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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: Lynden Transport, Community, International, AML

Everyday Hero Profile: Jeff McKenney

Posted on Fri, Nov 20, 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 Jeff McKenney, Account Manager at Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle, Washington.

Everyday Hero Jeff McKenneyName: Jeff McKenney

Company: Alaska Marine Lines

Title: Account Manager

On the job since: 1988

Superpower: Using past experience to solve problems

Hometown: Oceanside, CA

Favorite Movie: Top Gun

Bucket List Destination: Seeing the U.S. via RV and a return trip to the Grand Canyon

For Fun: Boating, attending Seattle sports events, remodeling the house

How did you start your career at Alaska Marine Lines?
When I started my relationship with Lynden, I was a warehouseman and driver for a small freight company. That company unfortunately went out of business, so the saying, "when one door closes another one opens," was an opportunity for me to look forward. I decided to purchase my own truck and was successful in keeping Southeast Alaska Barge Lines Line (SEABL) as a customer. My hard work, dedication and relationship with the people I worked with at SEABL offered me a chance to continue the career I enjoyed. I also began working nights and weekends for SEABL doing all the different jobs that Alaska Marine Lines provides today. Earlier in my career, I had worked with Western Towboat as a deckhand on the tug during the winter months. For those of you who remember, SEABL only operated one barge every two weeks to the one port of Juneau. Working on the tug gave me the opportunity to learn another facet of the marine transportation business. I am grateful to this day.

A few years after starting my business, Lynden purchased SEABL and changed the name to Alaska Marine Lines. I was again successful and fortunate to retain Alaska Marine Lines as my customer. After 13 years of owning my business, I had an opportunity to take a full time position with Alaska Marine Lines to dispatch and manage the trucks and operators that were operating just as I once did. I held that position for four years when a sales position opened in Seattle. I thought it was the right time to advance my career and use the knowledge I had learned over the years to sell the services Alaska Marine Lines offered. After my interviews with Kevin Anderson and other management, Kevin called me and said, "I have some bad news and some good news." He said the bad news was the Seattle position was filled. He then said they had a sales position open in Juneau and that position was mine if I wanted to move to Juneau. That was a big decision I needed to discuss with my family. The family agreed that we would all move. I called Kevin with the decision. He stopped me before I could say anything more and said, "I have some bad news and some good news." At that moment, I could feel this heavy cloud come over me and wanted to turn and walk away. But I had to hear the final words and it started: "I've filled the Juneau sales position." That confirmed my worst nightmare. But then another door opened, when he said that the Seattle sales position was open and it was mine if I wanted it. I accepted the position and was able to continue to work with the people who were my friends and colleagues here and keep my family where we really wanted to be.

What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day for me is corresponding with customers, their affiliates, and with Lynden colleagues either in person, on the phone, or through email. As an account manager, my job is to look for freight opportunities including new and existing business. New business would involve customers you've never talked to and existing business would be current customers you already work with in the hopes of expanding that business.

Unfortunately, the world we knew has been changed by Covid-19. Prior to Covid, my job was to be in front of the customer and building relationships. Since Covid, I still have to be there for the customer using other means of communication, either through more telecommunications, email or by other social media tools.

One of your best assets for being in sales is your ability to listen and show compassion. A customer wants to know that you take their business seriously. Then offering options to best suit their needs while making it beneficial for Lynden.

That is where Alaska Marine Lines and all the Lynden companies have made my job so much more fun. Our abilities to be innovative through equipment design, schedules, and online tools offers so much to the customer compared to our competition. The fact that we can pull multiple Lynden operating companies together to offer the customer a One Lynden solution has a lot of merit.

What has been most challenging in your career?
I've been fortunate to have worked in both operations and in sales. They are very different but having the operations background has definitely been a positive in my sales career. Operations is black and white. Meaning you make decisions, right or wrong, and learn from the mistakes. Sales has always been more of a gray area. You still learn from your mistakes but there is always the unknown and uncertainty of whether or not you've secured the business. You work at creating and maintaining relationships and try to educate your customers on the features and benefits that Lynden provides. But once they finally sign on the dotted line or begin moving that first shipment with you, then you feel successful of your achievements and proud of all the hard work you've put forth. Now, your focus is to keep that business and hopefully ship a second and a third and continue to build the business you've created.

