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LTI, Inc. hauls world-famous Woodinville Whiskey

Posted on Wed, Feb 10, 2021

LTI, Inc. equipmentAdd award-winning whiskey to the long list of LTI, Inc.'s food-grade hauls. Woodinville Whiskey Co. recently called upon Lynden to haul its premium 140-proof whiskey from Woodinville, WA to its aging and bottling facility in Quincy, WA. LTI, Inc. drivers are also picking up the mash byproduct from the whiskey distilling process and delivering to a farm near Monroe, WA.

Because the whiskey is flammable, it qualifies as a hazmat, food-grade load which is one of LTI, Inc.'s specialties. "The project really is a good fit for our strengths as a carrier," says Business Development Manager Al Hartgraves. Al says the new project came about through company teamwork. While LTI, Inc. Driver Cesar Cortez was delivering a load to one of the wineries next door to Woodinville Whiskey, he was approached by one of the owners. He asked Cesar if LTI, Inc. could provide the same pickup and delivery service for his company to Eastern Washington. Cesar passed along the request to dispatcher Eric Bordynoski who got in touch with Al and soon a contract was under way.

"LTI, Inc. has never hauled whiskey before so specific equipment needed to be sourced and drivers trained for this type of hazmat transport," Al says. The maintenance team of Dave Seaman and Jerry Crisp jumped into action to secure the highly specialized food-grade hazmat trailers, DOT 407s, needed for the project. Although the whiskey is picked up in Woodinville and delivered to Quincy, the run begins and ends at LTI, Inc.'s Sunnyside facility due to the wash facilities located there.

LTI, Inc. equipmentSunnyside Driver Brandon Weaver, pictured right, was the first driver to haul the whiskey this fall, and he says it is a nice change from his usual route. "It's a lot of responsibility, too, though. Hazmat loads require an endorsement and intense focus, so safety is always on my mind." Driver Ed Flores is also hauling whiskey for the project.

The second part of the project is hauling the spent mash, which is grain left over from the distillation process. A full load is picked up each day from the distillery and delivered to a farm facility near Monroe where it is used to produce electricity for Qualco Energy. "The whole process is full circle and something we have not been involved in before," Al says. "It's an exciting new project for us to fully support the efforts of Woodinville Whiskey, and we will be bringing on more qualified drivers with this type of hazmat endorsement early in the year."

The grain for the whiskey is grown in Quincy which is where the whiskey is returned to age five to seven years before bottling. Woodinville Whiskey's expansion has positioned them to produce over 250,000 cases per year.

Tags: LTI Inc., Trucking, Lynden Capabilities

Goodbye and good luck to twelve Lynden retirees

Posted on Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Twelve veteran Lynden employees wrapped up their careers at the end of 2020. We wish them well in retirement.

Mark SheehanMark Sheehan, Alaska Marine Lines and Northland Services, 40 years
Mark came to his job at Alaska Marine Lines through his brother Tom Sheehan. Tom and Mark both worked for Northland initially and later moved to Alaska Marine Lines. Mark went back to Northland and continued his career there until the 2014 acquisition by Lynden. He retired last month as Marine Operations Manager. It's been a long and storied career, but by far the most significant event was meeting and marrying co-worker Cindy Sheehan in 1999. Cindy also retired in December. "I have been so happy to be a part of the Lynden team," Mark says. In his marine career, Mark has saved many castaway and stowaway critters from certain death in Seattle ports, including stray cats, otters, pelicans and a hawk. A few years ago an albatross hitched a ride on a voyage from Honolulu to Seattle. Mark first saw the bird when the night crew pointed it out to him. The bird was severely dehydrated and emaciated. Mark called the Seattle Aquarium's veterinarian who brought the female bird to a Wildlife Care Center where it was treated for pneumonia and survived. It's no surprise that in retirement, Mark plans to volunteer at wild and domestic animal rescue organizations.

