Brown Line's fleet, part of the Lynden family of companies, is among the most efficient fleets in the nation and the company has once again earned the SmartWay High Performer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to the SmartWay Transport Partnership, just over two percent of all SmartWay carriers operate fleets so clean and efficient that they make the SmartWay High Performer list for all metrics. Whether its carbon, particulate matter or nitrogen oxide, high-performing SmartWay carriers drive cleaner, emit fewer of these pollutants – and burn less fuel – for every mile they travel and for every ton of freight they move, as compared to their SmartWay peers.
"Our team is proud to receive this award two years in a row," says Brown Line President Bill Johansen. "We continue to work with our drivers on improving driving habits to minimize idle time, sudden starts and stops and to improve mileage. This recognition is shared with the entire Brown Line team."
Since 2007, Brown Line has invested in new aerodynamic tractors and trailers, wide-base super single tires and high efficiency engines, dramatically improving miles per gallon (MPG), reducing idle time and lowering carbon emissions.
In the last five years, Brown Line has improved its fuel economy by nearly 40 percent as reported to the U.S. EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership. Most of Brown Lines’ fleet is less than 5 years old. The new tractors are equipped with modern emissions control systems that significantly reduce air pollution. Since 2012, Brown Line’s fleet has reduced its nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile by 44 percent and 62 percent respectively.
Over 75 percent of Brown Line reefer units are plug-in and have contributed to a nearly 90 percent decrease in idle time since 2010. "As new trailers are purchased our goal is 100 percent," Bill says. "This year we will be testing a new aerodynamic system in place of trailer tails that is designed to reduce the low pressure drag behind the trailer. The new system is expected to increase fuel economy and durability while reducing weight."
Welcome to Lynden News!
Brown Line's fleet, part of the Lynden family of companies, is among the most efficient fleets in the nation and the company has once again earned the SmartWay High Performer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Alaska West Express truly walks the talk when it comes to handling and transporting hazardous materials over challenging terrain with the utmost respect for safety, pollution prevention and the environment. Over the last five years, Alaska West has transported an average of 14 million gallons of fuel annually with no accidents. This year alone, drivers have traveled nearly 5 million miles without a recordable accident. Since joining the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership in 2012, Alaska West has increased fuel efficiency by 25 percent while increasing the average payload by 10 percent. This means moving freight with less fuel and an overall 26 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per ton mile.
"Over the last several years, we have continued to make Alaska West Express’s trailering equipment more efficient," explains Alaska West Express President Eric Badger. "Our 406 and 407 tanker fleet is predominantly 5-axle, leading to a dramatically increased payload while reducing fuel consumption and number of trips. We have also purchased eight DOT 407 chemical tanks to allow us to haul over 2,000 gallons more per load."
Earlier this year, Alaska West Express took delivery of 10 Wilson aluminum 53-foot 5-axle flatbed trailers providing a 72,000-pound payload. They also feature a tire inflation system with heat-sensing devices that will alert the driver to an elevated wheel-end temperature. Alaska West drivers helped test the system from prototype to production.
According to Director of Maintenance Tommy Douthit, auxiliary power units provide heat and power to the cab when the truck is turned off and have helped reduce idle time by over 40 percent. Tire pressure monitoring equipment and laser alignment of tires reduces tire wear and also contributes to fuel efficiency. Newer, more efficient engines, combined with the improved fuel economy and payload, have led to a 39 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions and an 83 percent reduction in nitrous oxide emissions. "This contributes to better air quality in places like Anchorage and Fairbanks where winter inversions can trap pollution," Tommy says.
The Fairbanks line haul fleet is equipped with an onboard oil filtration system that allows maintenance to stretch out oil changes from 750 hours to around 2,500 hours or more. "We are only performing full oil changes on an annual basis now," Tommy says. "This translates to about a 75 percent reduction in engine oil use. Nothing goes to waste, as used oil from the trucks is then used to heat the parts warehouse in Fairbanks." The company is also testing a disc brake pad free of copper and other metals to meet an upcoming EPA requirement to preserve sea life in the Pacific Ocean.
Efficiency is not limited to equipment. Over the last several years, Alaska West’s Fairbanks facility has converted nearly 90 percent of its lights to LEDs which have dramatically improved lighting quality and led to a savings of $50,000 per year in electricity costs. "This year, we also upgraded our primary heating system boilers to improve efficiency and added propane fired air exchangers to augment our floor heat. This gives us faster recovery time and quicker thaw cycles for our equipment to allow us to haul freight in snowy conditions," Tommy says.
Lynden Air Cargo’s fleet of L382G aircraft now include fuel-efficient Microvanes that allow for energy savings as well as increased speed. Engineered by Lockheed and licensed to Metro Aerospace, the Microvanes are small aerodynamic components that are surface mounted to the aft fuselage, effectively reshaping the air flow around the cargo door and tail. They reduce total drag on the aircraft while reducing fuel and thrust requirements. The Microvanes are expected to result in fuel savings of up to 4 percent (up to 34,000 gallons of fuel saved per aircraft per year) depending on flight length on the Lynden fleet.
