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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Lynden International wrapped up a project this fall assisting one of the largest U.S. government contractors as they upgrade naval base facilities worldwide. Starting in January, Lynden's Seattle and Miami teams started moving 11 oversized modules from Pennsylvania to Florida for barge transport to locations in the Caribbean.
"The huge loads required permits and night travel to minimize impact," says Senior Account Executive Eric Klunder. "They also required top secret escorts for barge travel and other special procedures due to military protocol." Eric relied on sister company Alaska West Express and Sales Manager Jim Earl to review the project specifications. Jim and his team are considered the experts in heavy haul and military assignments.
Lynden also arranged air charters to deliver a variety of construction materials to naval base sites. "We set up five charters from Miami using a Saab 340-A prop plane and four charters using 737s for heavier items," Eric says.
International Operations Agent Michael Redmond and District Manager Sulaisa Rejo (pictured to the right) received the freight, consolidated it onto pallets and transferred it to the Miami airport for transport. The shipments contained lumber, concrete, caulking, epoxies and other chemicals that required dangerous goods paperwork and 'safety data sheets' for air clearance. Some of the materials required repacking and screening. All dangerous goods declarations were filed for the airlines and the flights were ready for takeoff.
The last 737 charter included something a little extra from Lynden's Seattle team. "Over the many months we worked with these customers, we heard that they had few creature comforts at their remote work site," says Kristina Jordan, District Operations Manager in Seattle. "We thought it would be nice to send them a little treat, so we had Sulaisa buy several boxes of Dunkin' Donuts for them."
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.”
Over the 17 years that Lynden International Senior Account Executive Randy Main has been working with customers, he has handled many emergency shipments. "Every so often we get a shipment with a story behind it and a face behind the package," he says. In this case, it was a pharmaceutical shipment for McKesson, a long-time Lynden customer.
McKesson's Distribution Center Manager Jonathan Burke wrote a letter about Randy's customer service and extraordinary efforts to ensure a lifesaving drug reached critically ill patients in Kotzebue, AK. "I looked up flights going to Kotzebue and the only one was leaving that afternoon," Jon writes. "I immediately reached out to Randy and asked if we could somehow get this drug on that flight. Within minutes of the call, Randy arrived to pick up the package and was on the phone to see what he could do to get the package tendered on Alaska Airlines. Through his efforts, he was able to hold the plane and get the package onboard."
With only minutes until departure and well past the carrier’s cutoff, Lynden’s Owen Mitchell and Matt Kelly started the paperwork while Main contacted the flight crew to ask if they could coordinate an after-hours handoff with the hospital in Kotzebue. Hours later, the life-saving medication arrived and was administered to the patient, a baby suffering from meningitis, and other children in the household. "I am deeply grateful to have Randy as our account manager who showed great heroism on our behalf," Jonathan says.
"We have so many pharmaceutical shipments going out each morning and each one could potentially contain life-saving medication," Randy explains. "With more than 30 shipments a day, we contend with the daily challenge of limited flights and carrier options, weather delays, and a variety of seasonal issues. McKesson was in a tough situation, and I'm glad that we could help along with our partners at Alaska Airlines who held the plane and allowed the freight to be tendered past the normal cutoff period. Alaska can be a challenging place to live and work. I'm proud of our Lynden team for the role they played in recognizing the need and going above and beyond to help."
Lynden 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.
"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."
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.
When an aircraft is grounded, or Aircraft On Ground (AOG), every minute counts. Regular aerospace customer UTair recently asked for Lynden's help when one of its passenger planes was grounded waiting for a new engine.
The Lynden International team quickly scheduled trucks to transport the heavy haul freight to Miami International Airport, took care of customs documentation and booked a flight to move the 15,000-pound engine to UTair's Moscow hub within four days.
"We usually deliver smaller parts for the Russian airline, but this request gave us an opportunity to show that we can handle any size freight – and come through on a critical shipment," says Sergey Buchumov, Head of Business Development and Sales in Moscow.
Lynden International chartered two Antonov aircraft to ship fragile tube bundles from Houston to the Kingdom of Bahrain, located just off the eastern coastline of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. Bahrain is a small archipelago of 33 islands and is seeing a resurgence in oil and gas activity.
According to Lynden International District Manager Diana Martinez, "We began working on this proposal a year ago." Lynden was selected for the job and began the complicated move by picking up eight tube bundles in Beasley, TX and bringing them to the Lynden warehouse for crating.
They were then moved to the airport for loading on the two chartered Antonov AN-124s. Each plane carried four tube bundles, each weighing 50,500 pounds and measuring 44 feet by 13 feet by 5 feet. Total aircraft weight: 202,000 pounds. "The tube bundles are used for heat exchangers and they are extremely fragile. The thin tubing on the inner structure is easily bent," Diana explains. With Lynden's careful handling, the bundles were delivered on time and in perfect condition.
A recent project for a return customer involved four Lynden companies and three modes of transportation. Lynden International was called upon to move three 56-foot power generation modules plus three 40-foot containers of supporting equipment from Europe, to Seattle and then on to a remote location in Canada. The project spanned two months and involved many twists and turns.
Planning for the move took almost a year and Lynden’s carefully coordinated delivery was moved up a month when the customer’s equipment was finished ahead of schedule in June instead of July. The delivery of the oversized freight required planning and coordination with the project lead for ‘just-in-time’ delivery of each component.
"The pieces were collected in the middle of Europe, trucked south to the port and sent via ocean to Seattle where Alaska West Express took over to get them to Canada. Lynden International filed a temporary import into the U.S. for the customer, then we moved the freight inbound on Alaska Marine Lines’ bond," explains Paulette Shatara, Lynden International Director of Business Development, in Houston. Lynden used heavy haul trucks with specialized shock-protected trailers to move the valuable pieces from the factory, to the port for loading onto the vessel. It was a two-day journey of more than 400 miles, requiring permits and 56-foot trailers. One of the modules weighed more than 100,000 pounds. The project also involved coordinating air shipments for paint and other hazardous materials.
Once the pieces arrived in Seattle, they were carefully offloaded from the vessel onto waiting trailers and loaded onto a north bound Alaska Marine Lines barge. Alaska West Express and Canadian Lynden Transport drivers transported them to the final destination. "The successful completion of this project was the result of the cooperative efforts of Lynden International, Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska West Express and Canadian Lynden Transport," says Alaska West Express Project Manager Steve Willford. Steve also recognized Drivers Gary Ridall and James Elliot for getting the modules into the delivery site safely and the close support, advice and cooperation received from the Canadian Lynden Transport team.