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Locomotives all arrive safely by barge in Skagway

Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2021

White Pass locomotive on AML bargeRecently the Whittier Provider and the Bering Titan delivered two locomotives to Skagway for the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway. This delivery completed the transport of six new locomotives to replace the old fleet which was built in the 1960s. Weighing in at 265,000 pounds each, the new engines are 30 percent larger than the old. Their size required a special rail sailing of Alaska Marine Lines' Southeast Provider last year when the first replacement engines were brought to Alaska.

"All the locomotives were transported on special barges that feature tracks on the barge deck designed to move rail cars," says Skagway Service Center Manager Cory Bricker. The new locomotives were built by National Railway Equipment Company in Mount Vernon, IL then shipped to Seattle.

Alaska Marine Lines has moved locomotives for the railway before using a heavy-duty dolly as a means of transport. The dolly and locomotive 'package' were stowed onto the deck of a regular barge, which allowed for maneuvering upon arrival. This time, the locomotives rode the rail barges and were unloaded by crane for placement on the White Pass railway.

"These locomotives are valued at about $2.5 million each so everyone was invested in making sure the move went smoothly and safely," Cory says.

Dubbed the scenic railway of the world, the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway covers 68 miles of breathtaking scenery between Skagway and Carcross, Yukon Territory.

Tags: Barge, Alaska Marine Lines

Lynden Transport receives SmartWay Award from EPA

Posted on Tue, Jan 12, 2021

Lynden employee Derikk LongerboneLynden Transport earned a SmartWay High Performer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for operating efficiencies in its flatbed and reefer fleets. The company is included in the top 20 percent of national carriers for reducing carbon emissions and achieved top-ranking performance for all metrics, including fuel efficiency. Fewer than 10 percent of all SmartWay carriers operate fleets efficient enough to make the SmartWay High Performer list for carbon emissions.

"This award recognizes the efforts throughout the Lynden companies to work efficiently and reduce our carbon footprint," says Lynden Transport President Paul Grimaldi. "It also confirms the efforts of employees to make this happen on a daily basis. We have achieved impressive scores for continual improvement in operations as well as energy efficiency by using electric forklifts, streamlined trip routing and other measures."

Carbon is a leading indicator of fuel use. SmartWay High Performers consume less fuel for every mile they travel and for every ton of freight moved. For example, for every trip they make, the carriers pack their trailers more efficiently and move heavier loads – all while reducing consumption by thousands of gallons annually as compared to their SmartWay peers.

Notable efficiency improvements for Lynden Transport between 2009 and 2019 include:

  • Increased average miles per gallon for the entire fleet by 50 percent.
  • Increased ton miles per gallon (how many miles one ton of freight can be transported with one gallon of diesel) by 62 percent.
  • Reduced total CO2 emissions by 36 percent.
  • Decreased fuel usage by 36 percent, a savings of over 1 million gallons per year. Even though there is only a 4 percent decrease in mileage from 10 years ago, Lynden Transport is maintaining roughly the same level of business while using far less energy.

Tags: Awards, Green Lynden, SmartWay certification, Lynden Transport

Lynden helps shore up stores for a new year

Posted on Tue, Jan 05, 2021

Shopping MallThe COVID pandemic put a strain on retail businesses this year and that was especially felt during the holiday season. “I don’t think any of our retail customers could’ve prepared for the massive changes brought on by the pandemic,” says Howard Hales, Lynden International Domestic Services Manager in Seattle. “COVID turned the world upside down and retail was hit hard. At the beginning of the shutdown this spring, we were in daily communication with our retailers. They needed to know where their product was along the supply chain and either stop shipments or store products at our warehouses until stores re-opened.”

The pandemic has been an elusive opponent for retail companies. Not knowing when stores could safely re-open, store managers played a waiting game wondering when conditions would improve enough to bring shoppers back into stores. According to Hales, retail companies are typically more than a year out on planning for their sales seasons. A whole supply and sales cycle is set based on shipping season-specific merchandise, and having the stores filled with that particular product in time for back-to-school or Christmas shoppers.

