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LTI, Inc. delivers container homes for Impossible Roads Foundation

Posted on Thu, Dec 12, 2019

LTI, Inc. truckLTI, Inc. drivers delivered 13 containers from Seattle to Ferndale, WA last month to assist the nonprofit Impossible Roads Foundation with a special Veterans Day project. The containers are retrofitted as homes for disabled veterans and will be distributed in the Whatcom County area.

"You guys truly are lifesavers," writes John Hope of the Impossible Roads Foundation. "We do not know how we could build and provide these tiny homes to veterans without the kindness and generosity of you delivering them to us."

Matson donated the 40-foot high-cube containers and LTI, Inc. contributed transportation to support the project. The containers are built specifically for the veterans' needs with ADA access. "We dubbed every tiny home we create 'The Impossible Tiny Home' because it is a small miracle that all of the materials, insight, design, labor, and personnel came together to build them," John says.

Tags: Community Service, LTI Inc.

Brown Line earns third EPA Award and Skagit County recognition

Posted on Mon, Dec 09, 2019

Brown Line truckInvestment in cutting-edge equipment and the skill of its driving teams has earned Brown Line a third consecutive SmartWay High Performer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency. For the past three years, Brown Line has been included in the minority – only 2 percent – of SmartWay carriers to receive this honor for all scoring metrics.

"Our team is very proud to receive this award for the third consecutive year," says Brown Line President Bill Johansen. "We continue to work hard to ensure we reduce carbon emissions by reducing idle time, sudden starts and stops and by using a new system called SmartDrive. This system allows our team to work together to improve driver safety and driving habits while reducing carbon emissions."

This year, Brown Line added 14 new fuel-efficient trucks to its fleet. Now 90 percent of its equipment is under five years old. New trailers arrived last month with electrical plug-ins allowing the refrigeration unit to turn off its generator to save on fuel and emissions. They will be tested with a new aerodynamic system in place of trailer tails that is designed to reduce the low pressure drag behind the trailer. The new system is expected to increase fuel economy and durability while reducing weight.

Brown Line also upgraded its refrigeration units with StarTrak, a system capable of sending alerts to dispatchers, drivers or shop personnel if any refrigeration unit is not maintaining the temperature set point. The temperature can also be adjusted remotely while a unit is enroute.

In the past five years, Brown Line has improved its fuel economy by nearly 40 percent and, in the past seven years, it has reduced its nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile by 44 percent and 62 percent respectively.

Brown Line was also voted Best Trucking and Logistics Company in the annual "Skagit's Best" contest. More than 41,000 people voted online to honor Skagit County's best businesses.

Tags: Fuel efficiency, Green Lynden, environmental, SmartWay certification, Trucking, Green Initiative, Brown Line

Lynden International charters support military facility upgrade

Posted on Thu, Dec 05, 2019

Oversize moduleLynden International wrapped up a project this fall assisting one of the largest U.S. government contractors as they upgrade naval base facilities worldwide. Starting in January, Lynden's Seattle and Miami teams started moving 11 oversized modules from Pennsylvania to Florida for barge transport to locations in the Caribbean.

"The huge loads required permits and night travel to minimize impact," says Senior Account Executive Eric Klunder. "They also required top secret escorts for barge travel and other special procedures due to military protocol." Eric relied on sister company Alaska West Express and Sales Manager Jim Earl to review the project specifications. Jim and his team are considered the experts in heavy haul and military assignments.

Lynden also arranged air charters to deliver a variety of construction materials to naval base sites. "We set up five charters from Miami using a Saab 340-A prop plane and four charters using 737s for heavier items," Eric says.

Lynden teamInternational Operations Agent Michael Redmond and District Manager Sulaisa Rejo (above) received the freight, consolidated it onto pallets and transferred it to the Miami airport for transport. The shipments contained lumber, concrete, caulking, epoxies and other chemicals that required dangerous goods paperwork and 'safety data sheets' for air clearance. Some of the materials required repacking and screening. All dangerous goods declarations were filed for the airlines and the flights were ready for takeoff.

The last 737 charter included something a little extra from Lynden's Seattle team. "Over the many months we worked with these customers, we heard that they had few creature comforts at their remote work site," says Kristina Jordan, District Operations Manager in Seattle. "We thought it would be nice to send them a little treat, so we had Sulaisa buy several boxes of Dunkin' Donuts for them."

