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Lynden's Hovercraft teams provide essential services in Alaska

Posted on Fri, Aug 30, 2019

Bering Marine HovercraftImagine working 46 days each year in zero visibility. Now imagine being responsible for safely transporting people and freight in these conditions. For the professional mariners working on Lynden's Bering Marine hovercraft team, it's all part of the job. Five times each day, they load up the AP-188 hovercraft with 60 ENI Petroleum employees and safely transport them roundtrip from Prudhoe Bay to Spy Island, a drill site near Oliktok Point, AK. Six Bering Marine captains and deck hands support the project which also includes hauling freight for ENI and operating as a medivac standby vessel.

"Our ENI partnership is a highly successful operation," says Port Engineer Steve Isaacs. "In the past 10 years, we have hauled 18,468,394 pounds of freight, 50,903 passengers and made 4,838 round trips to the Spy Island drill site (pictured above). While other hovercraft companies have failed in the arctic, we have proven ourselves and shown the many benefits of this equipment. We operate the two largest commercial hovercraft in the country."

Hovercraft freightWhile the North Slope crew is hard at work in Prudhoe Bay, another three members of the hovercraft team are in Bethel delivering mail and essential freight to remote villages in the western part of Alaska. This service, which began in the 1990s, provides delivery to villages on the Kuskokwim River throughout the year. The winding river presents its own challenges with traffic from snow machines in the winter and boats in the summer.

Captain Paul "Duke" Bischoff spent 15 years in the Navy's hovercraft program before joining Lynden. "I really enjoy operating this type of craft because of the special challenges while maneuvering over land and ice, as well as the frequent high-wind situations we get in the arctic," he says. "Combined with the changing conditions at our landing site during the ice formation and breakup, you have an operation that definitely keeps you on your toes."

From September to February, the six members of the hovercraft team are the only mariners on the entire North Slope. "No other merchant marine works in the arctic that time of year," Steve explains. "Our hovercraft team serves as the medivac and lifeline for emergency situations in subzero temperatures."

A few years ago, the team started a spring cleanup program, using the unique capabilities of the hovercraft to pick up ice road debris during breakup. "Our hovercraft is the only vessel that can reach these areas during the spring thaw. We are doing our part to keep the arctic clean," Steve says.

Tags: Bering Marine Corporation, Hovercraft, Green Lynden, Environmental efforts, Shipping in Alaska, Alaska

Lynden Transport maintains No. 1 ranking in 2019 Quest for Quality Awards

Posted on Tue, Aug 13, 2019

Quest for Quality AwardLynden Transport maintained its top spot among carriers by earning a seventh consecutive No. 1 ranking and its 23rd overall award in the 36th annual Logistics Management Quest for Quality Awards. The company received the highest scores among Less-than-Truckload (LTL) western regional carriers in the on-time performance and information technology categories and earned the highest overall weighted score.

“Although this is our seventh award in seven years, it is still exciting and gratifying to be recognized by our customers for the work we do each day,” says Lynden Transport President Paul Grimaldi. “Our industry is rapidly changing with the demands of e-commerce and the pressure of quicker delivery expectations. This award lets us know that we are not only keeping pace with industry changes, we are doing it while providing exceptional customer service. As always, credit goes to our hard-working drivers, customer service representatives, support staff and the entire Lynden Transport team.”

For more than 30 years, Logistics Management’s Quest for Quality Award has been regarded as the highest measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence in the transportation and logistics industry. The results are the culmination of a six-month research project conducted by Peerless Research Group. This year, 4,975 ballots were cast by readers for the “best of the best” in service excellence across a number of criteria including: on-time performance, equipment & operations, value, information technology and customer service. To be a winner, a company had to receive at least five percent of the category vote.

Tags: Logistics Management magazine, Quest for Quality Award, Lynden Transport

Lynden Training Center first to conduct rescue course for Alaska certification

Posted on Thu, Aug 08, 2019

Kodiak Fire DepartmentThe Lynden Training Center recently conducted a six-day course in Kodiak for the Kodiak Fire Department. "We are extremely proud that the General Technical Rescuer class is the first of its kind to be taught in Alaska for State of Alaska certification," says Tyler Bones, Director of HSSE.

The Fairbanks-based Training Center has been working with the Alaska Fire Marshal's office for the past six months to become accredited to instruct the course. "It's rare that new courses are added to the state's accreditation list, so our training center being the first shows what a great working relationship we have with the state," Tyler explains. In 2015, the Center received accreditation from the State of Alaska Training and Education Bureau as the first third-party provider to offer State of Alaska hazardous materials training, a designation usually reserved for state agencies and fire departments.

The Kodiak Fire Department has received Lynden training for the past two years. Last year, after the department completed the Confined Space Rescue course, firefighters put their skills to the test when responding to a rescue on a fishing vessel.

