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Brown Line earns third EPA Award and Skagit County recognition

Posted on Mon, Dec 09, 2019

Brown Line truckInvestment in cutting-edge equipment and the skill of its driving teams has earned Brown Line a third consecutive SmartWay High Performer Award from the Environmental Protection Agency. For the past three years, Brown Line has been included in the minority – only 2 percent – of SmartWay carriers to receive this honor for all scoring metrics.

"Our team is very proud to receive this award for the third consecutive year," says Brown Line President Bill Johansen. "We continue to work hard to ensure we reduce carbon emissions by reducing idle time, sudden starts and stops and by using a new system called SmartDrive. This system allows our team to work together to improve driver safety and driving habits while reducing carbon emissions."

This year, Brown Line added 14 new fuel-efficient trucks to its fleet. Now 90 percent of its equipment is under five years old. New trailers arrived last month with electrical plug-ins allowing the refrigeration unit to turn off its generator to save on fuel and emissions. They will be tested with 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.

Brown Line also upgraded its refrigeration units with StarTrak, a system capable of sending alerts to dispatchers, drivers or shop personnel if any refrigeration unit is not maintaining the temperature set point. The temperature can also be adjusted remotely while a unit is enroute.

In the past five years, Brown Line has improved its fuel economy by nearly 40 percent and, in the past seven years, it has reduced its nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile by 44 percent and 62 percent respectively.

Brown Line was also voted Best Trucking and Logistics Company in the annual "Skagit's Best" contest. More than 41,000 people voted online to honor Skagit County's best businesses.

Tags: Fuel efficiency, Awards, Green Lynden, environmental, SmartWay certification, Trucking, Green Initiative, Brown Line

LTI, Inc. receives fourth SmartWay Excellence Award

Posted on Tue, Oct 22, 2019

LTI, Inc. trucksLTI, Inc. earned its fourth SmartWay Excellence Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this fall. The award recognizes LTI, Inc. as one of the most efficient and lowest emitting tanker fleets in North America – a position that the company has worked hard to maintain over the last several years. LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division consistently score in the top 1 percent of tanker carriers in the nation for low carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and particulate matter emissions per ton mile.

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way have established a track record as environmental leaders and continuous improvement is a hallmark of the company. “We are focused on investing in modern, ultra-lightweight, and aerodynamic equipment and working with drivers to improve fuel economy,” explains LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. “Our drivers are truly the driving force behind the statistics. Our fuel economy achievements are a testament to the great people we have and to their dedication to operating efficiently while serving our customers.”

A driver incentive program rewards safe and efficient driver behaviors by offering an increase in hourly pay based on a weekly score of metrics that drives improved fuel economy such as reduced idle time, lower speeds and engine RPM’s and progressive shifting. Caldwell Driver Cody Brimley, Sunnyside Driver David Boothman and Vancouver Driver Harold Lagrange have all consistently scored 100 percent on the incentive program. In addition to skilled drivers, LTI, Inc. is using new generation “right-sized” engines that consume less fuel than higher horse power engines to achieve the best fuel economy, lowest emissions and best-in-class payloads. LTI, Inc. also uses “Super Single Low Rolling Resistant Tires” to reduce weight and improve fuel economy as well as aerodynamically designed cabs and lightweight trailer designs.

In the last five years LTI, Inc. and Milky Way have steadily improved fuel economy to rank as one of the most fuel efficient tanker fleets in the industry. “This is all the more impressive because the companies operate in states with 105,500 gross vehicle weight limits. This means we are achieving the award-winning high fuel economy while hauling 25,000 pounds more freight per trip than a typical tanker fleet,” explains Kevin DeKoster, LTI, Inc.’s Equipment Control Manager. “When you take into account the additional tons carried per mile, LTI, Inc. and Milky Way fleets are proven to be much more efficient than a typical tanker fleet.”

LTI, Inc. and Milky Way became SmartWay Partners in 2010. Each spring the companies voluntarily submit information on operations to the EPA. The Lynden companies consistently score among the most efficient fleets in the nation despite operating in extreme weather with steep terrain and some of the heaviest payloads.

