Lynden employees are known for getting freight delivered even when natural disasters present a challenge. When Hurricane Dorian was bearing down on the Bahamas and Florida last year, Lynden International Operations Agent Craig Wilson made sure the customer was taken care of. "Two trucks were headed from Chicago to a boutique in Palm Beach, FL to deliver stone fixtures. The customer was nervous about the location flooding, so Craig made the decision to divert the trucks to our Miami dock, hold the freight and then deliver when the storm passed," says Chicago Operations Manager Jason Hiti-Shannon. "Credit goes to our Miami team who, with little notice, made last-minute arrangements to receive the freight and deliver it after the storm. They also were on a storm watch and had their own shipments and personal concerns to deal with. The situation was a great way to show the shipper that we care about their business and protecting their freight." According to Giovanna Aquilino, Lynden's Senior Account Executive in New York, the customer appreciated the extraordinary effort and she expects more business from them in the future.
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This oversized process module was on its way to an oilfield at Prudhoe Bay via Alaska West Express. The trip required crossing the Chatanika River Bridge on the Elliott Highway. "This is when our variety of equipment really pays off for our customers," explains John Binder, Alaska West Express Safety Specialist in Fairbanks. "The Scheuerle trailer allows us to raise and lower loads to clear just about any obstacle we might encounter." It was a smooth trip across the bridge and the mod arrived on time. Oversized loads like this require weeks and sometimes months of advance planning with the Alaska West Express team securing permits, insurance and additional personnel and pilot cars. "Dealing with unusual and heavy loads is our specialty," John says.
Lynden International is supporting Puerto Rico businesses as they continue to rebuild and recover from the effects of Hurricane Maria. In March, Lynden doubled its San Juan warehouse facility to 40,000 square feet. “Our warehouse expansion, long-term presence on the island and our varied capabilities have come into play for moving construction materials for rebuilds. We now have even more room for consolidating and warehousing building materials and retail merchandise,” says Lynden International Regional Vice President Frank Butler.
Jacksonville, Florida serves as the major gateway to San Juan. "While we have been successful loading our Less-than-Container-Load (LCL) boxes to San Juan in both Nashville and Atlanta over the years, many opportunities have eluded us as some customers need to send and receive merchandise at the Jacksonville port," says Butler.
Lynden now has the ability to assemble, receive and load LCL freight (and Full Container Load if needed) in Jacksonville for containers heading southbound. Lynden's Nashville and Atlanta loading operations were relocated to Jacksonville to create a single source location for LCL operations. The new location is considered a gateway and is managed by Regional Operations Manager Todd Browner. "This change allows us to reduce costs and increase capacity within our containers," Todd says. "We are excited about the possibilities."
Many Lynden customers suffered hurricane damage to retail stores and facilities and were forced to close them in 2018. This year, many stores are open for business once again. “Lynden has assisted with the planning, rebuilding process, the grand openings and is now supporting the stores on a daily basis,” Butler says. The Lynden team picks up ocean containers each week dockside and delivers them to the San Juan warehouse for consolidation, scanning and sorting for stores on the island. Merchandise is held and delivered to stores on an ‘as-needed’ basis, providing a steady stream of replenishment as goods are sold. “We have also taken on new projects to rebuild the electrical grid on the island, update Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) towers and equipment and other government endeavors to repair infrastructure after the hurricane,” says Butler. “We are committed to getting our customers back on their feet.”
When a water main broke in the small community of Kake, AK, the mayor and two city employees put out over 2,000 feet of fire hose to bypass the blown-out section. While that solved the problem for businesses and homes, it did not provide drinking water. Alaska Marine Lines and Arrowhead Transfer teamed up to donate three pallets of bottled water and shipped it to Kake to be distributed to the 10 percent of homes still in need of potable water. "I distributed the water just days after the break and received many thanks and high praise for the companies' kind gesture," says Arrowhead Operations Manager Adam Davis. The companies also received a thank-you letter from the mayor and city manager.
