneau's most vulnerable residents. The building is monitored by social services staff that support the residents with behavioral health services, medical services, food, laundry, and a small library/learning center. "Alaska Marine Lines is grateful to the community of Juneau and the JCF. We are proud to continue our long history of providing essential transportation services to the region, and we are humbled by the award and recognition," Kevin says.