What are you most proud of in your career?
Being able to share my life and experiences with the people at Lynden and their affiliates who I've been associated with over the years. Many of these people have already retired and I look forward to joining them in the next chapter of my life. My customers have become my friends and I look forward to continuing those friendships.

I'm proud of the challenges I've had to overcome and, more importantly, proud of the people around me who have helped me along the way. I've grown through adversity and hard work. I've enjoyed good times and suffered through some hard times but have learned through the process to become better. Lynden has been a great company to be part of. I'm very fortunate to be a part of this family and have appreciated all that they have done to support me and my wife and kids.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
My two brothers were 9 and 10 years older than I was. My parents always told me I was the planned one! My dad was a gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corp at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA and retired after 22 years. After his retirement, we moved to Lincoln, NB when I was 3, then moved to Salem, OR for two years and then moved up to Washington. I have lived here ever since in various cities around the greater Seattle area.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, my parents bought me a Tumbler Pigeon from the Oregon State Fair. Raising the pigeon taught me a lot of responsibility just like owning any pet would. Remember the part my dad was a "gunny" in the Marine Corp? He made sure I did my duty!

So I took care of that bird from the time I lived in Salem, OR until we moved to Washington. Then in middle school, I got into pigeons again. I started with the fancy varieties like the Tumblers, Fan Tails and Helmut pigeons. I began breeding the birds and selling them to pet stores. I later changed my focus from fancy pigeons to homing pigeons and got into racing them in between high school sports of baseball, football and wrestling.

I met my wife Lisa 41 years ago, and we've been married for 38 years. We met at an under 21 dance club on Mercer Island called "Tonight's the Night." I remember her standing next to the wall on the outskirts of the dance floor talking to her friends. She had very short hair that was styled in this asymmetrical fashion which was different from all the other girls. I went up and asked her to dance. I put my best John Travolta moves forward and we really hit it off, or so I thought. When I asked her for her number, she said "No, I don't give out my number," but then she said she would take my number. I thought it would be the last I would hear from her. To my surprise, I was fortunate to get a call from her early the next day, and we made plans to go to the Woodland Park Zoo.

She has been my best friend ever since. She is my rock and my soul mate and one of the smartest women I know. I've been so lucky to have this lady in my life for this long.

We have two daughters; Ashlee, 32, and Briana, 28. I am so proud of these girls. They have been a joy. I only had brothers so having girls was a new experience each and every day. As young girls they're always looking up to you for guidance. You do what you can to protect them from the world, but you have to eventually let them find their own way. They are both intelligent, strong and independent women that also very patient and caring. Definitely their mother's qualities.

What was your first job?
My very first job was a paper route as a young kid. It was waking up early every morning to stuff papers with leaflets, then fold and roll them to apply a rubber band. Then place them in an organized fashion inside your bag so when you rode your bike past the house, you could easily grab them from your bag to toss them toward the front door. Yes, some did end up in the bushes early in the route till you got your rhythm.

My first job as an adult was working in a Pet Store in Bellevue, WA. We always had dogs growing up and whatever reptiles I could catch. Also the pigeons that I had in my life kind of set me up for working at a pet store. Taking care of weird and exotic animals was right up my alley and one of the most fun jobs I ever had.

What would surprise most people about you?
After graduating from high school in 1977, I worked at the "Hat and Boots" fuel station located on East Marginal Way and Corson Avenue in Seattle. The big cowboy hat was the office and the pair of boots was the restrooms. It became a historical site and they eventually moved both structures to some other location to preserve its history. It was there that I really began my transportation career. As the fuel attendant I created relationships with the drivers who came in to have their trucks and cars fueled. Yes, back then the attendant did the fueling. Because of those relationships, I was then able to find a position with an air freight company. I would drive large van trucks called Hoopie trucks all day to pick up and deliver freight and then go back to the warehouse to load containers called LD3 and M1. These containers would be delivered on tractor/flatbed combinations to the airport to be placed on planes and positioned around the Lower 48. This career is what led me to Lynden.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
My parents always had boats and I grew up boating with them year-round in the San Juans and Gulf Islands. Back then, the Islands were a lot less inhabited. I continued that with my wife and kids throughout their childhood on 24' – 35' boats of various types.