Lu JacksonLu Jackson, LTI, Inc., 37 years
As a Human Resources Manager for almost four decades, Lu has worked for four Lynden presidents, including the late Lynden patriarch Hank Jansen. "I have such great memories of working with him," she says. "It's nice to see that the integrity, philosophy and character of the company has withstood all these years." Although she is excited about retirement, Lu says she will miss the people. "Everyone says that, but it's really true." Lu handled everything from payroll to dispatching in her career and is very proud that she was never late to work – ever – in 37 years. Retirement will find her on her farm caring for animals, enjoying outdoor activities and getting to know her two new golden retriever puppies that joined the household just a week after she retired. Lu was featured as the December 2020 Everyday Hero. To read more about her, go to www.lynden.com/heroes.

Mike MaloneMike Malone, Alaska Marine Lines, 35 years
Back in 1985, Mike started working in the Container Freight Station (CFS) warehouse. He then worked in rates and billing, pricing and finished up his career as Pricing Analyst. "Back then, we had just one sailing to Southeast Alaska, then it was twice a week. The ARM barge was added to service Central Alaska and Prince William Sound and then the purchase of Northland added Western Alaska and Hawaii. "We've seen quite the growth," Mike says.

"I have so many memories of all the people I've worked with, it would be hard to list just one, but working with the Freitrater program, coming up with auto rating and smart prompting cut the number of corrections we were seeing significantly."

After years of sitting in either traffic or at his desk, Mike says he is looking forward to getting some regular exercise, and he has a lot of projects to do around the house. "I would like to travel once my wife retires and maybe take some actual guitar lessons. I've really enjoyed working with all the people at Alaska Marine Lines and Lynden over the years. It's a really top-notch organization from the top down.

Sue HeatherSue Heather, Alaska Marine Lines, 34 years
Sue has worked both full time and part time for Alaska Marine Lines' accounting department over her long career. "I retired from full time work in 2002, but came back part time later that year," she says. "I guess I just couldn't stay away!" Sue started her job with Alaska Marine Lines in 1986 when the employees numbered about 70. "I started out doing accounts payable then added accounts receivable. Eventually I became the accounting manager for Alaska Marine Lines and Alaska Marine Trucking," she says. "I have worked with such a great group of people over the years. My bosses have always led by example and always had time to listen to me or help when I needed it." In retirement, she is planning to spend more time with her grandson, work at her church food bank and sew.

Cindy SheehanCindy Sheehan, Alaska Marine Lines, 31 years
Cindy began her career with Alaska Marine Lines in 1989 at the suggestion of friend and now Lynden Logistics Manager Becky MacDonald. She was the first female barge checker in the history of the company although "I didn't know the difference between a chassis and a container at the time," she says. Her first office was a container under the First Avenue South Street Bridge, now Alaska Marine Lines' Y-2 yard. She also worked with two brothers, Mark and Tom Sheehan. Tom worked for Alaska Marine Lines, Mark for Northland Services. She continued to work with Tom over her long career, and she married Mark. Over the years, Cindy worked on a variety of Alaska Marine Lines projects, including the first Alaska Railbelt Marine sailings to Whittier, AK. She was soon promoted to Customer Service Manager, followed by Director of Customer Service in 2013 and Vice President of Customer Service in 2016. "I've always loved working with customers and took a great deal of pride and pleasure helping them," she says. "At Alaska Marine Lines, we're committed to keeping real, live people to talk to rather than recorded options to answer callers' questions." Cindy and Mark both retired last month and now plan to do some camping and fishing. Cindy will also start some quilting projects to donate to the American Heroes wounded veterans and Children's Hospital in Seattle.

JeffJeff McKenney, Alaska Marine Lines, 31 years
"After 13 years of owning my business, I took a position with Alaska Marine Lines to dispatch and manage the trucks and operators," Jeff says. "When a sales position opened in Seattle, I thought it was the right time to advance my career and use the knowledge I had learned over the years to sell the services Alaska Marine Lines offered." More than 30 years later, Jeff retires as an Account Manager with experience in both operations and sales. "I feel lucky to have had a position where I worked with people who were my friends and colleagues. Alaska Marine Lines and all the Lynden companies have made my job fun. Our abilities to be innovative through equipment design, schedules, and online tools offers so much to the customer compared to our competition. The fact that we can pull multiple Lynden operating companies together to offer the customer a One Lynden solution has a lot of merit."