"This project supports our ongoing efforts to support Lynden’s overall green initiative," says Ethan Bradford, head of Technical Services for Lynden Air Cargo. "We assisted Metro Aerospace to acquire FAA approval for installation and now we have the first set of Microvanes installed on N405LC. We hope to install them on the remaining fleet by the end of 2019."
The first long-range mission to prove the effectiveness of the Microvanes was to Antarctica via Christchurch, New Zealand, to support an Italian research group. The Microvanes provide a margin of safety for these long flights.
"Lynden's Green Initiative grew out of a depression era distaste for waste and a common sense desire to do what's right," says Coordinator Anna Deal. "Now, 10 years later, I am truly amazed at what we have accomplished together." The 10-year mark coincides with Lynden being named one of the top 75 Green Supply Chain partners for 2018 by Inbound Logistics magazine. It is Lynden's eighth award.
"Lynden's operating companies have continued to invest in modern high efficiency equipment to increase payload and reduce idle time, work with drivers to improve driving habits, and to look for innovative ways to improve freight operations. These efforts have paid off with the steady and measurable improvement in our freight efficiency and reduced emissions," Anna explains. "We are doing more with less at all levels."
Anna shared the additional Green Initiative accomplishments throughout the companies:
- Our new facilities are designed to be energy efficient and we continue to upgrade lighting and heating systems across companies. We have invested in over 60 separate energy efficiency projects which have saved nearly 1,900 metric tons of CO2, 3,535 MWh of electricity, and 4,430 MMbtu of natural gas annually.
- We have replaced our highest use propane forklifts with electric lifts leading to a 32% reduction in Lynden's small lift emissions.
- We have initiated recycling programs at each of the Lynden locations and, along with our Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) partners, backhaul recyclables free of charge from Alaskan communities to Seattle for recycling.
- Computer power saving software that automatically puts computers to "sleep" when not in use has reduced those energy costs by 20 percent.
- Lynden's Green and Fit Challenge rewards employees for alternative transportation in their work commute and fitness activities.
"Although we have accomplished a great deal, we know there is more we can do," Anna says. "We recently encouraged all employees to provide feedback and ideas so we can keep the momentum going that we started 10 years ago. The Green Initiative was, and is, a company-wide effort. Our accomplishments are the results of the hard work, talent and passion of Lynden's highly dedicated employees."
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 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, a Lynden company providing marine transportation to and from Alaska, is continuing its efforts to work lean and green by purchasing 200 of the most energy efficient refrigerated units in the world. The Star Cool "reefers" achieve the industry's lowest energy consumption by matching the compressor speed to the required heat load of the container rather than running at a single constant speed. In addition, the box and refrigeration equipment are built as one unit with an insulation system designed to minimize energy loss.
"At Lynden, we foster a culture of customer service, innovation and efficiency with a focus on protecting the environments where we do business," says Alex McKallor, Executive Vice President of Operations. "We operate under a company-wide Green Initiative and adopt programs and practices that reduce our environmental impact. Investing in this new energy efficient equipment is part of that effort."
Alaska Marine Lines already uses a time-share system on frozen loads, greatly reducing energy consumption, and the new Star Cool reefers will allow the same energy saving results for chill loads. The energy saved will make it possible to power more units during Alaska's peak fish season to accommodate high volumes for customers without additional generators, energy use and fuel costs.
Over the past two years, Alaska Marine Lines phased out its 220-volt reefers and transitioned to more energy efficient 440-volt units. The company has worked to reduce fuel use and conserve energy in other areas as well. Working with partner Western Towboat, fuel and route optimization has reduced fuel use without compromising service. At the Seattle terminal, lighting and heating upgrades have reduced electric and natural gas use, and new electric forklifts emit 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than the older propane units.
Alaska Marine Lines also works with local communities and other Lynden companies to support recycling efforts around Alaska. The company moves nearly 3,500 tons of recyclables each year from Anchorage to Seattle for Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR), helping to make drop-off recycling free and convenient for residents. In Cordova, the company donates shipment of gill nets for the Copper River Watershed Project as well as aluminum cans and cardboard where proceeds from recycling go to the local high school.
Along with sister companies Lynden Transport and Alaska West Express, Alaska Marine Lines has earned Alaska's Green Star Award, recognizing businesses that practice waste reduction, energy conservation, and pollution prevention. Lynden companies are on Inbound Logistics magazine's annual 75 Green Supply Chain Partner lists each year, and LTI, Inc., Lynden Transport, Brown Line, LLC and Alaska West Express are all EPA SmartWay Transport Partners.