I used to take family and friends out for day trips or for weekends and vacations up to the islands to fish and hike. That was always my passion. Now, I enjoy remodeling and building around my house. The first home I purchased was in Bellevue, WA. We lived there 15 years and had both our girls in that home. We bought our second home 22 years ago and we still live there. I love fishing and I have done some bird hunting. I am a big Seattle sports fan and enjoy going to sports events. Now it is taking my RV and traveling around to new sites. I have a 12' aluminum boat to satisfy my need for the water. If I could talk my wife into it, I wouldn't mind getting another boat and maybe living aboard. I also love to cook, and I love to eat even more.

What do you like best about your job?
I love the challenge. I like being able to provide the customer with a positive experience, show customers what Lynden can do and being part of Lynden's success.

Tags: Lynden Employees, Everyday Heroes, AML

Knik improves and maintains infrastructure in Alaska

Posted on Thu, Oct 08, 2020

Knik FlaggerSummer months are the busy season for Knik Construction and, this year, crews wrapped up two projects in Bethel, AK. The Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway and the Bethel Parallel Runway Airport projects.

The Knik team worked hard repairing Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway at the request of the Alaska Department of Transportation. Roads take a beating in Alaska with freeze and thaw cycles creating potholes and crumbled asphalt erosion. Improvements to the Bethel highway included work on corners, shoulders and the installation of six inches of foamed asphalt with another four inches of asphalt on top. Knik has also installed culverts and added topsoil and hydro-seeding.

"Our work to improve roads and airports is very important to the Alaska economy and the health and safety of Alaska residents. These projects keep communities connected and maintain and protect the routes necessary to deliver essential goods," says Knik President Dan Hall. "We are entrusted with vital infrastructure projects and our employees take this responsibility seriously. We make every effort to hire as many local people as possible and finish our projects on time and within budget." Pictured above, Knik Flagger Wilson Green directed drivers to the work site in Bethel. Wilson is a local Bethel resident hired to work on the Chief Eddie Hoffman Highway project.

Knik Bethel Airport ProjectKnik also continued a long-term project to install a parallel runway and three taxiways at the Bethel Airport (pictured right). The project was split into three phases. Crews were most recently working on Phase III which called for expanding the primary runway safety area to a width of 500 feet along its entire 8,400-foot length.

A secondary runway embankment was constructed with a 4,600-foot by 150-foot runway safety area. Crews developed two material sites on airport property to supply the work. Over 1,000,000 cubic yards of sandy-silt material was excavated and hauled from these two sources. In prior phases, Knik installed a new standby generator module, electrical service, new runway lighting and underground fuel storage tank de-commissioning among other improvements.

As a general heavy construction company, Knik specializes in complex, logistically challenging projects in hard-to-reach places like remote bush Alaska, Guantanamo Bay, Wake Island and Midway Island. Knik crews work seasonally depending on the work which may mean moving materials via waterways in summer and constructing ice roads in the winter.

In addition to construction projects, each year Knik processes over 100,000 tons of gravel, rock, sand and other aggregate at its Platinum Pit and Quarry in Bethel. Gravel is shipped to remote sites in Western Alaska and other parts of the world by sister companies Bering Marine and Alaska Marine Lines.

Tags: Bering Marine Corporation, Alaska, Knik Construction, Construction, AML

Juneau masks

Posted on Fri, Oct 02, 2020

Alaska Marine Lines bargeIn Juneau, local business Capital Canvas converted its facility to start producing face masks, shields and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline medical and emergency personnel. Owner Hal Doughtery sterilized his entire shop and began PPE production this spring, according to Alaska Marine Trucking Health and HSSE Manager Brett Farrell. Hal provided Alaska Marine Trucking with 200 masks for distribution to employees. In turn, Alaska Marine Lines made a cash donation to help the effort as well as providing free shipping of all materials to fabricate the masks.