Jeff says Lynden has been a great company to be a part of and he appreciates everything the company has done to support his family. "I have really enjoyed providing the customer with a positive experience, showing customers what Lynden can do and being part of Lynden's success." Jeff's retirement plans include boating, fishing and traveling the U.S. via RV. A trip to the Grand Canyon is one of the first stops on the itinerary. Jeff was featured as the November 2020 Everyday Hero. To read more about him, go to www.lynden.com/heroes.

Greg NiermanGreg Nierman, Lynden Incorporated, 27 years
Greg, pictured right, started working for Lynden Incorporated as a software developer in 1989 and transitioned to supervisor, manager and back to developer by the end of his 27-year career. "There were about 15 people total in IT when I started, and now there are nearly 70," he says. Greg's most memorable work project over the years was working on the Cross Dock initiative. "I will always remember the wonderful people I've had the honor of working with," he adds. Greg's plans for retirement include spending time with his grandkids, coaching archery and building and playing guitars.

John WalkerJohn Walker, Lynden Incorporated, 20 years
Over his 20 years with Lynden Incorporated's IT Department, John says he will remember Side-By-Side Billing, numerous ILS (Integrated Lynden Systems) integrations and Route Trip Maintenance as his favorite projects. As a Senior Programmer Developer and Applications Development Supervisor he saw IT grow by "leaps and bounds" as well as the applications that IT produced for Lynden's operating companies. "Working at Lynden has been more like an adventure than a job," John says. "There is always something new to learn and problems to be solved. But it's the people that I will miss the most (certainly not my commute!). I've met a lot of great people over the years and hope to continue the friendships we've established." Retirement plans include visiting family more often, traveling, fly fishing (see picture), golf, photography and chainsaw carving.

Pam SanchezPam Sanchez, Alaska Marine Lines, 18 years
Pam was a fixture in the customer service department for many years, making sure that receiving, billing and customer service tasks ran smoothly. In a single day, she might handle 50 questions about pricing, scheduling, logistics, cargo claims, purchased transportation both via phone and email. "Over the years I was always impressed with how Alaska Marine Lines worked to improve their service to customers," she says. "We always let them know we are here for them and that we care." Although Pam says she will miss working with and talking to her co-workers, she is looking forward to doing all the things she didn't have time for when she was working. Her plans include planting a garden, tackling home improvement projects and having time to exercise. Pam's son, Matt Miller, works at Northland and will carry on the family tradition at the Y-5 warehouse.

Bob McGrathBob McGrath, Lynden Incorporated, 8 years
Bob began work for Lynden in 2011 as a contractor, auditioning with Rick Nuckolls on the Master Customer Master (MCM) application. "I was hired on May Day, 2012. This job has been the pot-o-gold at the end of my career rainbow, which has spanned four decades," he says. "I began years ago as a PICK programmer and finished at Lynden as a programmer. In between, I worked in a variety of related job roles involving both hardware and software. There have been immense changes over the course of my career, but I think the change in speed and scale, in all realms of computing, has had the greatest impact."

Bob lists the following as highlights of his Lynden career: the HAZMAT implementation, developing the UV/TariffTrak interface used in the pre-ship and billing systems, the UV2XML document interface, and working with great teams on the first and subsequent ILS migrations.

Retirement will bring changes. "We will be moving to Chicago to be with family for a while," Bob says, "but will eventually come back home to Whidbey Island. Between Chicago and home, we plan to travel and live abroad. Once back home, I'd like to pick up ceramics again, bake up a storm and teach at-risk kids programming as a model for success."

"Lynden is a great company and this has been one of the best jobs of my career," he adds. "The values guiding Lynden come from the top down, but seem to be deeply embedded in the company: ethical, generous, disciplined, and caring for employees and community. In the end though, it is the Lynden people I admire most. I was lucky to be part of this, even for a short time."

