Alaska Marine Trucking's Rick McKinley snapped this photo of the Alaska Trader leaving Dutch Harbor, AK last month on its way to Naknek. The fully loaded barge is carrying seven stacks of empty reefers—11 rows across and 5 high—for the Bristol Bay salmon season. "The containers will be filled with frozen salmon or salmon roe and carried back to Seattle or to Dutch Harbor for trans-loading onto a foreign ship for delivery to Asian markets," explains Greg Obeso, Alaska Marine Lines Account Manager.
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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."
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.
It's been a busy summer for Alaska Marine Lines' Dutch Harbor Service Center. The team recently handled the transport of a 60-ton rotor for Westward Seafoods, welcomed the 100th vessel of the season and moved into a new shop facility.
"Alaska Marine Lines moved the rotor from Seattle to Dutch Harbor to replace a failing unit in Westward's plant," says Tyler Riley, Dutch Harbor Service Center Manager. "We used two cranes to lift it off our barge which came in dockside to the Westward plant. The delivery went off without a hitch and we had one extremely happy customer."
Dutch Harbor serves as the hub for Western Alaska ports, transferring equipment and cargo as needed between Naknek, Dillingham, Bethel, Nome and Kotzebue. "We have many weeks where barges are back to back and we are working two vessels simultaneously," Tyler explains. "We move seafood daily from shoreside customer seafood plants Westward Seafoods and Alyeska Seafoods. On average we receive between 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of fish oil and around eight loads of frozen fish daily from the plants during the busy parts of A and B seasons. We also have several fishing vessels that come to Dutch after catching and processing a full load of fish. They offload frozen product into our containers going to Seattle and backload packaging supplies for another trip to the fishing grounds."
In addition to the daily plant trucking and vessel offload activities, Dutch Harbor provides shuttle barge service for several outports. "During A season we service Saint Paul Island for the opilio (snow) crab season, Sand Point and Beaver Inlet for pollock. During B season we continue the shuttle barges to Sand Point and Beaver Inlet, and add service to Alitak, Chignik, and Port Moller for pollock and/or salmon," Tyler explains.
Last year, AML doubled its capacity in Dutch Harbor with a yard expansion of almost four acres and a second barge ramp system for cargo transfer operations. This year's improvements include a new shop and office built closer to the dock and yard. The mechanics now have a flat concrete floor to work on equipment under a roof out of the elements with a stronger connection between the office and the yard operations. The upgraded shop is constructed of 17 40-foot containers recycled from Alaska Marine Lines' Seattle yard. "They fit together like Lego pieces," explains Rob Jones, Assistant Service Center Manager. "John Maketa and Gordy Lindblad did the welding and built a tent roof for the shop. The containers, including some insulated reefers, were phased out of service so it was a great idea to use them to create our new facility."
Alaska Marine Lines stepped in to help the Bristol Bay Historical Society move a 1932 sailboat from Anchorage to Naknek for display in the Bristol Bay museum. The 26-foot by 9-foot fully restored wooden vessel was used for salmon fishing more than 80 years ago. It still has the bright orange streak identifying it as cannery boat. The Anchorage Museum did the restoration work on Koggiung #5. It was scheduled to go into permanent storage there when Fred Anderson of the Bristol Bay Historical Society heard about it and decided to bring it home to his museum. It will join an older wooden sailboat in a collection there with plans to create an entire display of historic wooden fishing vessels. It took about two years of negotiations and planning to move the boat, but with Alaska Marine Lines' donation of barge transport, it is now back in its native waters and ready for all to enjoy.
The annual Earth Day celebration is a good time to recognize Lynden employees who continue to do more with less, decreasing their energy use while improving safety and productivity. Since 2008, nearly 50 energy efficiency upgrades at Lynden facilities have led to the reduction of 2,350 megawatt hours of electricity and nearly 7 million British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heating fuel and natural gas per year.
According to Anna Deal of Lynden’s Green Initiative, that’s the equivalent of the average energy used in 167 homes or 335 passenger vehicles in one year! "Some of the most impressive reductions at Lynden have come from steady and consistent efforts and continuous improvement," she says.
For example, Lynden Transport’s Anchorage Service Center has reduced its heating fuel use by 20 percent over the last eight years by repairing insulation, sealing air gaps in the dock doors and dock plates with rubber, and installing new dock shelters. Most recently, a new direct digital controlled thermostat is reducing natural gas use even further. The Anchorage team invested in a series of lighting upgrades that has reduced electricity use by 20 percent, despite adding eight electric forklifts.
"One of the unexpected benefits of using electric lifts is the CO2 fan no longer kicks on in the cross-dock," says Richard Hennagin, Lynden Transport Safety Manager. "In a way, the lifts run for free because the fans are no longer pushing warm air outside or using electricity to run."
Similarly, the LTI, Inc. Service Center in Lynden, WA has reduced its overall electricity use by 37 percent since 2008. Employees have upgraded old lighting and HVAC systems, installed LED lights in the remodel, and most recently, yard lights were replaced with LEDs.