Tags: Alaska Marine Trucking, Alaska, Community, AML

New ramp on the job in Juneau

Posted on Fri, Aug 14, 2020

Juneau ramp with Alaska TraderLanding ramps are essential marine equipment in Southeast Alaska. The massive steel ramps connect the barge to land, allowing for the safe and smooth transfer of freight at Southeast ports. This summer, Juneau received a new ramp built by Lynden's long-term partner Western Towboat. The Juneau ramp – 120-feet long, 24-feet wide and 243,000 pounds – took six months to build in Seattle. Two cranes were needed to lift it from the Western Towboat yard onto the barge.

Ramps must hold up under the weight of 165,000-pound forklifts hauling payloads of 90,000 pounds or more, day after day. "We use them multiple times a day so quality is extremely important in their construction. We know we can count on Western Towboat's integrity in building our ramps and that they will last for years," says Juneau Service Center Manager Mike Payne.

JNU ramp setting July 4, 2020After construction at Western Towboat's Seattle yard, the Juneau ramp was barged to Alaska Marine Lines' Y-5 terminal. The ramp's 90,000-pound tank was built in Ketchikan by Vigor Shipyard. It also needed a ride to Juneau and was delivered ahead of the ramp.

"The new ramp is working great. Western Towboat has the best fabricators around," says Marine Operations Manager Joe Purcell. "The whole team did an amazing job getting this done with no delays in barge service to Juneau. We pulled the old ramp out at noon on a Thursday and had the new ramp operational at 2 a.m. Sat., July 4. We had to wait for the high tide Friday night to lift it into the water."

The old ramp is still undergoing repairs in the Juneau yard and is expected to be set in Haines later this year. Western Towboat has built ramps for Alaska Marine Lines ports in Ketchikan, Cordova, Petersburg, Seattle, Whittier and Haines.

Tags: Alaska, Ocean, AML

Alaska Marine Lines rail barges upgrade ballast systems

Posted on Wed, Aug 05, 2020

Alaska Marine Lines rail barge Four Alaska Marine Lines rail barges are getting new piping and ballast systems designed by marine industry leader Glosten with installation by Meridian Marine Industries. "The rail barges are hitting 20 years of service and were in need of some upgrades," explains John Maketa, T-115 Port Engineer in Seattle. "These barges are the backbone of our rail operations and Central Alaska service. The updates will prepare them for another 20 years of service."

Two barges, the Anchorage Provider and Whittier Provider, already have the new piping systems installed. The Fairbanks Provider is scheduled for updates in August and the Nana Provider sometime next year. Using a patented rack system, the rail barges transport containers and rail cars from Seattle to Whittier, AK where the rail cars are rolled onto the train tracks.

The ballast systems are a network of valves, pipes and pumps below deck on all Alaska Marine Lines rail barges. The tanks are filled with fresh water to trim the barge before sailing. With six 1,200-ton ballast tanks on each barge, a total weight of 2,400 tons of water is moved between tanks to trim the barge for efficient towing.

Each rail barge is receiving the following services and updates:

Robot removing paint
  • New ballast system, including all valves and actuators. An actuator is an attached electrical motor that allows the valves to be operated and monitored remotely. The operations crews can operate the system from on deck without going into the pump room.
  • System modifications to add ballast water treatment systems in the future.
  • New wave wall doors to protect the generator.
  • Rebuilt valves in the spill containment system with modifications that will allow inspection and repair in the future.
  • Removal of excessive hull paint built up by 20 years of paint jobs. Pictured right, a robot removes old paint from the hull of the Anchorage Provider at SeaSpan Drydock in Vancouver, B.C.
  • Removal of generators for complete inspections and replacement of worn parts.
  • Fuel tanks cleaned and refurbished.
  • Complete recoating of all ballast tanks.

"John has done a great job coordinating these updates, including planning, vendor selection, material logistics and scheduling with operations for maintenance windows to work on the four barges," says Marine Maintenance Manager David Byrne. "We are known for our exceptionally well-maintained and reliable equipment and these upgrades and renovations allow us to maintain that reputation with our customers."

Tags: Alaska, Ocean, AML

Alaska Marine Lines celebrates 40 years

Posted on Wed, Jul 15, 2020

Alaska Marine Lines celebrates 40 yearsAlaska Marine Lines celebrates its 40th anniversary this year! That is 40 years we've been privileged to serve our amazing customers and local communities, 40 years side-by-side with the most wonderful, hard-working people in the barge industry and 40 years of experience fine tuning our service and reach to offer the largest fleet of equipment in Alaska.