LTI, Inc

Tags: LTI Inc., Awards, Green Lynden, SmartWay certification, Milky Way, Environmental efforts

Lynden Transport continues innovative programs to protect the environment

Posted on Thu, Oct 17, 2019

Fife Storm Water Project and Treatment MaterialAligned with Lynden's overall Green Initiative, Lynden Transport is staying committed to innovation and protecting the environment. Managing trucks and freight in urban areas is a challenge, since storm water runoff can create potential pollutants. At the Fife, WA Service Center, Safety Supervisor Keith Johnson and Director of Safety Steve Schultz have taken sustainable storm water management to new levels.

Trucks, trailers and forklifts may produce metal particles that are regulated as pollutants in many states. Oils and fluids are also heavily regulated. "There are strict regulations on these materials, and it is important to prevent them from reaching streams and rivers," Keith says. "We teamed up with a company called Enpurion on an innovative solution."

The goal was to achieve the highest level of compliance and reduce maintenance operating expenses. By performing a flow-weighted analysis, the team found a way to improve the performance of the catch basins while reducing the cost of treatment by one-third.

A cellulose-based material made entirely of organic husks was chosen for use in the catch basin inserts. The husks are treated with food-grade materials to absorb oils, heavy metals and capture particles. The material is a renewable and sustainable part of organic food production, so no new waste is created, and no potentially harmful farm products are present. The new program has also allowed Lynden Transport to reduce sewer cleaning and maintenance costs. Keith is pictured above with a handful of the husks. 

"The savings exceed the cost of the entire storm water treatment program, so everybody wins. Our efforts to do the right thing are good for the company and the environment," Keith says.

Tags: Green Lynden, Environmental efforts, Lynden Transport

Lynden's Hovercraft teams provide essential services in Alaska

Posted on Fri, Aug 30, 2019

Bering Marine HovercraftImagine working 46 days each year in zero visibility. Now imagine being responsible for safely transporting people and freight in these conditions. For the professional mariners working on Lynden's Bering Marine hovercraft team, it's all part of the job. Five times each day, they load up the AP-188 hovercraft with 60 ENI Petroleum employees and safely transport them roundtrip from Prudhoe Bay to Spy Island, a drill site near Oliktok Point, AK. Six Bering Marine captains and deck hands support the project which also includes hauling freight for ENI and operating as a medivac standby vessel.

"Our ENI partnership is a highly successful operation," says Port Engineer Steve Isaacs. "Over the past decade we've made over 5,000 trips to the Spy Island drill site, carrying over 50,000 passengers and over 20 million pounds of freight. We've been able to prove the value and reliability of this type of vessel in this environment. It's hard to compete with a machine like our hovercrafts".

Hovercraft freightWhile the North Slope crew is hard at work in Prudhoe Bay, another three members of the hovercraft team are in Bethel delivering mail and essential freight to remote villages in the western part of Alaska. This service, which began in the 1990s, provides delivery to villages on the Kuskokwim River throughout the year. The winding river presents its own challenges with traffic from snow machines in the winter and boats in the summer.

Captain Paul "Duke" Bischoff spent 15 years in the Navy's hovercraft program before joining Lynden. "I really enjoy operating this type of craft because of the special challenges while maneuvering over land and ice, as well as the frequent high-wind situations we get in the arctic," he says. "Combined with the changing conditions at our landing site during the ice formation and breakup, you have an operation that definitely keeps you on your toes."

From September to February, the six members of the hovercraft team are the only mariners on the entire North Slope. "No other merchant marine works in the arctic that time of year," Steve explains. "Our hovercraft team serves as the medivac and lifeline for emergency situations in subzero temperatures."

A few years ago, the team started a spring cleanup program, using the unique capabilities of the hovercraft to pick up ice road debris during breakup. "Our hovercraft is the only vessel that can reach these areas during the spring thaw. We are doing our part to keep the arctic clean," Steve says.

Tags: Bering Marine Corporation, Hovercraft, Green Lynden, Environmental efforts, Shipping in Alaska, Alaska

Lynden companies earn another Green Star in Alaska

Posted on Fri, Apr 26, 2019

Green Star Award receptionLynden Transport, Alaska West Express, Lynden International and Lynden Air Cargo, all part of the family of Lynden companies, received recertification as Green Star businesses at the Alaska Forum on the Environment event in February at the D’enaina Center in Anchorage.