Lynden Training Center"Tyler and Don have provided incredibly technical and thorough training for our department in both Confined Space Rescue and most recently, the first-ever State of Alaska General Technical Rescuer," says Kodiak Fire Chief Jim Mullican. "Their expertise and professionalism allowed my staff to practice in real-world situations, honing their skills in a positive learning environment. It is a pleasure to work with two top-notch instructors." Don and Jim are pictured to the right during the training.

For more than 20 years, the Lynden Training Center in Fairbanks, AK has provided training to individuals, businesses and government employees all over Alaska and the Lower 48. Experienced Lynden instructors educate, train and prepare people from all industries to work safely, prevent accidents and to respond to disasters like chemical spills, train derailments and other emergencies. Professional development courses with classroom instruction are followed by hands-on exercises and drills in simulated response situations.

General Technical Rescuer classCollectively, Lynden Training Center instructors have over 180 years of experience including transportation, military, oil and gas, industrial, fire and emergency response. Their 'real-world' knowledge includes serving as firefighters, on the front lines of the military and as members of first responder rescue teams all over the world. Lynden trainers offered 107 courses in 2018 and instructed 936 students.

"It is very rewarding to be a part of educating and preparing people for emergency response and to help fire departments like Kodiak serve their community," Tyler says.

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

Drivers compete in 20th ATA championships

Posted on Fri, Aug 02, 2019

Brian Ambrose with Jamie Faria Benson 2019Alaska West Express Driver Brian Ambrose took first place in the Tanker Class at the Alaska Trucking Association's 20th Truck Driving Championships June 1 in Anchorage. Brian is pictured with Jamie Faria Benson of the truck driving championship committee. Brian has almost 40 years of commercial driving experience and has competed in the ATA truck driving championships every year since 2005. He has collected an assortment of trophies including three for state champion and best overall in 2015 as well as being named ATA's Driver of the Year in 2016. He will head to Pittsburg in August to compete in nationals. Alaska West Express Drivers Edward Tuia, Joseph George and James Elliott also competed in the June 1 Alaska championships, along with Lynden Transport Drivers Billy Mast, Doug Longerbone, Jack Sorensen, Jeff Clark and Stephen Hill.

Tags: Awards, Alaska West Express, Alaska Truck Driving Championships, Lynden employees, Lynden Transport, Drivers, National Truck Driving Championships

Puerto Rico expansion and new Jacksonville location helps businesses rebuild

Posted on Fri, Jul 26, 2019

Lynden International Puerto Rico FacilityLynden International is supporting Puerto Rico businesses as they continue to rebuild and recover from the effects of Hurricane Maria. In March, Lynden doubled its San Juan warehouse facility to 40,000 square feet. “Our warehouse expansion, long-term presence on the island and our varied capabilities have come into play for moving construction materials for rebuilds. We now have even more room for consolidating and warehousing building materials and retail merchandise,” says Lynden International Regional Vice President Frank Butler.

Jacksonville, Florida serves as the major gateway to San Juan. "While we have been successful loading our Less-than-Container-Load (LCL) boxes to San Juan in both Nashville and Atlanta over the years, many opportunities have eluded us as some customers need to send and receive merchandise at the Jacksonville port," says Butler.

Lynden now has the ability to assemble, receive and load LCL freight (and Full Container Load if needed) in Jacksonville for containers heading southbound. Lynden's Nashville and Atlanta loading operations were relocated to Jacksonville to create a single source location for LCL operations. The new location is considered a gateway and is managed by Regional Operations Manager Todd Browner. "This change allows us to reduce costs and increase capacity within our containers," Todd says. "We are excited about the possibilities."

Many Lynden customers suffered hurricane damage to retail stores and facilities and were forced to close them in 2018. This year, many stores are open for business once again. “Lynden has assisted with the planning, rebuilding process, the grand openings and is now supporting the stores on a daily basis,” Butler says. The Lynden team picks up ocean containers each week dockside and delivers them to the San Juan warehouse for consolidation, scanning and sorting for stores on the island. Merchandise is held and delivered to stores on an ‘as-needed’ basis, providing a steady stream of replenishment as goods are sold. “We have also taken on new projects to rebuild the electrical grid on the island, update Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) towers and equipment and other government endeavors to repair infrastructure after the hurricane,” says Butler. “We are committed to getting our customers back on their feet.”

