Lynden Transport Account Manager Dennis Flajole (right) and Brown Line Sales Manager Steve McQueary spoke to students at the University of Washington in December as part of an annual transportation seminar hosted by the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Education Foundation. It was Dennis' third year as a speaker at the seminar which Lynden customer Darigold sponsors each year. "The presentation was an excellent overview of the diversity of your organization and how important transportation is to both state and regional economies," writes Deborah Moore, Program Director for the foundation. "After the presentation the students had questions about issues we're facing in the industry," Dennis says, "but they were more impressed with the services we provide and the amazing places we provide them. Every year I have students express interest in working for Lynden. This year two people asked me for contact information and said they wanted to work for us in Alaska."
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Brown Line, LLC, an industry leader in temperature-controlled truck transport, earned a SmartWay Transport Partner 'High Performer' Status ranking from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this month. Among the hundreds of fleets partnering with the EPA through SmartWay, Brown Line is among the select few that have earned SmartWay High Performer status for all performance metrics.
According to the SmartWay Transport Partnership, just over 2 percent of all SmartWay carriers operate fleets so clean and efficient that they make the High Performer list. "These companies are a step ahead in meeting the challenges of sustainable goods movement and have achieved significant shipping and freight efficiencies that merit special attention," says Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator. "Compared to their SmartWay peers, High Performer carriers drive cleaner, emit fewer pollutants and burn less fuel for every mile they travel and for every ton of freight they move."
Over the past seven years, Brown Line has decreased its idle hours by 87 percent, its Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions by 43 percent, its Particulate Matter emissions (PM) by 52 percent and its Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions per ton mile by 27 percent. The company has also improved its mile per gallon (MPG) by 44 percent. "The Brown Line team is extremely proud of this award and this recognition. To be in the top 2 percent of all trucking companies is affirmation that our efforts to improve freight efficiency are paying off," says Brown Line President Bill Johansen. "We will continue to adopt programs and practices that improve productivity and reduce our carbon footprint on the road and in our operations."
Brown Line uses highly efficient engines, lightweight equipment with enhanced aerodynamics, automatic tire inflation systems and onboard computers to manage highway speed, progressive shifting, best routing options and idle times. Other efficiency measures include:
- Cab design, with roof fairing, side skirts, integrated sleeper, and aerodynamic mirrors and bumper, reduces drag. Ultra-lightweight 53' trailers use side skirts and trailer tails.
- Fleet includes 53-foot trailers with California Air Resources Board (CARB) complaint reefer units.
- Team drivers and new high-efficiency plug-in electric refrigerated trailers minimize the need to idle the truck's engine. All reefers are electric.
- Efficient engines – DT-12 Transmission Program, Carb Emission Certification-Clean Idle.
- Gearing – DT-12, heavy duty 12-speed overdrive automated manual transmission increases miles per gallon.
- All trucks and trailers use wide-base, low-rolling resistant single tires and have an automatic system to keep tires properly inflated for optimum fuel economy and to reduce tire wear.
- PeopleNet tool is used to measure engine/driver performance in decreasing idle time and increasing miles per gallon with an average of 7.6 MPG for the entire fleet and an overall reduction in fuel use.
- Event Recorders are installed in all tractors to ensure improved safety and reduce cost.
Brown Line became a SmartWay Transportation Partner in 2010. Sister company Lynden Transport became the first Alaska trucking company to join SmartWay in 2008, followed by LTI, Inc./Milky Way – a three-time winner of SmartWay's Excellence Award – and Alaska West Express in 2012.
The EPA launched SmartWay in 2004 to help businesses improve the sustainability of their freight supply chains. Today, the partnership consists of 3,000 companies representing a cross section of the freight supply chain.
