Lynden International Logistics Co. (LILCO) has expanded its network of healthcare facilities in Canada by opening a fifth location in Guelph, Ontario. "We consider this our flagship facility," says Brian MacAskill, LILCO Vice President and General Manager.
LILCO serves the human and animal health industries in Canada, and its continued growth prompted the additional location. The company is widely recognized as a leader in Canadian healthcare logistics.
The new location, with state-of-the-art security and temperature control, will accommodate 8,000 ambient pallets, 1,000 cooler pallets and 350 pallets of controlled substances storage. Pharmaceuticals represent a high-value inventory and security can be a challenge. Controlled substances require storage regulated by Health Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. One of LILCO's two controlled drug vaults is the largest third party logistics (3PL) vault in Canada.
The vaults (see photo at right) include motion, heat and smoke detection, seismic detectors and layered security access that includes access cards, combination locks and biometric fingerprint reading.
At 108,000 square feet, the Guelph facility is LILCO's largest. It brings LILCO's Canadian footprint to nearly 450,000 square feet. The other locations are in Vancouver, Calgary and two in the greater Toronto area – Vaughan and Milton.
Construction on the Guelph location started in late 2019, and the doors were open in July. Despite the challenges and delays of the COVID pandemic, the facility was completed on time. "This required approvals from regional authorities and a tremendous amount of dedication and teamwork from Lynden and vendors alike. The Health Canada audit went very well, and the facility was licensed for operation on schedule," Brian explains. The technology aspect was a key element of the startup. "Lynden's IT team was terrific in supporting LILCO and its requirements," adds Adrian Peluffo, LILCO Vice President of Administration.
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Lynden International Logistics Co. (LILCO) has expanded its network of healthcare facilities in Canada by opening a fifth location in Guelph, Ontario. "We consider this our flagship facility," says Brian MacAskill, LILCO Vice President and General Manager.
"We are sometimes called upon to do the exceptional, to directly help a patient in need," says Brian MacAskill, Vice President and General Manager at Lynden International Logistics Co. Earlier this year, Lynden International Logistics Warehouse Supervisor Devendra Solanki (pictured right) received an emergency call from Health Canada at 11:23 p.m. A 10-year-old patient at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto required a lifesaving drug. Within 15 minutes, the order was enroute to the hospital and Devendra delivered it soon after for the patient. "We are very proud of Devendra," Brian says. "Great efforts are made on a daily basis that have a profound impact on the companies and customers we serve."
Rig 26, Doyon Drilling's new extended reach drilling (ERD) rig, completed its 2,400-mile journey from Nisku, Alberta to Alaska's North Slope this past winter. Lynden Transport, Alaska West Express and Lynden Oilfield Services teamed up to haul the 10.5-million-pound rig in pieces from Canada to Deadhorse where it was put back together after more than 320 separate truckloads arrived. Nicknamed "the beast," it is the largest land-based rig in North America and the first ERD rig ever built and moved in North America.
"This was one of the most high-profile projects Lynden has ever done and certainly the largest project that I have been involved in," says Paul Friese, Lynden Transport Vice President of Alaska Sales. "We started talking about this move four years ago, started planning a year ago and began the work in June 2019. In just six months we hauled over 320 loads. Our past work moving Rig 142 for Doyon set a high standard and gave them confidence in the Lynden team to handle this larger project. Many say the future of Alaska rides on the success of this new rig and technology, so we were under intense pressure and scrutiny to make sure the loads were delivered intact and on time for the reassembly in Deadhorse."
Rig 26 will have the capability to directional drill over 35,000 ft. (about 6.3 miles) from a single drilling pad on the North Slope. Doyon Drilling has been working for more than three years to build a larger powerful drilling rig, with increased capabilities greater than any other mobile land-based drilling rig on the continent. The new rig's extended reach can access production zones that were previously inaccessible with current drilling technology and capability.
"We want to thank the Lynden team," says Mike Lasher, Project Manager for Doyon Drilling in Anchorage. "Edmonton's Rick Stark oversaw every shipment loaded in Nisku, and Dan Rychlik helped with pre-planning and shipping requirements. Natasha Earl, Deanna Benson and Darren Stansbury and the Fairbanks team managed loads based on our priorities to ensure we received the right loads in the right sequence."
Rick also served as the Lynden project manager for Rig 142 and was instrumental in providing loading knowledge and experience along with James Delowsky. Rick and James loaded and moved most loads and transported them to the yard for staging and Cratex wrapping.