Tags: Lynden International, Lynden Capabilities

"Pam's Law" changes Washington payroll practices

Posted on Wed, Jul 24, 2019

"Pam's Law" was signed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee this spring, easing the burden on grieving families and payroll departments across the state. An amendment to an existing law "concerning an employer's payment of indebtedness" increases the amount Washington employers may pay the survivors of deceased employees. The previous law in Washington allowed Lynden to pay the survivors directly, but only up to $2,500. "Lynden Payroll Supervisor Pam Sorenson asked us to get a bill introduced in Olympia to increase the limit to $10,000," explains Lynden General Counsel Everett Billingslea. "We called it Pam's Law."

"The previous law left families unable to collect all of the final paycheck or unpaid vacation for a family member without opening probate or appointing an executor – a high and expensive hurdle," Pam explains. "The minimum of $2,500 doesn't go far with household expenses and funeral expenses." Lynden partnered with Senators Keiser, Van De Wege, Salomon, and Saldana to sponsor the bill. Senate Bill 5831 passed the legislature unanimously and was quickly signed into law by the governor. "It was a proud moment for Pam and for the entire company," Everett says. For more information on the bill, visit http://bit.ly/PamsLaw.

Tags: Lynden employees

Old friends reunite in Valdez

Posted on Tue, Jul 16, 2019

Marie Blood and family at Lynden Valdez eventA Lynden customer appreciation event in Valdez brought old friends together. Lynden Chairman Jim Jansen (far right) is pictured with Marie Blood, wife of Slim Blood, Lynden's first Alaska employee. Slim opened Lynden's first Fairbanks terminal in 1958 and established Lynden's early reputation for customer service. The new location was a WWII Quonset hut and meant drivers didn't have to unload their own trucks or stay overnight. Marie, her son Russ, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all attended the event in Valdez. "Between us, we could name every Alcan driver in the pictures in the #27 museum," Jim says. "Marie hosted dinners for the drivers when they arrived in Fairbanks, making them feel at home. She now resides in Valdez."

Tags: Lynden employees, Lynden History, Alaska, Drivers, Celebration

Water main break left homes without drinking water

Posted on Wed, Jul 10, 2019

Handing out water in Kake, AKWhen a water main broke in the small community of Kake, AK, the mayor and two city employees put out over 2,000 feet of fire hose to bypass the blown-out section. While that solved the problem for businesses and homes, it did not provide drinking water. Alaska Marine Lines and Arrowhead Transfer teamed up to donate three pallets of bottled water and shipped it to Kake to be distributed to the 10 percent of homes still in need of potable water. "I distributed the water just days after the break and received many thanks and high praise for the companies' kind gesture," says Arrowhead Operations Manager Adam Davis. The companies also received a thank-you letter from the mayor and city manager.

Tags: Arrowhead Transfer, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden donation, Lynden employees, Lynden Capabilities

Lynden Air Cargo returns to Papua New Guinea

Posted on Fri, Jul 05, 2019

Lynden Air Cargo in Papau New GuineaLynden Air Cargo is back in Papua New Guinea. "We are operating out of the capital city of Port Moresby and the city of Lae to support Exxon," says Captain Charlie Wallace. For the past several years, Lynden Air Cargo has been involved in Exxon's Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project to construct a gas plant and pipelines on the island. Lynden's Hercules aircraft are delivering heavyweight construction materials and other equipment. Charlie is pictured with Captain Eric Feige (far left) and Flight Engineer Bill Kenney (right). "This picture shows the flight crew with a local tribeswoman in full traditional garb," he says. "It's always exciting to be working in new locations and meeting local people."

Tags: Hercules, Lynden Air Cargo

Juneau driver’s fast actions prevent damages and injury

Posted on Wed, Jun 19, 2019

Alaska Marine Trucking DriverThe quick response of new Alaska Marine Trucking Driver Andrew Lawson saved company equipment and prevented the loss of three new cars belonging to a customer. Alaska Marine Trucking delivers vehicles to an auto dealership in Juneau twice weekly, year-round, with a specialized car-hauling trailer. Andrew was on the road to the dealership when he heard a loud ‘BOOM!’ He saw flames in his rear view mirror, pulled over and saw the trailer was on fire. The brakes of the trailer overheated and the brake drum blew in a fiery explosion. This, in turn, caught the inside trailer tire on fire, destroying it.

Andrew grabbed the fire extinguisher from his truck and quickly put out the flames. After the incident, he inspected all the gear and freight involved, and called his dispatcher. Fortunately Andrew and the cargo being transported were unharmed. Dispatcher Carolyn Smith contacted the dealership, and Andrew was able to unload the cars safely to complete delivery to the customer. "Thanks to his quick thinking and actions, Andrew saved the customer's shipment and Alaska Marine Lines what might have been a total loss of our equipment. I would like to recognize him for using his safety training, quick thinking and fast actions to save a disaster from happening," Carolyn says.

Tags: Alaska Marine Trucking, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden employees, Safety, Trucking, Shipping in Alaska, Drivers

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