Brown Line is one of the Lynden family of companies whose combined capabilities include: shipping to Alaska, truckload and less-than-truckload transportation, barge service to Hawaii and Alaska, charter barges, worldwide air and ocean forwarding, third-party logistics, trade show shipping, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled and chartered Hercules L-382 cargo aircraft and multi-modal logistics. Lynden companies are repeat winners in the annual Quest for Quality customer service awards presented by Logistics Management magazine.
"The Lynden companies believe in safety and it is one of our core values at Brown Line," says President Bill Johansen. The dock team, led by Dock Manager James Briscoe, just celebrated five years of working accident and injury free. The seven-member team moves all freight from around the yard, moving trailers and driving forklifts to unload and reload freight. "It takes communication, coordination and collaboration between each of the team members to make this happen," says Manager of Health, Safety, Security and Environment Bill Smith. Bill along with Bill Johansen and John Hillman presented each employee with a custom jacket, a plaque and a certificate commemorating this milestone. "We are very proud of this team and their accomplishments. They are all very humble and get the job done without incident. Their comment? 'Let's go for another five years and beyond!'"
The Brown Line dock team. Top row, from left: Justin Johnson, James Briscoe, Jason Lawlor and James Buckingham. Front row, from left: Shane Hill, Don Treat and Jason Ronen. Not pictured Cory Eiler.
Brown Line, LLC, an industry leader in temperature-controlled truck transport, was selected as the first Vendor of the Year by Chuckanut Bay Foods of Ferndale, WA. The family owned and operated boutique bakery features homegrown ingredients in its cheesecakes and other products. Brown Line provides truck transport of 180,000 pounds of Chuckanut’s temperature-sensitive cheesecake each month plus butter and cream cheese to grocery stores and food service companies in the Western U.S. and Canada.
“Brown Line’s exceptional level of service inspired Chuckanut Bay Foods to create a Vendor of the Year Award to recognize our partners for outstanding performance,” says Jenn Elmore, Sales Administrator. “We have consistently been impressed by the can-do attitude, quick response and support we receive daily from the entire Brown Line team. We decided to use this benchmark of service to begin recognizing others with the award each year.”
“The Brown Line team is honored to be selected as Chuckanut Bay Foods first Vendor of the Year. We appreciate the partnership that we have developed with Chuckanut Bay Foods since 2011 and look forward to contributing to the company’s ongoing success,” says Brown Line President Bill Johansen.
Brown Line is part of the Lynden family of companies.
The Lynden family of companies announced earlier this month two executive appointments: Jason Jansen was named president of LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division based in Lynden, Washington, and Bill Johansen is the new president of Brown Line, LLC based in Mount Vernon, Washington. LTI, Inc. is one of the Lynden family of companies and specializes in the transport of liquid and dry bulk commodities. Its Milky Way division is a leading bulk milk hauler in the Pacific Northwest. Brown Line is a trucking company providing temperature-controlled transportation to customers throughout the U.S. and Western Canada.
Jansen was previously president of Brown Line and Johansen was regional sales manager for Lynden Transport in the Vancouver/Portland area.
"LTI, Inc. will be well served by Jason's proven leadership ability, focus on safety and efficiency, and passion for our business and its people," says Brad Williamson, LTI, Inc. board member and former president.
Jansen began his Lynden career as an equipment operator with Knik Construction Co. and worked in various departments at LTI, Inc., before becoming regional manager of the Lynden, Wash. Service Center and five satellite locations. Jansen has served as a member of the Lynden Airport Board, the Lynden Chamber of Commerce Board and volunteered for the Lynden Boys & Girls Club.
"Bill has over 30 years of experience in the transportation industry and an impressive record of success including leadership roles in air, LTL trucking operations and marketing," says Lynden Executive Vice President Alex McKallor. "His enthusiasm and positive approach will be a great addition to an already strong team at Brown Line."
Johansen joined Lynden Transport in 2007 and was named salesman of the year in 2008. Prior to his Lynden career, he served as operations manager at Joel Olson Trucking and spent over 20 years in various leadership positions at Alaska Airlines. Johansen also served as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He has coached youth sports in his community and received many awards during his extensive career.
