Old No. 27 and Old 22B, Lynden’s original Alcan tractor and trailer, earned a blue ribbon for Best Apparatus at the Golden Days Parade in Fairbanks, AK earlier this summer. The rig, which features a traveling museum inside the trailer showing Lynden’s history, makes the parade circuit each summer. Lynden Transport Driver Albert Kennedy was at the wheel in Fairbanks, and Alaska West Express Driver Doug Scott drove for the Bear Paw Parade in Eagle River July 25. Next up was the Colonial Days Parade in Palmer with Alaska West Express Driver Kenny Seipel steering the rig along the parade route. According to Lynden Transport’s Greg Buscher in Fairbanks, it was the first time the truck was in the Fairbanks parade. “The Best Apparatus Class is reserved for service vehicles, mainly fire and rescue units, and they spend a large amount of time cleaning and polishing,” Greg says. “Old 27 was driven up the day before by Richard Hennigan and just got a quick hose-off for road dirt. For it to go through the parade and take the Blue Ribbon was pretty special.” The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner also ran a front-page story on the truck and its history.
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The folks at Taco Bell call it a “doozy of a story” and it is. Lynden companies are often called upon to make the impossible possible in Alaska and, sure enough, Lynden was involved in this unforgettable story.
Someone in Bethel, AK (population 6,200) started a rumor that a Taco Bell was coming to town. Fliers were posted around town announcing the fast food restaurant’s impending arrival. For Bethel, this was big news. Accessible only by air or sea, the nearest Taco Bell is four hours away in Anchorage. Unfortunately, the rumor proved to be an elaborate hoax.
When Taco Bell's creative marketing department heard about the rumor, it decided to turn the hoax into a public relations opportunity. The plan? Fly a taco truck to Bethel via helicopter and load it with enough ingredients to serve every person a fresh, hot taco. It would be a taco bell restaurant on wheels – at least for a day.
That’s where Lynden comes in. According to Lynden International Account Executive Greg Obeso, Lynden’s hat was already in the ring for transporting Taco Bell’s supplies to Bethel because of its outstanding performance handling logistics for the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” and other programs over the past three years. One Los Angeles producer knew another producer and the Lynden recommendation sealed the deal.
In the hours leading up to the taco truck “drop,” Lynden moved 950 pounds of seasoned beef, 500 pounds of sour cream, 300 pounds of tomatoes, 300 pounds of lettuce, 150 pounds of cheddar cheese and 10,000 taco shells along with refrigerators, heating units, cooking utensils and packaging materials. Approximately 30,000 pounds of food and gear was loaded onto one of Lynden Air Cargo’s Hercules aircraft in Anchorage along with the Operation Alaska taco truck (pictured at right) that was later lowered into Bethel. Approximately 40 Taco Bell employees were flown in to serve the community and help out.
“The project was challenging due to the remote location, short deadlines and secrecy,” Greg says. “Our attitude is always ‘we can do that’ and this was no exception.” A lot of hand holding was involved, but we got everything up there in time. That was a long day ending with Bob (Barndt) and I at the airport at 1:30 a.m. making sure everything was on the plane.”
The effort paid off. A crowd of Bethel residents were astonished to see the taco truck literally appearing out of nowhere. "This is like Heaven on Earth," one child said. Taco Bell made a couple of feel-good commercials about the bad news turned good news. “It was an emotional day,” says Bob. “Many of the Bethel residents were crying and some of Taco Bell’s own employees were moved to tears to see the happiness they brought to the town.”
Now that Operation Alaska is complete, Greg says Lynden will move the taco truck back from Bethel to Anchorage, load it on an Alaska Marine Lines barge for Seattle and then haul it to Irvine, CA via Lynden Transport. The truck is slated to be displayed at Taco Bell’s California headquarters as a reminder of the “doozy” of a story. See the story for yourself at http://www.tacobell.com/discover/.
The Lynden family of companies was recognized as the best of the best by shippers and supply chain professionals this summer. Lynden was chosen as one of the Top 100 third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) and as a Green Supply Chain Partner by Inbound Logistics magazine. The company was also named one of the 100 Greatest Supply Chain Partners for 2012 by SupplyChainBrain magazine and as one of Transport Topics' Top 100 For-Hire Truck Carriers. Earlier this summer, Lynden Transport was voted the No. 1 Less-than-Truckload (LTL) carrier for the Western Region in Logistics Management magazine's annual Quest for Quality Awards.
The lists are compiled by surveys and polls of 3PLs and supply chain professionals. The Top 100 3PL Providers list is the result of editors soliciting questionnaires from more than 400 3PLs, detailing the services they provide and their areas of expertise. To make the Green Partner list, companies were required to show a deep commitment to green initiatives and supply chain sustainability.
"Inbound Logistics selected Lynden as a 2012 Top 100 3PL Provider because of its successful track record in satisfying customers' needs to cut costs while delivering the operational efficiency required to compete on a global level," says Felicia Stratton, Editor of Inbound Logistics magazine.
"Positive feedback from customers is the most important measure of success," says Lynden President Jon Burdick. "Our family of transportation and logistics companies allows us to offer unique global multimodal services that set us apart from other 3PLs and competitors. We are pleased that we were included in the lists again this year and acknowledged for our ongoing efforts to work green. We are committed to helping our customers succeed in their own business endeavors and proud to be a part of the EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership to protect the environments where we do business."
Inbound Logistics is the leading trade magazine targeted toward business logistics and supply chain managers. The magazine's editorial mission is to help companies of all sizes better manage corporate resources by speeding and reducing inventory, supporting infrastructure and better matching demand signals to supply lines. SupplyChainBrain is the world's most comprehensive supply chain management information resource. The magazine identifies emerging trends, technologies and best practices and reports on them as they evolve. Transport Topics' Top 100 is an annual survey of the largest for-hire and private trucking companies.
A 70-inch, 1,300-pound propeller from Bering Marine Corporation’s Arctic Bear tugboat now graces Seattle’s North Passage Point Park as a sculpture honoring the Seattle-Alaska maritime industry. The prop was one of a pair on the shallow-draft tug that was in service in Prudhoe Bay.
It’s been a long journey from the day Bering Marine gifted the stainless steel prop to Naval Architect Philip Thiel and its installation at the park this spring. Philip, a University of Washington Professor Emeritus of Architecture, Urban Design and Planning, designed the base for the propeller and he planned to donate the prop to the parks department for use in the maritime sculpture.
Shortly after the prop was delivered to Philip’s home in Seattle, thieves pulled up in a truck and stole it right out of the back yard. A Seattle TV station aired a story about the crime and the Seattle Parks Department issued a press release asking for the public’s help to find the missing prop.
“Philip filed a police report, but we didn’t hold out much hope,” says Linda Hubert, Maintenance Manager for Seattle Parks and Recreation. “They were obviously thieves with some mechanical resources to nab a huge, heavy propeller inside a retaining wall and fence. Phil was broken-hearted.” He offered a $1,000 reward to anyone with information about the crime. Police speculated that the thieves wanted the stainless steel propeller for its scrap metal value.
After the word got out, a security guard at an industrial park in Kent, WA discovered the stolen propeller and contacted the Kent Police Department. The propeller was transported back to the site and the sculpture was completed. The monument (above) includes a plaque identifying the Arctic Bear propeller and Bering Marine Corporation’s donation.