Stanley Sniadosky and Jim Warren also retired last year, from Alaska Marine Lines and Lynden Incorporated respectively.

Tags: Lynden, LTI Inc., Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden employees

LTI, Inc., Lynden Transport receive SmartWay Awards from EPA

Posted on Thu, Nov 12, 2020

LTI, Inc. EquipmentThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded LTI, Inc. with its fifth SmartWay Excellence Award on November 5, 2020. The award recognizes LTI, Inc. and its Milky Way division as one of North America’s most efficient and lowest emitting tanker fleets. The SmartWay Excellence Award is reserved for the top performing SmartWay Partners and is the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight supply chain energy and environmental performance.

Lynden Transport also earned a SmartWay High Performer Award for operating efficiencies in its flatbed and reefer fleets. Lynden Transport is included in the top 20 percent of carriers nationwide for reducing carbon emissions and achieved top-ranking performance for all metrics, including fuel efficiency. Fewer than 10 percent of all SmartWay carriers operate fleets efficient enough to make the SmartWay High Performer list for carbon emissions.

“We are extremely proud of this award,” says LTI, Inc. President Jason Jansen. “Each year we strive to seek ongoing improvement in our operations to continue the reduction of our carbon footprint. Our success is due to the continued efforts of our entire staff, especially our drivers. Our ability to operate as one of the most efficient carriers in the nation is a true testimony to the quality and dedication of our entire team to drive continuous improvement." Jason was recently interviewed by local Bellingham radio station, 790 KGMI, to discuss the award.

LTI, Inc. and Lynden Transport have been EPA SmartWay partners for more than a decade. Each year the companies voluntarily submit operations information to the EPA for consideration. LTI, Inc. and Milky Way 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 while operating in extreme weather and carrying the heaviest payloads. 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.

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

LTI, Inc. Idaho drivers deliver groceries for WinCo

Posted on Thu, Jun 11, 2020

LTI, Inc. carries groceries for WinCo FoodsLTI, Inc. drivers in Caldwell and Jerome, ID answered the call this spring when the supermarket chain WinCo Foods was hit with an unprecedented demand for groceries due to the shelter-in-place orders. WinCo's daily freight volumes grew from 2.4 to 7 million pounds of grocery products. "We agreed to help and quickly sent out trucks and drivers to the Boise, ID distribution center," says LTI, Inc. Operations Manager Gordy Sant. "Within the same day Caldwell drivers were hauling 400,000 pounds of groceries to several WinCo locations." In all, LTI, Inc. drivers hauled 3.4 million pounds of freight to various Idaho communities during the rush period. Jerome drivers also hauled loads to Salt Lake City, Western Oregon or wherever products were needed. "Everyone at LTI, Inc. pulled together to cover shifts for these drivers so we could assist in this emergency situation," Gordy says. "We continue to haul groceries for WinCo as needed. This is a great example of how Lynden and its people can quickly diversify and an opportunity to show our strength in an area outside of the milk industry."

Tags: LTI Inc., Trucking, Lynden Capabilities

LTI, Inc. delivers container homes for Impossible Roads Foundation

Posted on Thu, Dec 12, 2019

LTI, Inc. truckLTI, Inc. drivers delivered 13 containers from Seattle to Ferndale, WA last month to assist the nonprofit Impossible Roads Foundation with a special Veterans Day project. The containers are retrofitted as homes for disabled veterans and will be distributed in the Whatcom County area.

"You guys truly are lifesavers," writes John Hope of the Impossible Roads Foundation. "We do not know how we could build and provide these tiny homes to veterans without the kindness and generosity of you delivering them to us."

Matson donated the 40-foot high-cube containers and LTI, Inc. contributed transportation to support the project. The containers are built specifically for the veterans' needs with ADA access. "We dubbed every tiny home we create 'The Impossible Tiny Home' because it is a small miracle that all of the materials, insight, design, labor, and personnel came together to build them," John says.