Lynden's Prudhoe Bay crew received and coordinated loads in Deadhorse around the clock to get the rig pieces where they needed to go, and the Edmonton team stepped up their game for the project. "This move impacted everyone from the shop to operations to the front office," says Canadian Lynden Transport General Manager Dan Rychlik. "Employees like Kent Maltais worked weekends; others postponed vacations. We even had to pull people from Calgary to help cover at times. I am extremely proud of the team effort here."
Alaska West Express, led by Steve Willford, planned and supervised the most challenging loads. Alaska West Express drivers and employees handle oversize and overweight loads to and within Alaska for all Lynden companies, and they were essential in delivering the awkward heavy hauls. Roughly 75 percent of the loads hauled were for the rig's subbase which consists of 525 items weighing a total of 1.7 million pounds. The Excel spreadsheet the Lynden team used for the move is a color-coded map of detailed dimensions on handrails, columns, wheel assemblies, platforms and other parts. Mike and other members of Doyon's team were set up on EZ Commerce, Lynden's reporting and tracking system, to help manage the transportation phase of the project and keep track of Lynden loads between Canada and the North Slope.
According to Paul, the heaviest and most unusual loads were the draw works, mud pumps, main beams, and engines for the rig. "When you consider that we had to move more than 300 loads that distance in six months during the winter ice road months with DOT road work and pilot car driver shortages, it's pretty impressive," he says. "We did all this while maintaining our current customer base with no impact to them while we took on this huge project. That is a testament to our dedicated operations team, drivers and mangers. I don't think there is any other company in Alaska that could've pulled this off in such a short time frame. We truly have the best team in the industry and this project proves it."
Watch the video below for a bird's eye view of Rig 26.
"This was some of the largest and heaviest equipment ever moved by Lynden Air Cargo," says Charter Manager Dave Beach. Lynden assisted DeBeers and Priestly Demolition, Inc. in their Victor Mine decommission and remediation project by flying oversized equipment out of Timmins, Ontario, to remote sites in Canada to ease the burden on the winter ice road.
"It was a team effort due to the size and complexity of the cargo. It required multiple trips to assist in the preparation and two of our most experienced Loadmasters, Leo Lopez and Matt Hise, on the job during the 16-day project," Dave explains. "The flight crew was exceptional, completing flights in difficult fall weather conditions in northern Canada. This equipment was some of the largest we have hauled in this quantity to date. Normally there are one or two pieces required to a location. This was several pieces over 17 flights, with very little margin for error due the sheer size and weight."
Lynden has worked with DeBeers out of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories since 2006, but this is the first project outside of that yearly work. "Both DeBeers and Priestly Demolition expressed their admiration at the professionalism of Lynden's crews and operations department. "We will likely see much more work with both of these groups in the years to come," Dave says.
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 Kevin Gillies, Managing Director at Lynden International Logistics Co. in Calgary, Alberta.
Name: Kevin Gillies
Company: Lynden International Logistics Co.
Title: Managing Director
On the job since: 2000
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Favorite Movie: Braveheart
Bucket List Destination: St. Andrews ‘old course’ in Scotland for 18 holes
For Fun: Reading, spending time outdoors and at the family cottage in Saskatchewan
How did you start your career at Lynden?
I began my career with Lynden in late 2000 through an acquisition of Livingston Healthcare Services which became Lynden International Logistics Co. Lynden is now a leader in the warehousing and fulfillment of pharmaceuticals in Canada. I have over 40 years of service in the Logistics business and Lynden International Logistics Co. is a complex business model in a highly regulated and audited environment.
I started my career in this industry in 1977 working on the floor in a warehouse for Seaway Midwest, a Canadian company handling distribution of consumer goods and healthcare products. In 1983, Livingston bought Seaway Midwest, and I worked for Livingston until 2000 before joining Lynden. I moved up to supervisor, manager and continued taking on more senior leadership roles. By the early 80s, I was working predominantly in the health care distribution world, where I have spent the majority of my career handling all types of products within the healthcare portfolio.
What is a typical day like for you?
Working with the Lynden International Logistics Co. senior staff to provide direction for Lynden, meeting with both current and prospective clients, attending industry events and interacting with the various departments in our corporate offices in Seattle keeps me busy. I have traveled extensively for more than 30 years primarily within Canada from my home in Calgary to Toronto (my second home), with occasional trips to Montreal, Vancouver and Seattle for Lynden business meetings, and to other locations in North America as required. With the support of Lynden Logistics and Lynden Inc., we have been able to continue to grow the business, adding a fourth Canadian Distribution Centre in Milton late in 2014. We are set to open a fifth location in Guelph in the spring of 2020. Both of these new locations are in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
What do you remember most about those early Lynden years in the business?