"One of the most exciting changes in the last few years is the number of Lynden facilities moving to LED lights," Anna says. "These lights give better quality light that mimics natural daylight while using a third of the energy. They last longer, so don’t need to be replaced as often. They are dimmable and turn on instantly, so they work well with smart sensor technology and there’s no mercury to dispose of when they do burn out."
More improvements throughout the companies:
ALASKA WEST EXPRESS
Alaska West Express in Fairbanks has some of the highest energy costs of any Lynden facility due to a lack of energy options, cold temperatures and the size of the 30-acre facility. Over the last few years the team replaced high wattage lights in the maintenance and tank-cleaning facilities as well as 76 yard lights with energy efficient LED lights. They reduced their electricity usage by 14 percent with a 2.5 year payback to recoup costs. "The best part is, the guys in the shop don’t have to wear their headlamps around anymore," says Gage Schutte, Alaska West Express Service Center Manager.
ALASKA MARINE LINES
Alaska Marine Lines began testing LED lights in the Seattle yard in 2015. "With a payback of less than three years and a 20-year lifespan, it seemed like a no-brainer," says Mark Gaska (now with Alaska West Express in Tacoma). Since then, M&R interior and exterior lights and salt tent lights have all been replaced with LEDs and smart sensors that adjust lighting output based on daylight levels and movement. Most recently, Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle became the first port facility in the world to use stadium style LED lights to light the yard.
"The truck entry lane in Yard 5 needed additional light for safety and security. Rather than disrupting operations and trenching power to install a new pole, we decided to use high mast LED lights. The difference is literally night and day. The safety crew and especially the night crew are very happy," says Tom Crescenzi, Alaska Marine Lines Service Center Manager.
LYNDEN TRANSPORT—Lower 48
Lynden Transport in Fife recently replaced lighting in the cross dock and yard (see photo on page 1). "The biggest benefit is safety," says Keith Johnson, Safety Supervisor. "After we moved to electric lifts, you couldn’t hear the lift approach over the buzzing sound of the old lights. The LED lights are quiet and the crew is able to read paperwork without going to the forklift for light." Lynden Transport Service Centers in Soldotna and Fairbanks also recently replaced their yard lights with LEDs.
"Even with all of the reductions at Lynden facilities to date, there is still a huge opportunity to reduce energy use further," Anna says.
Alaska Marine Lines' Kuskokwim Trader filled in for the USS Turner Joy museum ship this winter serving as a temporary breakwater to protect the Bremerton Marina. The Turner Joy was scheduled for required maintenance in Seattle in January which left the marina without a breakwater to protect the small craft moored there.
Alaska Marine Lines Marine Maintenance Manager David Byrne first got the call from Steven Sparks at the Port of Bremerton. "He saw the Kuskokwim Trader anchored over at Sinclair Inlet near Gorst and came up with the idea to use it as a stand-in for the larger ship," he says. "At 300 feet long, the barge isn't as long as the 418-foot destroyer, so Western Towboat towed it to a spot further away from the bank where it would work just as well."
The barge did its job protecting the northern end of the marina from January through Feb. 28 when the Turner Joy returned to the harbor, towed by Western Towboat.
"When port staff called Alaska Marine Lines for help, David Byrne was very accommodating and acted quickly to help the Port and Historic Ships Association in resolving the issue by providing us with the Kuskokwim Trader.
Mike Clevenger and Rheagan Sparks helped with administrative tasks," says Jim Rothlin, Port of Bremerton CEO. "I very much appreciate Lynden's support."
The Kuskokwim will soon be towed to Western Alaska loaded with cargo for the annual fish season in Bristol Bay. "It was a great fit for the 35-year-old barge," David says, "and we were happy we could help out the Port of Bremerton."
Alaska Marine Lines celebrated the launch of its newest barge, Skagway Provider, at a ceremony July 7 at Gunderson Marine in Portland, Ore. where the vessel was constructed. The heavy deck cargo barge will make its maiden voyage from Seattle to Southeast Alaska July 29 and will begin serving Alaska Marine Lines customers on the Seattle to Southeast Alaska route.
Photo credit: www.facebook.com/gbrxcompanies
“We are proud to offer our customers additional capacity between Seattle and Southeast Alaska via the Skagway Provider,” says Alaska Marine Lines President Kevin Anderson. “It represents a significant investment in our Southeast Alaska service. Most Southeast communities have no land-route link with either the Lower 48 or the rest of Alaska. Virtually everything comes in by water – cars, heavy equipment, food and medical supplies – so providing reliable, efficient and safe equipment to serve our customers is extremely important to us.”
The Skagway Provider’s 360’ x 100’ x 22’ hull has capacity for 13,200 tons of cargo or about 800 20-foot containers. It is in the same class as Alaska Marine Lines’ barges Sitka Provider, Southeast Provider and Stikine Provider. Gunderson Marine has been a long and valued supplier, constructing 16 barges for Alaska Marine Lines over the past 18 years and continuing to invest in efficiency and new technology.
