Lynden was selected as an Inbound Logistics Top 100 Trucker for 2017. Lynden was selected out of 300 leaders in the trucking industry who submitted credentials. Lynden was also named a Top 49er in Alaska Business Monthly Magazine's annual ranking of Alaska companies. Lynden ranked fifth among all Alaska companies for providing jobs and services to keep Alaska's economy strong. Lynden Vice President Jeanine St. John is pictured with Charles Bell of Alaska Business Monthly.
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Over the past several years, several Lynden companies have replaced propane forklifts with energy efficient electric models. "Not only are the new lifts better for the environment, they perform better, too," explains Charlie Mottern, Lynden Transport Director of Maintenance. "Independent drive motors allow both tires to spin together which makes them great in the snow."
The lifts also improve indoor air quality and have unexpectedly reduced electric and heating use at some of the Lynden Service Centers. Lynden Transport began replacing propane forklifts with electric lifts in 2008, with 27 of 40 lifts replaced so far. In total, Lynden Transport, Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska West Express, Lynden International, and Lynden International Logistics Company (LILCO) have replaced 104 of 246 lifts with the new electric models, which emit 54 percent less carbon than propane lifts. Lynden Transport, Lynden International and Lynden Air Cargo's Alaska operations are now 100 percent electric.
"Electric lifts in high-use applications account for the majority of the hours," says Charlie. Lynden companies are using electric lifts for small lift hours at a rate of 95 percent for LILCO, 80 percent for Lynden Transport, 81 percent at Alaska Marine lines, 60 percent at Alaska West Express and 53 percent at Lynden International.
"This year we plan to replace four lifts at Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle and two at Lynden International's LAX facility," Charlie explains. However, not all of Lynden's propane lifts will be replaced. "Some locations and applications are not suited for electric lifts or do not get enough hours per month to warrant putting electric lifts into play at this time."
At the end of 2016, electric lifts in operation across the Lynden companies saved over $300,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs, while reducing 433 metric tons of CO2 emissions. This equates to a 32 percent reduction in Lynden's total small lift emissions.
Bob Griggs likes to tell a good joke. His favorite is that he left Lynden last month due to the stress of worrying about being laid off. "I started as a vacation relief driver in 1974. Don Guthrie and Vic Jansen trained me to drive a truck and pick up milk with the expectation that I would be laid off in a few months," he says. "I've been joking about it for the past 43 years."
Bob retired last month after working for Lynden longer than any other Lynden employee besides Jim Jansen. "When I started, Milky Way was a division of Lynden Transport," he recalls. "I've worked for LTI, Lynden Logistics and Hawk Inlet Services over the years in addition to some short projects in Alaska. Wherever they needed me, that's where I would go. It's been a lot of fun and very challenging."
Bob says his most memorable project was making the impossible possible in Caldwell, ID about six years ago. "A dairy's milk hauler gave them seven days' notice of termination, so they called us for help. We told them we'd get it done, and we did," Bob explains. With just seven days to prepare to take over the new milk routes and location, Milky Way employees mobilized, pulling together supervisors, drivers and volunteers from throughout the company to travel to Idaho to learn the routes. "We rounded up equipment and interviewed, hired and trained 25 drivers in seven days. The customer thought there was no way we could do it, but we did. We now have a successful operation there. It was amazing teamwork."
Over four decades at Lynden, Bob said the biggest changes he's seen are the use of cell phones, the improvement in equipment and the increase in traffic. "If you were out on the road in the old days and someone needed to contact you, they called all the places on your route – weigh stations and dairies – and left messages for you," he says. "Now it's instant communication."
He also credits Lynden founder Hank Jansen for inspiring him years ago. "I'm fortunate to have known him and worked with him directly." Bob's advice for employees just joining the company? "Don't leave. You can have a great career at Lynden. If you need a change, take advantage of one of the many opportunities within the Lynden companies."
Bob has some retirement projects waiting in his woodshop like a stand-up paddleboard he is making from Paulownia wood. "I want to build a small boat eventually, so I'll start with this. It will either go in the fireplace when I'm done or I'll use it," he jokes. He hopes to use both on Lake Roosevelt in Eastern Washington this summer.
"Bob is just one of those people you could always count on," says Vic Jansen. "Good or bad he was there. It's been that way since I met him 43 years ago. We all appreciate the contributions he has made to Lynden."
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.”
Lynden Air Cargo is operating its L-382 aircraft on behalf of the Coulson group of companies to fight fires for the U.S. Forest Service this summer. As a sub-contractor, Lynden is providing a crew and aircraft from June 5 through Sept. 1.