Lynden's environmental policy calls for meeting or exceeding environmental regulations, maximizing fuel efficiency and monitoring and guarding against accidents, emissions and avoidable pollution.
Lynden companies continue to be committed to working lean and green every day of the year. Since 2008, improvements such as lighting upgrades, motion sensors, heating and air conditioning improvements, and strategic insulation have resulted in dramatic energy efficiency improvements.
Alaska Hovercraft in Bethel replaced High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights with high efficiency fluorescents at the airport and shop and saw an immediate 26 percent reduction in electricity use. “We recouped the cost of both upgrades in less than two months. The new lights are so bright that we can shut down half the warehouse lights during low traffic work hours without any safety concerns,” says General Manager Kevin Carter.
At Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle, the new Container Freight Station (CFS) expansion also included the installation of high efficiency lights. Employees came up with the idea to paint walls, ceiling, doors, and headers bright white and scrubbing and resealing floors. The white walls reflect light and eliminate the need for more lighting fixtures. “We also replaced the old thermostats and eliminated several heating systems working against each other,” explains Seattle Terminal Manager Mark Gaska.
Other improvements throughout Lynden companies include:
At LTI, Inc. in Sunnyside, WA, lighting upgrades in the shop and individual motion sensors installed on each light allow partial instead of full lighting of the shop. The change resulted in a 20 percent reduction in energy use.
Lynden International’s Boston employees worked with their landlord to install an automatic thermostat and saw a 30 percent reduction in electricity and heating use.
Anchorage's South Air Park facility uses "heat recovery" to heat some spaces while cooling others. A split duct in the IT computer room reroutes warm air into the basement below the offices and warm air from the second floor offices is rerouted to the cross dock.
In Fairbanks, Lynden Transport’s recent warehouse expansion and upgrades included installing a dock door “curtain” to reduce heat loss in the winter months plus new dock plates and insulation to keep a tight seal around the doors. “But the biggest change was a new heating system which allowed us to manage our heat with digital thermostats. We can now set temperatures for specific times of day and days of the week,” says Manager Greg Busher. The changes have resulted in a 20 percent reduction in natural gas use from 2011 to 2012. The Fairbanks upgrades were identified as potential ideas in an energy audit for the company done in 2011.
“A number of our companies participated in the Alaska Energy Authority program and signed up for audits to identify priorities for energy upgrades in 2011 and 2012,” explains Anna Deal, Lynden’s Green Team and Green Initiative Coordinator. “The greatest opportunity for savings comes from replacing inefficient lighting, installing automatic controls such as digitally controlled thermostats and motion sensors, sealing air leaks and repairing insulation around dock doors and other areas.”
Lynden celebrated the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day this month by continuing its environmental sustainability efforts. The Lynden family of transportation companies has been an industry leader in reducing its carbon footprint including recent design changes in its truck fleet that have improved fuel economy by 23 percent.
"Earth Day is a perfect time to reflect on the many ways Lynden is committed to protecting the environments where we do business. We were working 'green' before it became so popular," says Alex McKallor, Chief Operating Officer for Lynden Inc. "From innovative containers to equipment that requires less fuel and reduces harmful pollutants, we are constantly searching for ways to save energy and use resources efficiently. Our culture of innovation and efficiency is in harmony with our commitment to reduce waste and be a model of environmental stewardship."
Lynden was the first transportation company in Alaska to gain SmartWay certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and to earn the state's Green Star Award. It is on the list of Inbound Logistics' Green Supply Chain Partners and, in 2008, Lynden launched a Green Initiative stating its goals and asking employees for ideas on how to operate 'leaner and greener.' Many of these suggestions have been implemented.
Most recently, Lynden company Brown Line LLC introduced an aerodynamic tractor-trailer design with side skirts and roof fairings that improved fuel economy. The design, plus other changes such as driver training, reducing speeds and new engines and tires, has helped Brown Line drastically reduce fuel consumption and emissions by nearly 25 percent.
In addition to its own green efforts, Lynden supports local organizations in their environmental programs. Lynden transports recyclable paper from Anchorage to Seattle for Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling (ALPAR) and moves aluminum cans from Cordova to Anchorage for recycling in support of Cordova High School's fundraising program. Lynden Air Cargo participates in a back haul program for the Yukon River Tribal Watershed Council to help clean up Alaska's village communities and Alaska Marine Lines transports gillnets for recycling in Cordova.
For more information on Lynden's environmental policy and programs, visit www.lynden.com/about/green/stewardship.html. Lynden is a family of companies offering truckload and less-than-truckload freight to Alaska, charter barges, rail barges, intermodal bulk chemical hauls, scheduled and chartered air freighters, domestic and international shipping via air and ocean forwarding, customs brokerage, trade show shipping, remote site construction, sanitary bulk commodities hauling and multi-modal logistics. Lynden companies are repeat winners in the annual Quest for Quality customer service awards presented by Logistics Management magazine.