Alaska Marine Lines offers twice weekly barge service to Southeast Alaska including Juneau, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Sitka, Haines, Skagway, Wrangell, as well as twice weekly service to Central Alaska, seasonal service to Western Alaska, and bi-weekly service to Hawaii. Charter services are also available. Current sailing schedules can be viewed online at www.lynden.com/aml/barge-schedule.html. Alaska Marine Lines is part of the Lynden family of companies.
Alaska Marine Lines and LTI, Inc. donated the transportation of a ceremonial totem pole from Bellingham, WA to Hoonah, AK for a June 4 dedication in the Tlingit village. Carved by Scott Jensen, Jeff Skaflestad and Fred Fulmer at Jensen's Bellingham studio, the totem was requested by elders of the Chookaneidee Clan to replace an ancestral totem pole that, according to legend, served as a source of wisdom, protection and direction for the clan's shaman when the clan was located at Glacier Bay, AK.
The advance of the "Little Ice Age" between 1300-1870 drove the Tlingit out of Glacier Bay. The pole remained and was eventually enveloped in ice. "After Glacier Bay was designated a national park, the clan was not allowed to return to their homeland," explains Master Carver Scott Jensen. "The clan relocated in Hoonah and, years later, the totem reappeared in the creek there. Although the pole is now gone, the clan elders have wanted to replace it for generations."
Skaflestad relocated from Hoonah to Bellingham and Fulmer from Juneau to help Jensen carve the totem in his studio. After five months of work, the totem was finished and ready to begin its journey to Hoonah. Jensen called Lynden for help.
The Alaska Marine Lines team arrived at Jensen's Bellingham studio in May to pick up the 11-foot, 2,000-pound totem, which is considered both a clan and shaman pole. The crated totem pole was secured on a trailer for the ride to Lynden, WA where LTI, Inc.'s Tom Rainey used a forklift to carefully place it into a container for the ride to Seattle and transfer onto the barge for the journey to Southeast Alaska. In Petersburg, AK, the pole was transferred barge to barge for the final leg to Hoonah. "As a company serving Alaska for over 60 years, Lynden is proud to provide the transportation to bring this important ancestral piece back to Hoonah," says Executive Vice President Alex McKallor.
Although the elders who requested the new totem passed away before the dedication in June, the carvers say the ceremony was very moving. "We felt the presence of our ancestors," says Skaflestad who is part Tlingit. "There were many tears as we placed the totem pole in its ceremonial location in the creek. It was a proud moment of unification for all of us."
"We feel very blessed to have Lynden's support in this project," Jensen says. "Each member of the Lynden team took great care in making sure the totem was safe and secure along its journey."
Alaska Marine Lines/ Terminal 115 (Y-5) has gone above and beyond to prevent pollution and keep sediment, trace metals and accidental spills out of Seattle’s Duwamish River.
Silt and trace metals such as copper and zinc occasionally come into Alaska Marine Lines facilities from dust and dirt in the wind or on trucks and shipping containers, and in rainwater. Truck and forklift tires are the primary contributors of zinc. The Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and filtration equipment keeps these sediments, metals and other contaminants out of the storm drains and river when it rains.
“The first line of defense is good training,” says Training Manager Jerome Chen. “Our people are trained to respond immediately to all spills and our two sweepers clean up about 25 tons of dirt per month.” Filter baskets in 264 storm drain catch basins at AML locations remove silt and form a barrier to catch fluids from accidental spills.
Every catch basin is tied into a Clear Water treatment system. Since 2014, the treatment systems have processed and discharged millions of gallons of clean water. The tanks were constructed out of containers and flat-racks.
In addition to the Clear Water system, three new storm water Rx units were recently installed to capture extra runoff at Y-5 and incorporate runoff from Y-3 and Y-4. The passive filtration system targets a variety of pollutants and discharges clean, treated storm water into the Duwamish River. During an exceptionally large rainstorm, nearly 200,000 gallons of water was successfully treated in one day at Terminal 115 (Y-5).
“Alaska Marine Lines locations at Y1 and Y2 have been using these Rx systems since 2011 and have consistently achieved testing benchmarks. We anticipate similar results for the other locations with our newly installed systems,” explains Andrew Heuscher, Director of Safety.
Other clean and green improvements:
- Last winter, the salt bagging operation moved from Y1 to Y5 and a new covered salt storage and bagging operation was installed. The move has eliminated excessive moisture in the bagged salt and reduced salt leaching into the filtration units.
- Lines running between catch basins at Y-4 and Y-5 were cleaned of years of metal-laden silt and silt. Efforts continue with lines in Yards 1, 2, and 3.
“The Alaska Marine Lines team should be proud of their systems and ongoing compliance to protect the environments where we do business,” says Jim Maltby, Lynden’s Director of HSSE. “Mike Herrman does an outstanding job in maintaining the facilities and, under Andrew Heuscher’s leadership, the program has set the bar for others in the industry to meet.”