“As of mid-June, we have flown 49 sorties and 62 drops everywhere from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the Mexico border,” says Lynden Air Cargo President Rick Zerkel. “We have dispersed a total of 189,705 gallons of retardant on various fires in New Mexico, Arizona and Southern California.”
Lynden fought the Reservoir and San Gabriel wildfires near Los Angeles in June, helping to contain both, as well as others throughout the southwestern states. In September, the L-382 will return to Australia where it will continue fighting fires there. “We are proud to be helping in this effort and proud of our Lynden flight and maintenance crew on the front lines.” Rick says.
Michelle Fabry, Lynden Air Cargo’s Director of Safety, accepted the Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA) Safety Award from Director John Duncan of the Federal Aviation Administration at the February award luncheon in Anchorage. With the 2015 award, Lynden has received 14 consecutive safety awards which are presented to incident and accident-free carriers each year.
“We are very proud of our safety record,” Michelle says. “It all goes back to our employees and their dedication to safety in the operation of our aircraft, maintenance, cargo handling and following established procedures.”
Also in February, Lynden Air Cargo received news that it is the only carrier in the nation to receive approval of its Safety Management System Implementation Plan (SMSIP) on first submission to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Implementation Plan details how Lynden will meet the FAA’s regulatory requirements. “We’ve been working on SMS Implementation for over three years. At the time of submittal, we showed that our plan was 80 percent complete with full implementation scheduled for the end of 2016,” Michelle explains.
A team of department managers from operations, cargo services and maintenance worked together to develop the plan which included going through every FAA line item and detailing how Lynden would meet the requirement. According to Michelle, carriers who do not receive initial approval receive a visit from a team of FAA officials to help them finish the plan correctly. “This is a big deal for us. We have a great group here that got it right the first time.” Full implementation of the SMSIP is not required until 2018, so Lynden is not only ahead of schedule but setting the bar for other carriers.
Gas tank drained. Check. Battery cables tied back. Check. Original Bill of Sale and shipper photo ID. Check.
After 18 years at Lynden International and countless global shipments, International Agent Colleen Delaney knows what is needed to ship just about anything overseas. Automobiles have become her specialty over the past few years as she handles the safe ocean transport of vintage automobiles from the U.S. to the U.K. for London-based American Legends, LLC. “We don’t typically ship vehicles, due to the extensive paperwork and customs requirements, but we will handle this type of shipment for customers who approach us with these special requests,” she says. So far, Colleen has handled the transport of Corvettes, Mustangs, Ferraris, a 1965 Buick Riviera and she is preparing to ship over a Trans-Am from the Smokey and the Bandit film and a replica of the General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger from the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard.
When it comes to loading and securing the valuable automobiles into containers Lynden turns to trusted partner SeaPac Transportation Services of Seattle. “We use SeaPac for all our ‘special needs and delicate handling’ FCL shipments,” Colleen says. President Paul Kimball was Lynden Transport’s Vice President of Administration in the 1970s and understands the Lynden brand of customer service and excellence. In addition to cars, engines and other specialty parts are palletized and shipped via ocean for the company. “SeaPac is the best of the best in this area. We won’t partner with just any company – we require top notch service to keep our customers happy,” Colleen explains.
The export of vehicles requires an extensive amount of paperwork. The original title and Bill of Sale is required by customs to prevent stolen freight. Customs filing must also be presented 72 hours prior to the sailing of the vessel so that the vehicle is available for inspection by customs if they so choose. “Lynden International offers this premium service at reasonable prices compared to other forwarders,” Colleen says.
Most of the classics that Lynden ships for American Legends are headed to auctions in London or are sold to car collectors throughout Europe.
The Lynden companies are looking for a few good men and women to follow in the footsteps of the Lynden Legends, the courageous group of drivers who pioneered service on the Alcan in the 1950s and the hundreds of Lynden drivers who have continued the tradition by driving trucks safely and efficiently through the years.
To find them, Lynden launched a driver recruitment campaign last year, headed by Marketing Project Manager Dorene Kolb and Vice President of Employee Relations and Business Development Gail Knapp with the help of an employee committee representing Alaska West Express, Lynden Transport, Alaska Marine Trucking, Brown Line, LTI, Inc. and Milky Way.
“At Brown Line, we have a significant number of drivers retiring or preparing for retirement, so we are taking a proactive position to find the best drivers to replace them. Driver retirements are not only impacting Lynden, but the nation as a whole. Trucks move the goods that keep the country running. It is an extremely important profession and industry,” explains Al Hartgraves, National Accounts Manager for Brown Line.