The transition was very smooth for all the staff that came over to join Lynden. While there were certainly a few bumps, we had great support from the late Dennis Patrick, Randy Jackson and all various head office support groups. Working with Dennis on the sale was certainly a new and very interesting experience for me as the details were being worked out. With the assets of Livingston being divided between Lynden and UPS it was a complex sale (as most are) but I began to see what made Dennis tick and how he thought his responses through before he spoke. He would always explain why he did things in a certain fashion and my impression of a silver fox at work began to form.
What has been most challenging in your career?
Probably making sure we keep replacing our excellent staff with the same caliber of people when they retire or leave. When we became part of Lynden in 2000, we were excited to find that one of the key Lynden mottos, closely followed the Livingston motto, is that you are only as successful as the people you have working for you. Everything that we have been able to accomplish is due to our excellent leaders and day-to-day folks providing excellent service. They are all part of the puzzle that makes us work effectively together. When a senior manager, office or warehouse staff retires, you forget how much knowledge they have after years with the company. Our goal is to bring in good people to fill those roles, train them and keep the momentum going that we have created.
Audits are also challenging. Our industry is highly regulated and we are required to participate in around 30 audits a year, both for our customers and our own Health Canada audit at each distribution center (DC). Some are yearly, other are every two or three years. Basically we are asked to prove that we do what we say we do in terms of handling the products and keeping the product secure in a temperature controlled environment. They are checking our actions against our written Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for our facilities and client specific procedure manuals put into place to manage client specific requirements for their day-to-day business. It seems that our QA group is always preparing for, completing or responding to a past audit. Each separate audit can take multiple days of effort.
What changes have you seen over the years, either in business or customers or technology?
Just about everything has changed. Obviously, computers were just starting to come into their own along with online inventory tracking when I first started in the 1970s. Back then we tracked inventory manually with paper. It’s been interesting to watch the various stages of computerization develop and how it dictates our business. We are heavily reliant on the IT group at Lynden in Seattle and they provide excellent support to us. The facilities themselves have evolved into larger, higher operations with the reliance on technology continuing to grow with far greater inventory control mechanisms in place. The powered equipment is now all electric and propane is not allowed to be used in the facilities. The security around our buildings, vaults and coolers has increased and evolved into specific protocols with specs that track the temp in the buildings, coolers and vaults. In the old days, vaults weren’t much more than cinder block rooms in a warehouse, now they are much more sophisticated with layers of security in place.
Employee training has also increased and become more regulated. We need to train an employee on many procedures before they can begin work with us. If we hire a warehouse or customer service person, they may need to learn 40 procedures in the early stages of their career with us, and up to 100 after they have gained experience. Each procedure or training session takes 20 – 30 minutes, you need to pass a quiz and must be renewed on a schedule, either annually or each time there is a change to a client’s procedures.
What project(s) are you most proud of?
In 2009 we secured the fulfillment business of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Distribution Network (CPDN), a consortium of 25 pharmaceutical manufacturers servicing over 600 hospitals in Canada. Lynden International Logistics Co. provides an order to cash service and collects the accounts receivable on behalf of the CPDN manufacturer members. The hospitals can order from any of the CPDN manufacturer members or multiple manufacturers on the same order, the merchandise is delivered at the same time, on the same invoice and we collect and remit the money to the manufacturers. I am proud of this business and that we just celebrated 10 years of a very successful partnership.
I am also proud of the dedication of our staff. An example is a few years ago, we had a critical shipment out of Toronto, going to Montreal at Christmas. Our supervisor was on call 24-7 for any emergencies. A drug was needed for a critical surgery and no planes were available. The supervisor ended up driving the drugs to Montreal that night to make the surgery. There are many other stories like that where our employees stepped up and acted as heroes to get important medicine to patients and doctors.
Can you tell us about your family?
My wife Bonnie and I will celebrate our 40th anniversary this month. We have four children; three daughters and a son ranging in age from 37 to 29. When the kids were younger, it was a busy time at our house. I was traveling a lot during that time so I called Bonnie the taxi driver. I typically would go out on the road for four days and then come back on weekends and pick up the slack. Three of our kids are in Calgary and one is in Fort McMurray.