Tags: Lynden International, Alaska West Express, Oversize shipping

Everyday Hero profile: David Burgess

Posted on Wed, Nov 20, 2019

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 David Burgess, Driver at LTI, Inc. in Lynden, WA.

Name: David BurgessEveryday Hero David Burgess

Company: LTI, Inc./Milky Way

Title: Driver

On the job since: 1974

Superpower: A driving force for 41 years

Hometown: Bellingham, WA

Favorite Movie: Chinatown

Bucket List Destination: Europe by train

For Fun: Skiing, hiking, watching Seahawks football

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I started washing trucks at age 17 in Lynden, WA. Some of them had come back from Alaska and they were caked with mud, especially underneath. We had to blast that stuff off with a high-pressure hose. Then we advanced to a wash rack for the trucks to drive through. I drove trucks around the yard and up to the Canadian border here and there. Back in those days, in the 1970s, I received a waiver from LTI, Inc. instead of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) because of my time behind the wheel. The hauls were seasonal so I worked six months in the summer, and I was laid off every winter.

What do you remember most about those early years in the business?
I remember Hank Jansen, Lynden’s founder, being around when I started. The other day I saw the house that was the office for LTI for many years. It was moved and someone is now living in it. I started out on the freight board, hauling just about anything, from 1978 to 1982. Then I was transferred to the milk board with several other drivers to replace retiring milk drivers. The transfers were by seniority and I started with Whatcom County farm pickup. It was a nice change from delivering freight. There is more involved with dairy pickup and it makes it more interesting to see the farmers every day. I also spent five years hauling molten sulphur for LTI, Inc.

What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy seeing the same folks every day. You get to know your customers really well; all the farmers at the dairies. Although they aren’t usually up when I get there during my first stops, I see them later in the day. I also like being outside to enjoy the landscape, the water and the mountains. Even the rain. Sometimes I can’t believe my ancestors settled here in this gray, dark climate, but it also makes it green and nice to look at from the inside of the truck. My job is also somewhat physical. We climb up and down ladders on the truck all day so it’s nice to get some exercise during the workday.

Lee Burgess with Lynden's No. 27Your father, Lee Burgess, was an early Alcan driver for Lynden in Alaska. What do you remember about your Dad’s legendary career?
When I was 9 years old, my dad took me on a ride-along to Fairbanks. He also took my grandfather up at one point. When I rode with dad in 1966, you had to get permission from Hank Jansen to take passengers. I have three sisters, but I guess none of them wanted to go. Dad ran pretty steady on the Alaska route for about 10 years, pictured to the right. I only saw him once a week when he was home, but we always took long summer vacations. My mom missed him, but made friends with the other drivers’ wives. They bowled in a league sponsored by Milky Way and went shopping together. Everyone stuck together. Dad is now 83 and he drives the old Alcan truck No. 27 to parades and truck shows. He enjoys still being part of the Lynden family.

What is a typical day like for you?

The biggest challenge is getting up at 3 a.m. to go to work. I live 40 minutes away from work, out by Lummi Island. I am at work and in the truck at 4 a.m. and drive to my first dairy pickup northeast of Lynden. My first load is 70,000 pounds of milk. I fill up both trailers and head to the Darigold plant. Before I leave the dairy, I take a sample of milk, run it through the lab, measure it, write down the weights, put it on a load sheet and enter it into my electronic program in the truck. We have a hand-held computer where we record the milk temperature, time and bar code labels that go on the milk.

We use a sanitized dipper and plastic vials to test the milk for bacteria and antibiotics and the sample is put in ice to keep it fresh. The procedure is very exact so you don’t contaminate the milk. Once this process is done and the milk test is clear, we open the values on the tankers and unload the milk into the tall silos at the Darigold plant. It’s about a 2-hour process from pickup, testing and delivery to Darigold. After the first load is delivered, then I have my coffee!

I go right back out to the second dairy and load up both tankers again. When I started I had around 13 stops and there were 440 dairy farms in Whatcom County. Today, I go to six or seven dairies and the number of farms has dwindled to 94. Each of those has about 50 to 1,500 dairy cows though, so there has been consolidation of the smaller farms.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Nothing has been all that challenging, just different. My years hauling molten sulphur required getting a haz-mat certification. It was just a test and wasn’t too tough, but it was a different mindset hauling that kind of freight. We picked it up at local refineries at Cherry Point in Ferndale, WA. It was Mobile and Arco back then, now they are BP and Tesoro. Most of it went to Georgia Pacific in Bellingham. They made acid out the sulphur to break down logs into wood pulp to make paper products. We drove to Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Longview and Cosmopolis over the five years I had that job.