Lynden’s specialized high-capacity equipment was one of the advantages Canadian Lynden Transport offered when the Supreme Group was looking for a company to haul structural steel beams from Alberta, Canada to Alaska. The Supreme Group is the largest privately-owned steel construction company in Canada with locations in Edmonton (Acheson), Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vancouver and a U.S. location in Portland, OR. The company was awarded two U.S. military projects to supply the structural steel beams at Clear Air Force Station in Central Alaska and an airplane hangar at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Fairbanks.
"Our equipment really sealed the deal as we can safely haul more weight," says Account Manager Sandra Darke. "We also have a mix of Canadian and U.S. drivers and, of course, Alaska is our turf and expertise. We have completed approximately 100 loads for the Clear project since September, including a few loads of nuts and bolts from suppliers in the Lower 48 up via QuickTrans." Materials for the hangar will require approximately 80 loads and construction should be completed by June. According to Sandra, the projects have presented several challenges.
"Our operations team has to communicate and coordinate with five different origin locations and we are required to spot trailers for loading in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and three locations in Edmonton," she says. "Our Edmonton team has done an amazing job keeping all the loads organized and meeting Supreme and the builder’s specific needs. The Lynden Transport team in Fairbanks has kept close contact with the builders to hold some loads and deliver as they need them."
Lynden Air Cargo recently completed a three-month peacekeeping mission for the United Nations (UN) to ensure safe and legal elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It also established a new line base in Accra, Ghana, to provide parts and repairs to its aircraft serving the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region.
"This photo (pictured above) is of our two planes at our new maintenance base in Accra, Ghana," says Jim Davis, Vice President Commercial Operations. "As our footprint increases in the MENA region, it has become important for us to build a line station facility with a large inventory of aircraft parts. This will save shipping costs, allow us to get the parts to areas where we operate more quickly, and improve our repair time which will have a direct impact on customer satisfaction."
During the peacekeeping mission Lynden's main operating base was in the DRC capital city of Kinshasa, but both Lynden planes were also positioned in other locations to help move cargo throughout the country and into Entebbe, Uganda, which is the regional logistics hub for the UN.
"One of the two aircraft was also temporarily positioned in Kenya to help move cargo out of Mombasa to Kalemie, Goma, and Kinshasa," explains Project Manager Rock Molanga. "Compared to the previous UN peacekeeping mission we supported in 2016–2017, this one was more complicated because of the current political and security situation in the DRC. The president has been out of mandate since December 2016 and this election was already postponed twice. The elections finally took place Dec. 30 and Felix Tshisekedi was elected president in the first democratic transition of power in the country's history." Over the two years Lynden was onsite, the elections were plagued by problems such as fire that destroyed the voting machines, militant attacks and an Ebola outbreak.
In addition to supporting the electoral process in developing countries, Rock is confident that Lynden Air Cargo will have many opportunities in the MENA region in the future. "The UN is present in most of the post-conflict countries in Africa." Lynden's aircraft capabilities are well-suited for the area because of the lack of infrastructure and roads throughout the African continent.
Lynden Transport and Lynden Air Cargo recently completed a joint move with a customer to transport a generator valued at $1 million from Kenai to an oil field near Prudhoe Bay. The photo was taken on the tarmac at the Kenai Airport and shows a winch being used to secure the generator onto the plane.
"We usually do these types of moves a few times a year from Kenai and deliver to various sites in Prudhoe Bay," says Kenai Service Center Manager Andy Collins. "The moves often consist of very high-value pieces of equipment such as turbines or generators. They move via air due to the value and delicate nature of the cargo." The Lynden crew picked up the generator at the customer's warehouse using a 53-foot step deck trailer which provides a smooth air ride and the perfect transfer height for the rear door of the Hercules aircraft.
According to Andy, Ralph Hemphill was the driver on this project. "He did an outstanding job," he says. "The move was completed without a hitch. We also would like to give kudos to Lynden Air Cargo Loadmaster E.J. Peters for his help."