To attract the best and brightest, Lynden developed a brochure and website to spread the word and committee members have attended job fairs at Joint Base Lewis-McChord AFB in Tacoma and other employment events as well as recruiting from trucking schools.
“Our goal is to let people know Lynden is unique in the marketplace. With more than 18 transportation and logistics companies, you can work in a variety of positions and locations. The driving experience is different here and the opportunities for advancement are unparalleled,” Dorene explains. “Although we are interested in all ages and those launching second careers, we are also appealing to the millennials in their 20s.”
Interviews with summer interns and the drivers themselves have yielded interesting feedback. In addition to good pay and benefits, drivers are also interested in a stable company and upward mobility.
Jered Post, Vice President of Operations for Lynden Transport, took advantage of those advancement opportunities 10 years ago. After starting as a Milky Way Driver in 2005 in Jerome, ID he worked his way up to managing Lynden Transport locations in Fairbanks and Anchorage. He later became Director of Operations and was then promoted to Vice President with the company in Seattle. Many Lynden executives started their careers driving, including former Lynden Transport President Jim Beck and Chairman Jim Jansen.
Wyatt Nagle drives for LTI, Inc./Milky Way in Chehalis, WA. “Every day brings a new adventure,” he says. “I started out as a night driver picking up milk, and I worked up into driving freight. Now I am the night supervisor. I have no plans to go anywhere else, but if I wanted to, I could go drive in the oil fields in Alaska and Texas. And if I get tired of driving, I can find a different role with Lynden, keep my benefits and status, and start another new adventure.”
The recruitment committee is asking Lynden employees to help refer qualified driver candidates. “Every job at Lynden is affected by trucking,” Al says. “Everyone plays a part in attracting good people to keep the companies healthy and the freight moving.” Go to www.lynden.com/drive for a brochure or a driver interest form.
This spring, Lynden Transport and Alaska West Express celebrated 10 years of doing business with the Pogo Gold Mine near Fairbanks. To commemorate both the mine’s anniversary and the ongoing business relationship, Fairbanks Sales Manager Ken Hall presented External Affairs Manager Lorna Shaw and General Manager Chris Kennedy with a plaque at the mine headquarters office in Delta Junction.
Pogo Mine is one of Lynden’s largest customers in Fairbanks and the partnership goes way back – pre-dating this year’s 10th anniversary. Exploration at the Pogo Mine began in 1990 and gold deposits were discovered in 1994. During the mine construction in 2005 and 2006, Lynden companies were an integral part of the construction effort. Prior to completion of the all-season road, Alaska West Express Project Manager Steve Willford, Al Guettinger and a crew of drivers were based in a small office near Delta Junction to coordinate the movement of building materials and supplies over the winter ice road to the mine site. Alaska West employees worked long days receiving inbound freight and consolidating loads to be positioned at the Quartz Lake staging area. Each morning the staged loads would be dispatched to move via the ice road to the mine site. This allowed the mine to receive supplies to support construction until the all-season road was opened.
Today, Lynden Transport collects freight and consolidates loads at its Fairbanks Service Center for twice weekly delivery to the mine (see above). Alaska West Express handles the heavy hauls and Alaska Marine Lines also handles barge needs from time to time. “It’s soup to nuts,” Ken says of the freight. “Alaska West Express hauls fuel, cement and heavy hauls and we move tires and other cargo. We also move freight for the companies supporting Pogo Mine like Redpath and water treatment and engineering companies. We make ourselves available for whatever is needed to support the mine’s 24-hour operation and 320 employees.”
Pogo Mine is located 38 miles northeast of Delta Junction. Access to the mine is via a 49-mile all-season road on the Richardson Highway. As Lynden drivers make their way up the narrow haul road, they check in at regular milepost intervals to assure safety and speed requirements are met. “We are not in a convenient location. The road narrows to one lane in some areas requiring radio communication and coordination,” Lorna explains. “We really appreciate Lynden’s dependable drivers and commitment to safety."
The Pogo Mine has produced 3.1 million ounces of gold and is considered an example of mining done right. “Our success has been possible because of Lynden’s ongoing support,” Chris says. “They have been our partners from the early days and even before. We have had only one air shipment in the history of the mine. Everything else we need has been trucked in primarily by Lynden companies. We know we can rely on the friendly, day-in and day-out service Lynden provides.”
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 International, 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 International.
“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 (see photo below).
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 International Vice President.