“When COVID hit, retailers were forced to shutter their stores for two to three months, and it broke that sales cycle,” he explains. “By the time they were able to start opening stores, they had merchandise on their shelves that had moved beyond the planned season, and new product was on the way or in their warehouses waiting to be moved to the stores.”

For Lynden’s long-time customers Gap and Old Navy, this overstock was both a dilemma and an opportunity. Their elegant solution made national headlines. Recognizing that the COVID crisis has left many families struggling to buy basic necessities like clothing, Old Navy donated $30 million of new clothing to American families. National and local charities, such as Delivering Good, helped distribute the clothing to those who needed it most. Gap asked Lynden to help coordinate the shipments to its major markets of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

“That decision created a whole new logistics cycle,” Hales says. “Gap had to source and supply all of their stores with packaging material so the merchandise could be boxed up and moved. They then had to coordinate the pickups with their local delivery providers for final delivery to the local charities.” As Gap’s primary transportation provider for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, Lynden coordinated store recoveries in the three markets and redelivered more than 400,000 units to local charities. Old Navy and Gap also donated 50,000 reusable masks to Boys & Girls Clubs of America as many have remained open and operational throughout the crisis as a safe place for kids and families in underserved communities.

Lynden performed similar work for other retail customers. “We had two COVID-related shutdowns for TJ Maxx,” says Stuart Nakayama, Director of Strategic Accounts and Hawaii Trade Services in Los Angeles. “Working with our ocean carrier Pasha, we came up with a solution to help them safely store their products through both shutdowns.” Lynden also helped ship personal protective equipment (PPE) to Hawaii and distributed it to the stores there, as well as all Hot Topic clothing stores in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico upon re-opening of their retail locations.

“The trick was not all stores were opened at the same time, and store hours and availability of store personnel varied,” Nakayama says, “so our Lynden employees had to hold product and get creative on delivery dates and times.”

In addition to apparel, Lynden works with “essential” retailers consisting of restaurants, health and beauty, and grocery stores in national markets. “Service to these customers was, and still is, impacted by airline capacity and delivery networks to some degree,” Nakayama says, “but it’s slowly improving. This year we have seen many changes in our retail markets and shopping patterns. While we can’t predict future change, Lynden can be the constant amid the change for our retail customers.”

Tags: Lynden International, Community Service

Model truck enthusiast gives Lynden's tractor No. 27 new life in the U.K.

Posted on Tue, Dec 29, 2020

Lynden 1954 Kenworth tractor No. 27 modelIt was an unusual request. Instead of needing a quote or information, Peter Kite of the U.K. sent a message to the One Lynden customer service group to find out about the specific green paint code used on Lynden's 1954 Kenworth tractor No. 27. The iconic truck pioneered truck service to Alaska on the Alcan and is now a rolling museum. Customer Care Manager Barbie Hemphill fielded Peter's question and sent back the PMS paint number and a variety of information about the truck and the Lynden companies.

"As I live 5,000 plus miles from you in Southern England, I am never going to be a customer, so I fully understand if you are unable to help me, as you need to concentrate on real customers," he wrote in an early email to Barbie.

Now retired, Peter was a driver, logistics manager and supply chain consultant during his long international transportation career. His hobby is building 1:25 scale American semi-trucks.

Peter Kite with No. 27 model"On one of my trawls seeking details on 1950s Kenworths I came across No. 27," Peter says. "The pictures resurfaced last year when I was developing ideas for two 1950s Kenworths, one a low-mount and the other a high-mount, the latter becoming No. 27. It had its derv (British term for diesel) tank mounted on top of the chassis, a configuration which I had yet to build. It would be a challenge, as well as fitting with my interest in trucks running the Alcan."