I also drove flatbeds and hauled aluminum. We had a rock haul at one point from Kendall, WA on the way to Mount Baker and on to Bellingham to a cement plant. That was a 10-year project.

What changes have you seen over the years?
To sum it up, tremendous growth. When I started everything was more personal because it was a smaller operation based in Lynden, WA. I went to high school just six miles from Lynden. I feel like I have grown up with the company in some ways. Equipment has changed, too. When I started in the 1970s we had the most modern equipment you could get in the day, but the new trucks are more like driving a car. Lynden always provided good equipment to use. They spent money to make money. That’s why they are so successful.

Can you tell us about your kids and grandkids?
I have three adult children, ages 37, 34 and 27, and two grandchildren.

What would surprise most people about you?
Someday I would like to hike parts of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I learned to ski in fifth grade and still spend my winters skiing. My favorite place is Whistler. I also like to hike and would like to go on an extended backpacking trip at some point. I enjoy watching football and although Seahawks is my No. 1 team, I’m also a New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers fan.

What are your thoughts about working for Lynden?
I’m fortunate that I’ve had the job all these years. By the time you’re my age, most people have had two or three different jobs or even tried different careers. I have had one. I’m proud to work for Lynden and represent Milky Way on the road every day.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Supporting future Supply Chain & Logistics professionals

Posted on Wed, Oct 30, 2019

Highline Community College StudentsLynden continues its financial support of the Highline Community College Follow the Supply Chain Study Abroad Logistics Program. Recently, students toured an orchard in Wenatchee, then followed the apple shipments overseas to a market in Vietnam. "None of this happens without Lynden's support. We can't express enough thanks for helping these students—from so many diverse backgrounds—to learn about the supply chain," says Sam Kaplan, Director of the Supply Chain Management Program. Alaska Marine Lines Vice President Jake Maenpa serves on the advisory board for Highline College's Global Trade and Supply Chain Management Program. Lynden is one of six corporate donors funding the study abroad program.

Tags: Lynden, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden donation

LTI, Inc. receives fourth SmartWay Excellence Award

Posted on Tue, Oct 22, 2019

LTI, Inc. trucksLTI, Inc. earned its fourth SmartWay Excellence Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this fall. The award recognizes LTI, Inc. as one of the most efficient and lowest emitting tanker fleets in North America – a position that the company has worked hard to maintain over the last several years. LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division consistently score in the top 1 percent of tanker carriers in the nation for low carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile.

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way have established a track record as environmental leaders and continuous improvement is a hallmark of the company. “We are focused on investing in modern, ultra-lightweight, and aerodynamic equipment and working with drivers to improve fuel economy,” explains LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. “Our drivers are truly the driving force behind the statistics. Our fuel economy achievements are a testament to the great people we have and to their dedication to operating efficiently while serving our customers.”

A driver incentive program rewards safe and efficient driver behaviors by offering an increase in hourly pay based on a weekly score of metrics that drives improved fuel economy such as reduced idle time, lower speeds and engine RPM’s and progressive shifting. Caldwell Driver Cody Brimley, Sunnyside Driver David Boothman and Vancouver Driver Harold Lagrange have all consistently scored 100 percent on the incentive program. In addition to skilled drivers, LTI, Inc. is using new generation “right-sized” engines that consume less fuel than higher horse power engines to achieve the best fuel economy, lowest emissions and best-in-class payloads. LTI, Inc. also uses “Super Single Low Rolling Resistant Tires” to reduce weight and improve fuel economy as well as aerodynamically designed cabs and lightweight trailer designs.

In the last five years LTI, Inc. and Milky Way have steadily improved fuel economy to rank as one of the most fuel efficient tanker fleets in the industry. “This is all the more impressive because the companies operate in states with 105,500 gross vehicle weight limits. This means we are achieving the award-winning high fuel economy while hauling 25,000 pounds more freight per trip than a typical tanker fleet,” explains Kevin DeKoster, LTI, Inc.’s Equipment Control Manager. “When you take into account the additional tons carried per mile, LTI, Inc. and Milky Way fleets are proven to be much more efficient than a typical tanker fleet.”