In 1980, Lynden acquired the assets of Southeast Barge Lines from Western Towboat, Trucano Construction and Jim Harper and Southeast Alaska Barge Lines was established. "This began the long and productive partnership between Lynden and Western Towboat that we still enjoy today," explains Alaska Marine Lines President Kevin Anderson.

Two years later, Southeast Alaska Barge Lines was renamed Alaska Marine Lines. In 1985, as Foss Alaska Lines withdrew from Southeast service and Pacific Western Lines curtailed its service, Alaska Marine Lines purchased selected assets from those barge carriers and added many employees who are still with the Lynden companies today including Executive Vice President Alex McKallor. Also that year, service partner Arrowhead Transfer headed by Gordie Harang began providing services to Alaska Marine Lines in Southeast Alaska.

Alaska Marine Lines Presidents over the yearsPictured to the right, Alaska Marine Lines Presidents over the years include, from left: Bill Troy, Alex McKallor, Gail Knapp and current President Kevin Anderson.

Looking back, Kevin says some of the biggest changes have been in equipment. "We've gone from 20' containers to 40's, then 48's and now 53's, and forklifts with a capacity of 55,000 pounds that can now lift 120,000 pounds," he says. "The first barge was 130 feet long with a 1,000-HP tug. Today we have 420-foot barges towed by tugs with 5,000-HP."

In 2019, Alaska Marine Lines expanded its service area to include Arctic villages like Kaktovik to better serve customers statewide and this year has expanded its fleet with the purchase of two cargo barges.

"As we celebrate four decades of business I'd like to honor the dedicated and talented employees, past and present, who have contributed to our success," Kevin says. "We now service every major coastal region in Alaska. I look forward to seeing what the new decade will bring."

Tags: Ocean, AML

North to Alaska, South by Barge: Voyage of a Reefer Tech

Posted on Mon, Jun 29, 2020

AML reefer techs in SeattleEvery fishing season, Alaska Marine Lines refrigeration mechanics (reefer techs) leave Seattle and make the journey north to keep Lynden's refrigerated containers (reefers) in top shape. The techs fly to Alaska and then accompany the loaded reefers on the southbound barges. These ride-along-with-the-reefer trips have been taking place for years, but the voyage of the reefer technician has not been well known. Until now.

Mechanic Greg Restad was so impressed with his off-site assignment that he decided to document his experience. Greg's notes provide a unique look behind the scenes of this annual effort to protect customers' fish and other refrigerated freight and maintain Lynden's equipment. It should be noted that Greg has 30 years of experience working on refrigerated equipment including working for Les Candee and Art Burg at Foss Maritime in the early 1980s.

According to Assistant Maintenance and Repair Manager Steve Tafoya, mechanics check around 3,000 reefers each year during the north-to-south trips. Most reefers last around 20 years, but with excellent care, they can last longer.

"We run a pre-trip inspection anytime a reefer enters the yard so we keep close tabs on all equipment and any emerging problems," Steve says. "It could be power, a leak, burnout of the evaporator motor or something else. The most common issue with reefers is a lack of communication with the tug. Our mechanics also check and service generator sets, make sure gear vans are stocked and that the GRASP reefer monitoring system, all plugs and time share panels are working," Steve explains. Everything is documented and becomes part of the service record.

Mechanics sleep on the tug when the barge is under way or in bunkhouses in Naknek, Dillingham and St. Paul. Meals are eagerly anticipated as the tug cooks are known for their gourmet cooking. "Naknek has a great bunch of guys and good accommodations," Greg says. "They made me feel welcome and fed me well. It's nice when I get a couple days to check out the yard and my units before loading because once they start loading, these guys move. Everyone pitches in to get us in and out of port. I never heard 'It's not my job' even when I had a container I couldn't fix that was located in the middle of the stack. They had to bring in a barge alongside and crane it out of the middle of my barge. 'It's no one's fault; it can't be helped; let's get it done' was their response."

It's not always smooth sailing. Sometimes parts have to be flown in to repair a reefer or an employee needs medical care. One tech was suffering from an abscessed tooth and had to come back to Seattle, so he traded places with the next tech on the list.