Peter's collection includes 58 1:25 scale trucks built over 46 years. "I build mostly U.S. trucks but also make British Lorries in 1:50 scale," he says. "I started building in 1974 as a relaxation from my day job in transport, hence building U.S. trucks rather than British ones as I was dealing with them at work."

Peter's model of No. 27 is painted in the correct Lynden green paint specification and is 12 inches long. "I hope you enjoy the end result," Peter writes in a final email to Lynden. "Many thanks again for your invaluable help. I could not have done it as well without you."

Tags: Trucking, Old 27

Lynden supports Samaritan's Purse and its Operation Christmas Child project

Posted on Wed, Dec 23, 2020

Lynden equipmentIn what has become an annual tradition, Samaritan's Purse and its Operation Christmas Child project received a helping hand from Alaska Marine Lines and Lynden Transport. According to Andy Collins, Service Center Manager in Kenai, the Lynden team arranged for trailers to be dropped off at the Samaritan's Purse hangar at Soldotna Airport. Additional trailers were positioned in Fairbanks and Juneau. The trailers are then transported to Anchorage Baptist Temple and on to Fife, WA for final distribution overseas. The shoeboxes are filled with gifts and sent to underprivileged children in over 100 countries. "Lynden's contributions have an effect on thousands of children who receive the shoeboxes each year during the holidays," says Program Coordinator Craig Farris, President of Expressway Transportation, a partner in the project for the last 15 years.

Tags: Community Service, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden Transport

Everyday Hero Profile: Lu Jackson

Posted on Fri, Dec 18, 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 Lu Jackson, Human Resources Manager at LTI, Inc. in Lynden, Washington.

Everyday Hero Lu JacksonName: Lu Jackson

Company: LTI, Inc.

Title: Human Resources Manager

On the Job Since: 1983

Superpower: Empathy

Hometown: Yakima, WA

Favorite Movie: Begin Again

Bucket List Destination: I would love to orbit the earth, but would settle for Iceland.

For Fun: Skiing, sledding, gardening, making jewelry, writing and practicing piano.

How did you start your career at LTI, Inc.?
I started with LTI, Inc. when the company was split from Lynden Transport in 1983. I was honored to be able to work with (company patriarch) Hank Jansen for many years and have worked with four different presidents.

What is a typical day like for you?
I speak with and try to assist our drivers, mechanics and managers on a wide range of challenges they may have and hopefully provide the help or resources they may need.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Knowing that I can only provide so much, when I wish I could do more or say more in situations where words just aren't enough.

What are you most proud of in your career?
That I've never been late to work! I also have enjoyed getting people together for outings like a Driver Appreciation barbeque and water skiing at Wanapum Lake in Eastern Washington. I also organized a company ski trip to Big White, B.C., a booth at the Lynden fair to promote CDL driving and a driver exercise program that can be done anywhere.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I had the best family and childhood. We had so much fun. Growing up we spent summers water skiing at the lake, boating in the San Juans and fishing and razor clam digging in Westport, WA. Wintertime was sledding and snow skiing. My parents were the best.

What was your first job?
Working for my father as a dental assistant (not a career I wanted to follow!).

What would surprise most people about you?
I took a break one summer from college and went to Alaska (to make big money at a cannery!) and ended up living off the grid in Alaska for two years in an old homestead cabin without electricity or running water. It was a two-mile trek to get to the cabin, either walking, skiing or snowshoeing past the end of the road outside Homer. I went for the summer and ended up staying almost eight years. Absolutely loved Alaska. I would love to winter in a cabin in Montana.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I have a funny little farm with an assortment of animals, both my own and wild ones that like to reside there. They keep me very busy and entertained. I'm down to a horse, a huge goat (complete with horns), cats, ducks, geese, opossum, muskrat raccoon and deer. The Canadian Geese come every spring and have their babies there. Each year I have between four and eight families born and raised until big enough to fly. They return in the fall for a week or so in their migration. I just picked two Golden Retriever puppies out last weekend, which will be old enough to come home the week after I retire.