I grew up with two brothers and two sisters in a small town of 100 people called Plato in Saskatchewan. I look back on those years fondly. It was a great place to grow up.
What would surprise most people about you?
I spent the first few years out of school working on the oil rigs in northern Alberta and then as a hard rock miner working underground in Thompson, Manitoba. Once I had kids I started helping coach my daughter’s ringette teams. On the weeks that I was on the road for work, I would come home on Thursday and have up to 10 or 12 ice times in the next three days for practices and games. I did that for about 15 years.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
We have a cottage at Clear Water Lake which is an hour north of Swift Current, Saskatchewan. It’s a small, spring-fed lake about a kilometer across. I grew up vacationing at this cottage and my siblings and I shared it as adults. The original cabin was built by my father in the 1950s. We have now taken that out and moved another house onto the property. My wife and I now own it and use it from May to October with our children.
I spend my weekends and occasional midweek afternoon on the golf course for the past number of years. I’m a hack with a 12 handicap, hoping to improve on it, like all the other hacks. I’m also a Saskatchewan Rough Riders football fan and a Calgary Flames hockey fan and follow their seasons. Once a Rider fan, always a Rider fan!
I will be retiring in January 2020. We have traveled all over the U.S. and down to Mexico and have taken a number of cruises, but we will now have time to see the rest of the world. We would like to spend a few weeks or even a month each year seeing other countries. We plan to go during the off season, get away from the cold and see a bit of the world.
Lynden’s specialized high-capacity equipment was one of the advantages Canadian Lynden Transport offered when the Supreme Group was looking for a company to haul structural steel beams from Alberta, Canada to Alaska. The Supreme Group is the largest privately-owned steel construction company in Canada with locations in Edmonton (Acheson), Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vancouver and a U.S. location in Portland, OR. The company was awarded two U.S. military projects to supply the structural steel beams at Clear Air Force Station in Central Alaska and an airplane hangar at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Fairbanks.
"Our equipment really sealed the deal as we can safely haul more weight," says Account Manager Sandra Darke. "We also have a mix of Canadian and U.S. drivers and, of course, Alaska is our turf and expertise. We have completed approximately 100 loads for the Clear project since September, including a few loads of nuts and bolts from suppliers in the Lower 48 up via QuickTrans." Materials for the hangar will require approximately 80 loads and construction should be completed by June. According to Sandra, the projects have presented several challenges.
"Our operations team has to communicate and coordinate with five different origin locations and we are required to spot trailers for loading in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and three locations in Edmonton," she says. "Our Edmonton team has done an amazing job keeping all the loads organized and meeting Supreme and the builder’s specific needs. The Lynden Transport team in Fairbanks has kept close contact with the builders to hold some loads and deliver as they need them."
One of the many services Lynden International Logistics Co. provides to the pharmaceutical industry in Canada is shipping life-saving drugs to wholesalers, hospitals, clinics and doctors – often requiring after-hours emergency delivery.
On the night of Friday, Jan. 6, a call came into Lynden's after-hours emergency line from Health Canada requesting the immediate shipment of a life-saving drug that Lynden International Logistics distributes. Manjit (Johnny) Sandhu, warehouse supervisor at the Lynden Vaughan facility, responded to the call and drove to the Lynden International Logistics warehouse to prepare the order for shipment. When Manjit ran into a scheduling issue with the courier service, Lynden employee Janak Parmar volunteered to drive the product to the hospital even though it was six hours away in Montreal and in the middle of the night. The product was received at the hospital early Saturday morning, where it was administered to the patient. The patient's life was saved thanks to Janak's quick response and delivery. Health Canada contacted Lynden International Logistics afterwards thanking the individuals involved, and Lynden, for their prompt and life-saving response.
"Lynden would like to recognize Manjit and Janak for their tremendous service, but, more importantly, for their actions to help another person in need," says Brian MacAskill, Lynden International Logistics Vice President, Operations and Business Development.
Pictured above: Manjit Sandhu and Janak Parmar
Since 2007, Canadian Lynden Transport has hauled copper ore concentrate for the Minto Mine, a copper-gold mine northwest of Whitehorse in Central Yukon, Canada. Minto started producing concentrate in July of 2007 and the first truckloads of concentrates were transported by Lynden trucks to the Port of Skagway Ore Terminal. It was the first concentrate to be produced in a Yukon hard rock mine for several years. Lynden also hauls the byproduct, high grade concentrate, to Skagway in containers when required by the mine.