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way became SmartWay Partners in 2010. Each spring the companies voluntarily submit information on operations to the EPA. The Lynden companies consistently score among the most efficient fleets in the nation despite operating in extreme weather with steep terrain and some of the heaviest payloads.

LTI, Inc

Tags: LTI Inc., Awards, Green Lynden, SmartWay certification, Milky Way, Environmental efforts

Everyday Hero profile: Joy Mendes

Posted on Thu, Oct 17, 2019

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 Joy Mendes, Customer Service Training Coordinator at Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle.

Name: Joy MendesEveryday Hero Joy Mendes

Company: Alaska Marine Lines

Title: Customer Service Training Coordinator

On the Job Since: 1988

Superpower: Sunny disposition

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Favorite Movie: Grease

Bucket List Destination: Azores Islands, Portugal

For Fun: Baking, Antiquing, Running

How did you start your career in transportation?
I took an office procedures course in high school and my teacher knew I was headed to a job after graduation, not college. With my family situation, college was not an option for me at that time. She got a call from a manager at Pacific Western Barge Lines. They said they were looking for someone and she would put the job lead information with my diploma so I would have it when I picked it up after graduation. I called Pacific Western on a Monday, interviewed and started the next Monday as a receptionist. I was in the barge business two weeks out of high school. Within a couple of months, I moved into billing to fill an opening. (Lynden Executive Vice President) Alex McKallor and I shared an office. Alex was a billing clerk. He would write the freight bills out by hand and I would type them on a 4-carbon copy freight bill.

What do you remember most about those early years in the business?
I was working at Pacific Western Lines in Seattle for two years when I met my husband, Daniel Mendes, who worked in the Anchorage office. Jim Warner was the Anchorage manager then and he would often come to Seattle. I got to know him well. He told Dan about me and sent him down to Seattle to teach our crews about the proper handling and shipping of drywall, but also, apparently, to meet me. Jim sent him in to meet me but I was the on the phone and didn't get a chance to talk to him. I was 20. He was 24. The next time I saw Jim he said "I only have one thing to say to you: You should marry Dan Mendes and you should take a trip to Anchorage." I went to Anchorage and took a position there when it opened up. I also ended up marrying Dan! While working in Anchorage I also had the opportunity to become the claims manager and the dispatcher for the company.

What has your career progression been?
Alaska Marine Lines purchased Pacific Western Lines in 1985. Dan and I were the last employees to close the Anchorage office. That's when we first met Jim Jansen. He came up to shut down the facility. Jim was very respectful and kind to us, despite the circumstances. I told Dan that Jim was a person I would definitely work for.

After that I did some freelance work, worked for Alaska Cargo Transport (which later was bought by Northland) and then the old Northland. I stayed in Anchorage one year longer and then moved back to Seattle where I started working for Alaska Marine Lines as a billing and receiving clerk and moved up to accounting, became the accounts receivable manager, then billing manager. I am now a training coordinator in customer service and I love it. I get a chance to travel around the system training our new employees one-on-one. We service more places than we ever did. There is so much more to know than in the old days.

What is a typical day like for you?
Busy. We answer a lot of questions about how to send household goods to Alaska or how to get a car or a huge piece of machinery shipped. We have customers who know their way around the process and those that are brand new to it and need some hand-holding. I am answering emails, answering the phone and often going out to the dock to check on a shipment. The other day something was routed for Skagway, but the customer needed it changed to Petersburg so we were working on a new bill of lading and a re-route.

What has been most challenging in your career?
When something goes wrong and we disappoint a customer. When they need it and they don't have it and we can't fix it fast enough. We will make mistakes sometimes – every company does. When you are personally talking to them, you are the face of the company, even if it was not your mistake. That is the most challenging for me.

What changes have you seen over the years?
It is the age of instant gratification and people are in a hurry. Sometimes we need to remind them that a barge can be delayed by weather or just because it has arrived it doesn't mean they can instantly access their freight. We still need to unload containers from the barge and then unload the containers. They have more information now so expectations are higher. 

Can you tell us about your family?
I have two children, daughter Ashley and son Alex. Ashley lives in Renton, WA. We just welcomed our fourth grandchild in September. My son Alex is going to college in upstate New York. I am the youngest of three kids who grew up in Michigan but moved to the Seattle area at age 14. Both of my children have hearing loss. My daughter and her whole family is deaf, and my son is hard of hearing, which has made our life that much more complex and rich. Every day isn't perfect but you need to create happiness where you are. If you look outward and help others, your life is amazing.