What do you like best about your job?
Feeling like I really made someone's life a little easier.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Lynden Vice President Dennis Mitchell joins Airforwarders Association Board

Posted on Thu, Dec 17, 2020

Dennis MitchellLynden International Senior Vice President Dennis Mitchell was elected to the board of the Airforwarders Association (AfA) on Nov. 16.

The AfA serves as the voice of the air forwarding industry and represents nearly 400 member companies dedicated to moving cargo throughout the supply chain. The association's members range from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees to large companies employing more than 1,000 people and business models varying from domestic to worldwide freight forwarding operations. The AfA helps freight forwarders move cargo in the timeliest and most cost-efficient manner whether it is carried on aircraft, truck, rail or ship.

“Dennis is a highly respected member of the AfA that was selected by our membership for a board position. His skills and expertise in the transportation industry will help guide the AfA in its ambitious agenda toward continued success,” says Brandon Fried, AfA Executive Director.

Mitchell will be sworn in on Jan. 5 to serve a three-year term as one of eight AfA board members. Lynden International Vice President Laura Sanders also served a 12-year term on the AfA board from 1999 to 2012. Lynden International has been a member of the AfA for more than 25 years.

Mitchell brings 26 years of Lynden experience to his board position as well as background as a business owner. He owned his own customs brokerage firm from 1986 to 1994 prior to joining Lynden in Anchorage. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Supply Chain Management from the University of Alaska and is a licensed customs broker. Mitchell is also the former chair of the board of directors for the Anchorage Economic Development Corp.

Tags: Lynden International, Air freight, Lynden employees

Lynden Air Cargo flies Paws Across Pacific

Posted on Fri, Dec 11, 2020

Paws Across Pacific flightHawaii's animal shelters had been overcrowded since the Wings of Aloha transfer program that provides off-island adoptions was paused due to the COVID pandemic. Air Charter Service, Wings of Rescue, Greater Good Charities and The John R. Peterson Foundation came up with the perfect solution: the largest pet rescue flight in history. But they needed a plane. A big plane. One large enough to carry nearly 600 dogs and cats collected from five shelters across Hawaii.

Enter Lynden Air Cargo and its flight crew. On a Wednesday in late fall, dozens of staff, volunteers, and foster families worked day and night to prepare the animals for the long journey to Seattle where they would receive a second chance in new homes. Dubbed the Paws Across Pacific flight, it took months to coordinate.

"Thomas Howe of Air Charter Service reached out looking for a unique solution to a unique requirement, which we felt was right up our alley," says Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Charter Manager. "We were able to fly our C-130 aircraft from Oakland, CA to each location to pick up the animals and reduce the loading and unloading that other operations would require by using a spoke/wheel approach. We linked the four locations together and then launched from Hilo direct to Boeing Field in Seattle."

Island by island, kennel by kennel, hundreds of shelter animals made their way into the massive Hercules. Most of the animals were already adopted upon landing in Seattle and around 120 of the cats and dogs continued their journey to shelters in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The flight was covered by national media and provided some heartwarming good news for many people who are overwhelmed by pandemic updates.

"It was a pleasure to be involved in this monumental transport of pets," Dan says. "Our crews reported that the Greater Good team was one of the most organized and efficient groups we have ever encountered. Thomas Howe pulled it all together and ran an excellent operation coordinating between all the groups involved, and we heard positive feedback about Lynden and our flight crew."

Amy Mills, an employee at Seattle Area Feline Rescue, sent a message about the project to Lynden's Facebook page. "I was on the receiving end of this flight. We were a destination shelter for some of the cats," she writes. "When the plane taxied to the hangar and I saw Lynden Air Cargo on the side, it was an added bonus to the day. (Lynden patriarch) Hank Jansen was a neighbor of my grandparents in Lynden, WA. Lynden Transport will always catch my eye and make me smile. Thank you for helping all these pets and the people who work so hard to protect and care for them."