Minto was the first in a wave of new mining potential in the Yukon. With Lynden’s transportation support, the mine has been successful. The route is not an easy one. Trucks are barged across the Yukon River at the Minto landing and then travel 16 miles up a mine road for loading. In the winter, the river becomes an ice road for truck travel.
Richard Bateson manages the mine project for Lynden. “We all have to work together, Minto Mine, Canadian Lynden Transport and Mineral Services in Skagway where we deliver the copper ore. We have had an excellent relationship with the mine, Capstone Mining and Mineral Services for almost a decade,” he says.
Ronald Light, General Manager for Minto Mine and Capstone Mining Corp., agrees that the relationship works well. “The relationship between the Minto Mine and Canadian Lynden Transport has been a beneficial partnership that demonstrates how safety and production go hand-in-hand,” he explains. “Lynden has provided consistent, productive performance and has remained focused during times of change. We look forward to supporting each other as we continue to optimize our business.”
Over the past four years, approximately 14,000 shipments from all over the world arrived in Alberta, Canada for the construction of a bitumen refinery near the Kearl oil sands. Lynden Logistics, Lynden Canada Co. and Canadian Lynden Transport provided support and logistics to engineering firm AMEC for the refinery project which included 12 Lynden employees in Edmonton and Calgary.
“The last four truckloads were delivered in late March, but over the past few years we moved everything from small packages to heaters weighing 150,000 pounds,” says Walter Rakiewich, Canadian Lynden Transport President. The Lynden companies provided international freight forwarding, warehousing, just-in-time shipping and truck transportation from Calgary to the refinery site 70 miles outside Fort McMurray. Most of the project was based at the Foster’s Wheeler’s Construction Staging Area (CSA) facility in Northern Alberta. Freight came from all over the world via air, truck, rail and ship, all coordinated by Lynden Logistics.
“I’ve never been involved in a project of this complexity and size and it was a great experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of employees to work with,” Walter says. The project also affected the Canadian Lynden Transport crew as trucks were needed to haul truckload, less-than-truckload and heavy haul loads. Walter singled out Dispatcher Deanna Benson as key to keeping things running smoothly during the busy project years.
Lynden’s adaptability was a huge plus, according to Steve Foster, CSA Manager at Foster Wheeler. “Lynden provided great service to AMEC. Our ability to meet the contractors’ requirements was solely based on the excellent service provided by Lynden personnel at this facility.” He specifically noted Lynden’s ability to mobilize when priorities changed, the availability of trailers and other equipment and the availability of a dedicated driver to assist when the changes hit.
“After working on several of these projects in my career, this one stood out as the most successful because we had buy-in from the entire team on safety and service. That leads to success for both companies.”
In 2014, Lynden was selected from all of AMEC’s global business units as a recipient of the Beyond Zero Outstanding Achievement award for working 100,000 hours accident-free. Lynden Administrative Assistant Candice Fox also received an award for exceptional dedication to the CSA team.
With an established Canadian presence through Lynden Canada Co. and Canadian Lynden Transport, Lynden is ready to continue its support of Canada’s oil industry. “I think we all feel a great sense of accomplishment with the way this project turned out and great pride in our employees who made it a success,” says Randy Jackson, Lynden Logistics Vice President.
TORONTO – Lynden International Logistics Co., a leading provider of third party logistics (3PL) services for the healthcare manufacturing industry, announces its expansion in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with the opening of a second facility in Milton, Ontario.
"The new 65,000-square-foot facility expands our capacity in the GTA and adds to our network of locations in Canada which includes Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver," says Kevin Gillies, Vice President and General Manager of Lynden International Logistics Co. "This warehouse facility will meet the growing demands of our clients and allow us to continue to offer flexible and customized solutions on a national basis, whether in cold chain management, ambient storage or controlled drug storage."
Lynden International Logistics Co. clients include manufacturers of pharmaceutical and healthcare products for humans and animals as well as natural health products, health and beauty and consumer health products. It provides warehousing, distribution, order fulfillment, customer service, transportation, order-to-cash and other specialty services.
Lynden International Logistics Co. was established in October 2000 with the acquisition of select Livingston Healthcare Services Inc. facilities, retaining over 60 years of experience and expertise within the 3PL healthcare sector.
For more information contact:
Kevin Gillies, Vice President & General Manager
Lynden International Logistics Co.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone (905) 879-2781