Lynden Air Cargo, Brown Line and Lynden International were each recognized for workplace safety earlier this year.
Lynden International celebrated no Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recordable accidents in 2012, according to Human Resources Manager Kristie Duggan. Brown Line received three awards from the American Trucking Association (ATA) in its National Truck Safety Contest. The company took first place in the general Commodities LTL/Line-Haul Division (up to 10 million miles traveled category); third place in the general Commodities LTL/Local Division and third place in the general Commodities LTL category.
“The awards are based on our accident-free records for the year,” explains Brown Line Safety Director Bill Smith. “Now that we are covering 6 to 7 million miles a year with 56 trucks and 120 drivers, we are in a new, more challenging category. We compete with trucking companies from throughout the U.S. with up to 1,000 employees and hundreds of trucks which makes the awards even more meaningful.”
For more than 10 years, Lynden Air Cargo has received an annual Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA) Safety Award. AACA Board Members Mike Stedman and Bob Hajdukovich personally presented the 2012 award plaque to Director of Safety and Security Anthony Knapp in Anchorage last month (at left) in recognition of another year of operating with no aircraft accidents. “We couldn’t do the safe flying we do every day without the support and outstanding work of our maintenance and flight operations departments and the entire team,” Anthony says. “We work hard to follow safety measures and protocols and to do the job right. It’s rewarding to be recognized for these efforts year after year.”
Lynden Air Cargo, Lynden International and Brown Line will continue to focus on workplace safety in the coming year with regular meetings and employee training. “This year we are focusing our training efforts on a new and improved driver development program and driver retention as well as additional training for the shop, dock and office departments,” Bill says. “Safety is our No. 1 priority.”
Over the last three years, Brown Line has implemented a number of changes resulting in a radical improvement in fuel economy. The company recently added 18 new tractor-trailer combinations that are achieving over 7 mpg on average. “With the new equipment fuel economy increased by 23 percent, trailer cubic foot capacity by 16 percent, and improved payload capacity by 6 percent,” says Brown Line President Jason Jansen.
Driver behavior has also contributed to fuel savings, with PeopleNet onboard computing systems enabling drivers to assess their fuel consumption and compete to be the best. Maximum truck speed was reduced from 68 mph to 64 mph for eastbound routes and to 62 mph for all other routes. “We adjusted the gearing to match the lower speeds, and we set low idle time standards for drivers,” Jason says. “PeopleNet also gives us the tools to improve routing, monitor tractor performance and idle time.”
As a fleet, Brown Line's average fuel economy has improved from 5.4 mpg in 2008 to 5.84 mpg in 2011. All new tractors have roof farings and new trailers have side skirts to improve aerodynamics. The side skirts are estimated to save about 5 percent in fuel economy. Brown Line now has 30 new 53-foot trailers with side skirts that have replaced the older 48-foot trailers, and will be exploring retrofit options for the older equipment.
The new 53-foot trailers are 1,900 pounds lighter than the older 48-foot trailers they replaced and compliant with California Air Resources Board (CARB) rules for reefers units. All new trucks and trailers use wide-base, low-rolling resistant single tires and have an automatic system to keep tires properly inflated for optimum fuel economy and to reduce tire wear.
The Washington Trucking Association (WTA) recently presented Brown Line with the Common Carrier Fleet Safety of the Year Award for 2011. The award is based on a carrier’s accident rates, driver training, safety programs and vehicle maintenance. In addition to the yearly safety award, Brown Line Safety Director Bill Smith was recognized as one of the latest WTA members to become a Certified Safety Director through the North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI ).
Brown Line is headquartered in Mount Vernon, WA and provides temperature controlled truck transport throughout the U.S and Canada. Bill is pictured holding the two awards with Captain Groondell from the Washington State Patrol and Kevin Skow of Great West Casualty.