What would surprise most people about you?
I ran my first marathon at age 40 when my son was in ninth grade. I have now run seven full marathons (26.2 miles) and countless half-marathons with my husband Dan. I qualified for Boston and ran in that race three times and also qualified for and ran in the New York City Marathon. I also won first place in my age group once at a smaller marathon. My best times were a 3:38 marathon and a 1:38 half marathon. I am also quite shy. I dislike crowds and parties. Although I have people over to my house a lot, I am focused on the job of entertaining so conversation comes easier to me as I'm helping others.

How do you spend your time outside of work? 
My husband and I bought a 960-square-foot house in West Seattle five years ago. We lived in it for a while, then tore it down three years ago and are rebuilding it from the ground up as a much larger American Four Square style. We are keeping the design authentic to 1924, but with modern updates. We have purchased period lighting fixtures and push-button switches from an antique dealer in Port Townsend and hired a painter who has put in more than 2,000 hours giving it a vintage look. The best compliment for us is when someone in the neighborhood thinks it is an original home from 95 years ago.

What are your thoughts about working for Lynden and being a part of Alaska Marine Lines? 
I enjoy working for a company and with employees with a strong work ethic. As a trainer of new employees I tell them that you need to care about what you do and always go the extra mile. It all comes back to you. If you are willing to recheck the freight that doesn't look quite right, or call someone when you think there is a problem, it will pay dividends for your own career and the future of the company. We all need to care. Adopt an attitude that the buck stops with you. Don't pass the buck.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Lynden Transport continues innovative programs to protect the environment

Posted on Thu, Oct 17, 2019

Fife Storm Water Project and Treatment MaterialAligned with Lynden's overall Green Initiative, Lynden Transport is staying committed to innovation and protecting the environment. Managing trucks and freight in urban areas is a challenge, since storm water runoff can create potential pollutants. At the Fife, WA Service Center, Safety Supervisor Keith Johnson and Director of Safety Steve Schultz have taken sustainable storm water management to new levels.

Trucks, trailers and forklifts may produce metal particles that are regulated as pollutants in many states. Oils and fluids are also heavily regulated. "There are strict regulations on these materials, and it is important to prevent them from reaching streams and rivers," Keith says. "We teamed up with a company called Enpurion on an innovative solution."

The goal was to achieve the highest level of compliance and reduce maintenance operating expenses. By performing a flow-weighted analysis, the team found a way to improve the performance of the catch basins while reducing the cost of treatment by one-third.

A cellulose-based material made entirely of organic husks was chosen for use in the catch basin inserts. The husks are treated with food-grade materials to absorb oils, heavy metals and capture particles. The material is a renewable and sustainable part of organic food production, so no new waste is created, and no potentially harmful farm products are present. The new program has also allowed Lynden Transport to reduce sewer cleaning and maintenance costs. Keith is pictured above with a handful of the husks. 

"The savings exceed the cost of the entire storm water treatment program, so everybody wins. Our efforts to do the right thing are good for the company and the environment," Keith says.

Tags: Green Lynden, Environmental efforts, Lynden Transport

Lynden celebrates National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Posted on Mon, Oct 14, 2019

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Driver Appreciation Week 2019 - banana splits

Drivers in all Lynden companies were celebrated during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week this past September. Pictured to the right, Anchorage Lynden Transport Drivers enjoy banana splits during their break as well as thermal drinking bottles to take on the road with them. "Some Service Centers had barbecues or pizza. The goal was to fill the week with a big thank you. Unfortunately many of our drivers miss the activities because they are on the road providing unbeatable service to our customers," says Steve Schultz, Director of HSSE at Lynden Transport in Seattle.

Tags: Lynden employees, Drivers

Lynden employee climbs to new heights on Washington peaks

Posted on Wed, Oct 09, 2019

 

Lynden employee Patrick SloanPatrick Sloan, Software Developer II for Lynden Incorporated, has climbed Mount Baker, Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier all in one year with his wife Rachel and members of a glacier climbing group. He is pictured above at the Mount St. Helens summit in April. "We have summited three of the five Washington glaciers with this climbing group," he says, "and we represent Lynden by wearing our green jackets."

Tags: Lynden, Lynden employees

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