Tags: Community Service, LTI Inc., Trucking

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

Horsin' around

Posted on Thu, Sep 26, 2019

Puyallup FairIn August, LTI, Inc. continued its sponsorship of the Mt. View Belgians draft horses and shows at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden, WA. The horses are owned by Lynden Driver Dan Weidkamp and his wife Heather. The Weidkamps also participated in the Western Rodeo Parade as part of the Washington State Fair in Puyallup, WA this month. Pictured to the left, Dan is at the reins with fair board members in the back of the LTI, Inc. wagon.

 

Tags: LTI Inc., Milky Way, Lynden employees, Drivers

Lynden celebrates Everyday Heroes

Posted on Wed, Apr 17, 2019

Driver Scott PolinderEach year, LTI, Inc. honors its Everyday Heroes with dinner events at various locations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Retirees are also included to celebrate employees past and present for their many years of dedicated service to Lynden.

Milky Way Driver Scott Polinder achieved a milestone of 40 years of safe driving in 2018, and Jeff Smith celebrated 30 years without an accident. Retirees from the past year Jeff Kok, Arnie DeKubber and Mark Coppinger were also recognized for their years of service.

Tags: LTI Inc., Awards, Milky Way, Lynden employees, Safety, Trucking, Drivers

LTI, Inc. Sunnyside crew receives national certification for tanker cleanliness

Posted on Tue, Feb 20, 2018

Members of the LTI, Inc. Wash Bay Crew in Sunnyside, WALTI, Inc.'s Sunnyside Wash Bay Crew received a prestigious certification from the Juice Products Association (JPA) for the cleanliness of the tankers Lynden uses for carrying food-grade products. The LTI, Inc. Sunnyside location is now one of only five wash facilities in Washington state to be certified by the JPA and one of only 39 in the U.S. The JPA is a national trade association with manufacturers representing more than 80 percent of U.S. juice producers. The Lynden team put in many hours of hard work to earn the designation.

"We face intense regulatory scrutiny in the way we clean and sterilize our special commodities tanks," says Jeff Harris, Sunnyside Operations Supervisor. "The JPA certification is the gold star of tanker cleanliness. Many companies will only allow their product to be hauled in tankers that have been washed at a JPA-certified facility. We can now proudly say that we are one of those facilities."

From January through November last year, the LTI, Inc. wash bay crew cleaned and sanitized 8,317 tanks in its wash bay plus 1,210 milk tankers. LTI, Inc. is required to carry paperwork for the last three loads each tanker has hauled which dictates the type of wash it receives: a rinse, a detergent rinse or a kosher wash that calls for temperatures up to 203 degrees for sterilization.

Each product a tanker hauls requires a specific type of wash. There is a lot to know, Jeff explains, and with trucks on the road around the clock, washing takes place at all hours. Harvest time is especially hectic for the team when almost all of the company's tankers are in use.

Jeff, along with HSSE Director Anthony Knapp and the wash bay crew, spent four months working on the certification process and producing an 18-chapter manual. The Sunnyside wash bay also had to be prepared for the audit which took many weeks of coordination and physical labor.

Jeff and Anthony consider the wash bay crew unsung heroes for the hard work they do every day. "I couldn't be prouder of Jeff and this team," Anthony says. "They are a multi-talented group of individuals with an outstanding work ethic and keep our equipment spotlessly clean to protect our customers and the public."

Tags: LTI Inc.

LTI, Inc. proudly represented at Oregon Veterans Parade

Posted on Thu, Nov 30, 2017

MW-parade.jpegLTI, Inc. Director of HSSE & Compliance Anthony Knapp was in Albany, OR at the annual Veterans Day parade Nov. 11 and rode with Driver Trainer/Backup Supervisor Andrew Ruzanski in the Milky Way tanker on the parade route. "It was an honor to represent LTI, Inc. in the parade, and the Lynden Tank team should be proud of the tanks they build. I know I was," Anthony says. The Albany parade is rumored to be the largest veteran's parade west of the Mississippi. That's Andrew's daughter Maddyx proudly watching her dad Andrew behind the wheel. Anthony is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and Air National Guard.

Tags: Community Service, LTI Inc., Milky Way

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