Lynden Air Cargo has transported many animals over the years, including whales, horses, bison and Icelandic ponies.

Tags: Community Service, Lynden Air Cargo, Charter Move, Lynden Capabilities

Birthday delivery for a special Lynden Air Cargo fan

Posted on Fri, Dec 11, 2020

Bode with Lynden Air Cargo packageBode Hostetter is a huge fan of Lynden Air Cargo's C-130 Hercules aircraft. Knowing a charter would be visiting their remote Alaska village of Noatak, his parents reached out to Lynden to see if they could purchase some Lynden items for Bode's fourth birthday. "I have a 4-year-old boy that just loves seeing the Lynden Herc flying to Noatak," writes Brent Hostetter. "I am curious if you sell merchandise or something with a picture of the herc?"

"We were glad to help celebrate Bode's special day," says Dani Myren, Lynden Air Cargo Customer Service Manager. Dani sent a birthday package on the next charter flight including a T-shirt, hat and a model of a C-130. "You and the crew made his day," Brent writes. "He did not stop playing with that model all evening yesterday. I had actually been trying to find that model online for him."

Tags: Community Service, Hercules, Lynden Air Cargo, Shipping in Alaska

Bison bulls relocate to Sitkalidak Island in Alaska with Lynden's help

Posted on Tue, Dec 08, 2020

Buffalo Bulls being loaded for transportEarlier this year the Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor, AK was awarded three bison bulls from Yellowstone National Park to improve the genetic diversity of its Sitkalidak Bison Herd. The catch: the bison required transport from Montana to Seattle, from Seattle to Anchorage and from Anchorage to Homer Spit. The final destination required a boat ride to Sitkalidak on Kodiak Island.

"I was informed that on special occasions Lynden Transport may transport livestock," says Cynthia Berns, Vice President of Community Affairs for the Old Harbor Native Corp. "So I called Paul Friese in Anchorage."

Paul Friese, Vice President of Alaska Sales for Lynden Transport, responded to the call with the usual can-do attitude. Gathering all the details, he quickly put the team in motion. Lynden Driver Clay Bonty met the FedEx plane in Anchorage, carefully loaded the special 20-foot container containing the three bison and headed to Homer, AK. "This was a very special project," Paul says. "We were happy to be involved and assist the Alutiiq Tribe."

Buffalo Bulls on landing craft vesselThe container weighed in at 4,500 pounds, plus three bulls at 1,200 pounds each, for a total weight of 8,100 pounds. Once Clay reached Homer, the container was loaded onto a landing craft vessel bound for Sitkalidak Island, pictured right.

The transfer was a historic moment in returning Yellowstone bison to tribal lands. These particular animals are important to tribes because they are the genetically pure descendants of the bison that tribal ancestors lived with. In the case of the Sitkalidak herd, the new bulls will introduce genetic diversity for herd survival. "Our herd is managed to provide food security for our community of 230 residents and tribal members throughout the state," Cynthia explains. "In 2017, DNA testing was conducted on the herd, and it was suggested that we integrate new genes into the herd for long-term health and survival."

The bulls are settled in and doing well. They are outfitted with GPS collars that provide hourly updates on their status. "From trucks, plane and landing craft, these animals have come a long way. A huge thank you to our supporters at Lynden Transport for safely getting the bison to Homer and secured on the vessel for the last leg of their journey."

Five years ago, Lynden was involved in another bison relocation project using Lynden Air Cargo's L-100 cargo plane. Employees spent three days loading 100 wood bison into special containers in Portage, AK for truck transport to Anchorage via Alaska West Express. All 100 animals were loaded in Anchorage and delivered safely in three flights to Shageluk for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Tags: Community Service, Alaska West Express, Lynden Air Cargo, Unique freight, Lynden Transport, Alaska, Wildlife

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