"As I told you when we met, we're probably going to ask a bit more of you than your typical client does, but it will be about things we can do together to help firefighters all over the world," says Deputy Chief Jon Ibrahim of Hearts In Motion and Fire Service International, nonprofits based in Indiana. Lynden Account Executive Ollie Ladd and Ocean Operations Manager Dave McGeath worked with Jon to coordinate the move of a 20-foot container filled with donated firefighting equipment from Hearts In Motion to the San Francisco dock for ocean shipment to Guatemala City. The equipment was bound for some of the world's poorest firefighters in Central America as they combat the aftermath of the eruption of the Fuego Volcano this winter.
Hearts In Motion has been providing firefighting assistance and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Guatemala for 35 years as well as Nicaragua, Ecuador and other parts of Central and South America. Ollie, Dave and the Lynden team pulled the Guatemala move together in just one week, working against last-minute deadlines and changing requirements. "When you consider that these donations were sitting in a warehouse and within a week they were loaded into a container and on the sea, it really speaks to Lynden's capabilities, and how employees bent over backwards to help us out, not just with the logistics, but also the communication and walking us through the process," Jon says. "We are going to have a long-term relationship with Lynden because of the personal touch of everyone involved. When I was there it felt less like a business meeting and more like I was just having lunch with a Chicago buddy."
"It is rewarding to know that we had a hand in sending relief to the people of Guatemala who are struggling with the aftermath of the volcano," Ollie says. "Jon tells us the shipment made a huge difference in the lives of the firefighters in Guatemala and El Salvador who can now do their jobs safely and more effectively."
"Antarctica was the final continent on our checklist," says Lynden Air Cargo President Rick Zerkel. "Now we can cross it off." Lynden Air Cargo has joined a short list of operators that serve all seven continents by starting a new project in support of an Italian Antarctic Expedition team doing research on the icy land mass.
The month-long mission lasted from Oct. 30 through Nov. 30 and involved carrying supplies from Christchurch, New Zealand to Italian base Mario Zucchelli Station and Phoenix Field at McMurdo Station, the U.S. base in Terra Nova Bay, Antarctica. According to Lynden Air Cargo Captain Pat Madland, Terra Nova Bay is about 2,000 miles and 7 hours from Christchurch, and Phoenix Field is 300 miles further south and about 8 hours flying time. "This was accomplished with an augmented crew to allow for rest," Pat explains. "We also carry a loadmaster and mechanic." The whole operation requires nine people on the ground in Christchurch.
"This high-profile project illustrates Lynden Air Cargo’s capabilities in remote locations," says Adam Murray, Director of Business Development and Marketing. "With 98 percent of the continent covered in ice, there are no cities or villages. This is another addition to our capabilities and we hope to provide this service next year and on an ongoing basis if possible."
The flight crew includes Captains Pat Madland and Thomas Lindberg, First Officer Josh Havel, Flight Engineers Bill Spencer, Clint Swanson and John Worley, Loadmaster Leonel Lopez and Aircraft Mechanics Travis Blaszak and Dan Spears.
"The cargo on the first two trips to Terra Nova Bay consisted mostly of helicopters. We carried two Squirrel helicopters on each trip. Since then, the cargo has been scientific equipment and food," Pat says. "Although it’s exciting to go to Antarctica, Lynden Air Cargo crews are used to flying to remote locations in challenging conditions. Antarctica closely resembles Greenland with its mountainous terrain covered with an ice cap. Much of the continent is around 10,000 feet high although we landed on sea ice runways at sea level. Most of our Lynden crews have been to six continents and it’s nice to add the seventh."
Lynden International’s Chicago office recently moved to a new facility. According to District Operations Manager Jason Hiti-Shannon, along with 50 percent more warehouse space, the office features upgraded IT infrastructure and security systems to better serve a diverse and growing customer base.
"We look forward to using this facility to further our goal to be a significant player in our markets and in advancing the One Lynden brand throughout the Midwest," Jason says.
For a full list of Lynden International service centers visit www.lynden.com/lint/locations/overview.html.