Earlier this year Northern Star Resources Limited, owner of the Pogo Gold Mine, donated $1.5 million worth of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to Alaska communities with a focus on Fairbanks and the delta regions. Lynden International arranged customs clearance and Lynden Transport delivered the supplies to the communities which were then distributed by Foundation Health partners to doctors, dentists and health providers who have been unable to secure PPE on their own. "We value our partnership with Lynden and appreciate the help distributing these supplies," says Wendie MacNaughton, External Affairs Manager for Northern Star. The shipment, which was the largest donation received from private industry, included 12,500 isolation gowns, 100,000 N95 masks and 400,000 surgical masks. "Lynden International employees were glad we could assist Northern Star-Pogo navigate the import challenges that come with these PPE imports, and we're extremely grateful for their generous donation to Alaskan health care providers," says Keith Hall, Licensed Customs Broker for Lynden International in Anchorage.
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Lynden International supports humanitarian, relief and health programs in many challenging, underdeveloped corners of the world. As a global freight forwarder, Lynden serves as a logistics partner for customers by simplifying complex logistics requirements during health crises and natural disasters.
In Seattle, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center works with Lynden to help meet its goals of researching and fighting cancer globally, including low- and middle-income countries, as well as supporting COVID research efforts today. Lynden coordinates and ships materials and supplies to Uganda and other destinations to support the Global Oncology group and laboratories within its research group in Uganda.
Fred Hutch is just one customer of many that Lynden International’s Global Health and Humanitarian group is attracting during the COVID crisis. “This part of our business is growing, and we are receiving praise from our customers,” says Lynden International President John Kaloper. “We are proud to be associated with these life-saving medical and research groups, and Fred Hutch is a recognized leader in this field.”
Lynden’s ability to call upon the multimodal capabilities of its sister companies for air, sea or surface transportation allows customers to trim costs, set reliable timetables and budgets and take advantage of knowledgeable, experienced planning resources. “Our experience with global transportation and logistics means that we take on the challenges of this type of coordination so U.S. government agencies like FEMA, USAID, multi-national companies, non-profit organizations, and other businesses can concentrate on assisting those in need,” Kaloper explains.
Lynden’s recent work includes the shipping and warehousing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from China, temperature-controlled shipping of frozen COVID test kits, movement of biological material for use in the search for a Coronavirus vaccine, and handling other fragile and sensitive freight for global customers.
This hearty band of Lynden International employees was ready and waiting for a FedEx charter flight of personal protective equipment (PPE) arriving from China to the Anchorage airport earlier this year. They quickly unloaded five 53-foot containers worth of masks, gowns and other materials and palletized it for next-morning delivery to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services warehouse. According to Regional Vice President Rick Pollock, most employees were working remotely at the time, but the group immediately responded to the call to action and worked late into the night to get the work done. After the Alaska governor made the request for PPE supplies for Alaska's frontline workers, Lynden worked with FedEx and other partners to coordinate the charter, sourcing suppliers in China and handling customs. "From the first planning call in March to the plane landing in Anchorage, Lynden was with us every step of the way. They are a great partner and we are appreciative of their logistical support during the COVID pandemic response," says Heidi Hedberg, Director of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Earlier this year Lynden International's Wendy Pavlik, Dave McGeath and Ollie Ladd had to keep calm and carry on while waiting out a blocked ocean shipment to Lebanon for nonprofit partner Hearts in Motion.
A full container-load of donated medical supplies, including walkers, bandages and wheelchairs, was loaded in Schererville, IN destined for Lebanon. Unfortunately, as the shipment was enroute, protestors shut down government and blockaded streets in Lebanon. Wendy and Dave kept in close touch with their contacts at Hearts in Motion to let them know that they were doing all they could to resolve the restricted shipment.
The container was consigned to the Government of Lebanon but protesters targeted anyone in the government as part of the corruption problem, so none of the government officials that normally would release the container from the port were in a position to do so. After three months of effort, an inside diplomatic contact secured approval to take delivery of the container and distribute the contents.
"The end result is that our professional perseverance provided the support our customer needed. The work Lynden employees do to serve challenging international locations keeps the Lynden name high above all others," Ollie says.
Lynden companies showed their support to local organizations this winter in Alaska and California. Alaska Marine Lines Account Managers, Mike Morris (above, far left) and Don Hansen (above, far right), pose with the Bristol Bay Angels basketball teams at the Alaska Marine Lines Sockeye Classic in Naknek, AK. Alaska Marine Lines is the primary sponsor for the tournament, which rotates between Naknek and Dillingham each year.
Members of Lynden International's Los Angeles team gave back to the community at the Genesis Invitation Golf Tournament. Lynden team members, Cora Fong-Congelliere (right), Kelly Sayles and Stuart Nakayama served beverages at the tournament with all proceeds supporting Breast Cancer Angels. The Angels program provides financial and emotional assistance to breast cancer patients and families as they undergo treatment.
Many Lynden employees think of their coworkers as their work family which was illustrated by New York Senior Account Executive Giovanna Aquilino. When a fellow Lynden International employee needed a favor, she quickly agreed, even though she had never met Dan Gotham. Dan had a friend whose 13-year-old daughter was connecting on a flight from Australia to Miami at JFK. Her flight was delayed and then cancelled. "Dan was worried about her connection and reached out to see if I could contact her through the airline," Giovanna says. The young woman was stranded at the airport alone and due to many weather cancellations would have been directed to a hotel to stay. After speaking to her mother Giovanna offered to rescue her and have her stay at her home. "I am not a hero, only a person with a heart," she says.
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.
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."