Lynden’s Green Initiative Coordinator Anna Deal spoke to the Anchorage Rotary in February about the many environmental advancements made by Lynden companies. Anna’s presentation focused on how Lynden’s common sense approach to going green is good business and how small changes can add up to big savings for businesses and the environment. Her presentation was so well-received, she was asked to speak to the MatSu Valley Chapter of Rotary in Alaska.

Tags: Lynden International, Energy efficiency, Alaska West Express, Lynden Air Cargo, Recycling, Green Lynden, Green Star certificate, Environmental efforts, Trucking, Lynden Transport

Changes big and small mean savings for Lynden and the environment

Posted on Mon, Apr 22, 2019

Lynden Transport truckLynden Transport’s steady and consistent efforts at improving efficiency and reducing waste have paid off with real savings for the company and the environment. In 2008, Lynden Transport was the first and only trucking company in Alaska to join the SmartWay Transport Partnership and to earn the Green Star business award. Over ten years later, the company continues to improve and to see the results of these efforts.

"We started in 2008 with a complete re-evaluation of our line tractor specs for aerodynamics and reduced weight," explains Charlie Mottern, Lynden Transport Director of Maintenance. "With these changes we were able to dramatically improve our fuel economy and have continued to improve on these specs incorporating design elements into local and regional applications."

"Our trailer design maximizes payload and cube for the lane that it travels," he continues. "We have used heated and refrigerated trailers and all electric and electric standby for over 30 years. Wide-based tires and side skirts have been added in lanes that are best suited for those enhancements."

These changes have led to a substantial improvement in efficiency and emissions reductions. Since 2009, Lynden Transport has improved freight efficiency (measured in grams of CO2 per ton mile of freight moved) by 29 percent, miles per gallon by 43 percent, and reduced nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by 63 percent and 81 percent respectively.

"We also work to reduce the time trucks spend idling by working with drivers and using automatic shutoff in areas where it isn’t a safety hazard," says Dallas Freeman, Director of Line Haul and Equipment. "We are partnering with the state to test hydronic heaters on our local trucks which allow us to shut the trucks off in extreme temperatures. Throughout the company, we have reduced the average truck idle time per truck by nearly 14 percent in the last five years."

Small changes add up to big savings in other areas as well. Nearly 20 separate energy efficiency upgrades at Lynden Transport’s facilities have led to an overall 37 percent reduction in natural gas use and 18 percent reduction in electricity used.

The Anchorage Service Center replaced all exterior lights with efficient LEDs resulting in a 30 percent reduction in electric use in the past 10 years. "Each year we pick a project, replacing old lights, adding motion sensors, repairing insulation. We even removed the lights in the vending machine," says Richard Hennagin, HSSE Manager.

The Anchorage facility also cut its heating needs by over 50 percent by investing in automatic thermostats and insulated dock shelters. The shelters prevent heat loss around the trailers when they are parked at the dock for loading and unloading. Lynden will continue to strive to operate in the most efficient manner with the highest regard for the health and safety of our employees and protection of the environment.

Tags: Fuel efficiency, Green Lynden, SmartWay certification, Environmental efforts, Trucking, Green Initiative, Lynden Transport

Brown Line earns second EPA award

Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2019

Brown Line truck 1200x630Brown 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."

Tags: Fuel efficiency, Green Lynden, SmartWay certification, Environmental efforts, Trucking, Green Initiative, Brown Line

Alaska West Express celebrates 10 years of green

Posted on Thu, Dec 27, 2018

Alaska West Express tankerAlaska 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.

Tags: Fuel efficiency, Alaska West Express, Green Lynden, SmartWay certification, Environmental efforts, Green Initiative

Lynden Air Cargo installs fuel-efficient Microvanes

Posted on Fri, Dec 14, 2018

Lynden Air Cargo microvanesLynden 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.

Tags: Fuel efficiency, Lynden Air Cargo, Green Lynden, Environmental efforts, Green Initiative

Lynden's Green Initiative celebrates 10 years

Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2018

electronic-forklift-driver"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."

Tags: Awards, Green Lynden, Green Supply Chain Partner, Green Initiative, Inbound Logistics

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