And then there are rough seas. On Greg's first outing in Naknek, he was worried when he heard about 16-foot seas on the voyage. "The 70-knot gusts almost knocked me off my feet in the yard, and then they told me we were going to leave," he says. "Thankfully, Captain Eric kept the wind behind us, charted sheltered waters and, by the time we got into the Gulf, the seas had calmed down to 10 feet. The crews were always great. They were polite and forgiving when I wasn't familiar with the program and ran me though the safety procedures and orientation. It was fun to see how fast I could don a survival suit."

Although the reefer techs are away from home for long periods, they are treated to delicious meals like prime rib and salmon prepared by the tug cooks. The views are pretty good, too. Eagles, whales, sharks and porpoises all share air and sea space with the barges and tugs in the North Pacific. For many reefer techs, it's a nice change of scenery from working in the Seattle yard.

"These techs are on the front line making sure our reefers are keeping the fish cold and the perishables fresh," Steve says. "They spend months away from home, family and friends to uphold the Lynden brand of service. We all appreciate the work they do."

Tags: Green Lynden, Seafood, Lynden Employees, Alaska, Grocery Chill and Frozen, Temperature-Controlled, Ocean, AML

Alaska Marine Lines expands fleet with two big barges

Posted on Mon, Jun 22, 2020

Alaska Marine Lines barge in SeattleAlaska Marine Lines (dba Aloha Marine Lines in Hawaii) expanded its fleet with the purchase of two cargo barges, the Kamakani and Namakani, from Oregon based Sause Bros. Sause terminated its Hawaii service in March and Alaska Marine Lines is now serving its customers.

The Kamakani (above) and the Namakani are now the largest of all Alaska Marine Lines vessels – each with a 438-foot overall length and 105 feet of width and a payload of 16,869 tons. "For comparison, our railbarges are 420 feet long and 100 feet wide with a payload of 15,300 tons," explains Tom Crescenzi, Seattle Service Center Manager. The Kamakani was constructed by Gunderson Marine in 2008 and the Namakani in 2016. Both are fitted with 22-foot-high cargo binwalls and an internal ballast system.

"While the initial sailing of the Kamakani on April 18 was definitely the heaviest Hawaii single barge sailing to depart from Terminal 115 in Seattle, she also had the least amount of lashing," Tom says. "Between the walls and the rod lashings we dropped close to 90 percent of the lashing compared to a regular Hawaiian sailing. We still have a number of things to learn and improve on, but Hawaii Barge Master Brad Hughes did a great job on the first round. Everyone has put in a lot of work and, considering the size of this sailing and the short time we've had to handle the switch-over from Sause, everyone really stepped up."

In addition, Aloha Marine Lines moved from Pier 29 in Honolulu to the old Sause Bros. location at Pier 5 Kalaeloa – Barber's Point in Kapolei, HI. "Our new location is much closer to our high-volume customers in the industrial park area of Kapolei which will offer more delivery efficiencies to our Hawaii customers," says Jake Maenpa, Vice President Sales.

Tags: Hawaii, Ocean, AML

Alaska Marine Lines employees participate in Stay 6', Stay Safe campaign

Posted on Tue, Jun 02, 2020

Alaska Marine Lines Stay Safe campaignAlaska Marine Lines launched a Stay 6', Stay Safe campaign and contest to encourage social distancing among onsite employees in Seattle, Alaska and Hawaii, according to Bridgette Bell, Director of Human Resources.

The contest ran for a few months and employees submitted ways they were staying safe while at work as well as at home to be entered into the weekly drawing. The employee whose name was drawn won a gift card to a local restaurant in an effort to support local businesses who are also feeling the effects of the pandemic.

Some of the employee led social distancing ideas included employees eating lunch outside or in their car instead of the lunchroom and taping a 6 foot line on the floor in offices. One manager even created a 6 foot safety stick as a tool to give employees a sense of how far away 6 feet actually is.

Even though the contest is no longer running employees are still supporting each other by maintaining social distancing guidelines. Pictured above are employees at the Yard 1 Diesel Shop in Seattle. "We are all in this together, just 6 feet apart," Bridgette says.

Tags: Lynden Employees, Safety, AML