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Lynden crew circles the globe in under two weeks

Posted on Tue, May 11, 2021

View from the Hercules cockpitView from the cockpit, left to right: Hudson Bay, Canada, the Niger River, Niamey, and Tabubil, Papua New Guinea.

A Lynden Air Cargo crew completed a full circle of the globe in under two weeks in February. "This doesn't often happen in our fleet, but it's a testament to how much of the globe we can cover in a short period with one crew," says Dan Marshall, Charter Manager. "It was no small task with all of the COVID-19 restrictions on top of typical logistical challenges that had to be overcome with each country. It makes this an extra special accomplishment."

Captain James Wallace was joined by Mason Gaines, Jimmie Mizell, Ronald Pine and James Love for the noteworthy flights. The trip began in Kelowna, B.C. after installing external fuel tanks used for longer Trans-Pacific flights. From Kelowna, the crew flew to Maui, HI and from there to Nauru, a tiny country in Micronesia, followed by Brisbane, Australia, to Tabubil, Papua New Guinea (PNG), to Port Moresby, PNG, to Darwin, Australia, to Bali, Indonesia, to Gan, Maldives, to Entebbe, Uganda, to Niamey, Niger, to Las Palmas, Gran Canaries, Spain, to Bangor, Maine, and the crew made its last stop in Anchorage. The "live leg" for the flight was from Brisbane to Tabubil, PNG to transport a critical switchgear to replace one that had shut down the Ok Tedi Gold Mine. The gear was too tall to fit in any other aircraft capable of landing at the remote runway there. The flight gave the Lynden crew the opportunity to swap out an aircraft that was due for a heavy maintenance check in Niamey, Niger.

"Our customer helped us obtain landing permissions on Nauru for a tech stop between Hawaii and Brisbane," Dan explains. "All of our normal airports denied entry due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Captain Wallace and his crew overcame so many hurdles with pandemic restrictions, including hotel lockdowns, to deliver a challenging load to a very remote destination in PNG."

The Lynden flight operations and crew operations teams found unique solutions, always staying ahead of the aircraft with hotels, catering, fuel, and anything else they needed to keep pushing forward. The maintenance team provided the critical external tank installation in less than 24 hours in Kelowna to maintain the initial schedule as close as possible. "This is the first time in recent memory that a single crew has fully circumnavigated the globe with our own aircraft," Dan says. "In addition to the flight crew, our operations and maintenance production teams got all the pieces to fall together to make this trip successful."

Tags: International shipping, Shipping and project logistics, Lynden Air Cargo

Lynden cats make tracks on the slope

Posted on Wed, May 05, 2021

Lynden PistenBully snowcatsLynden Oilfield Services' fleet of three PistenBully snowcats have been hard at work in Prudhoe Bay this past winter. In an average week, the cats delivered essential supplies to a remote drilling site 145 miles southwest of Deadhorse and hauled a propane truck to refill two remote tanks used to power a weather station. Operators Tony Warner, Joel Martens, James McSharry and Hunter Keogh operate the machines in severe conditions to serve Lynden customers. They received instruction in freight operations and survival as part of their preparation to operate the machines in extreme weather. The PistenBullys give Lynden customers over-snow options to move their cargo including heavy equipment, containers and camps.

Tags: Winter conditions, Shipping in Alaska, Innovative transportation solutions

Employees compete in sled dog races

Posted on Fri, Apr 30, 2021

Knik employee blog, sled dog racesCongratulations to Lynden-sponsored racers and Knik Construction employees Richie Diehl (above right) and Pete Kaiser (left), taking first and second place respectively in the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race in February. The race route was changed this year to avoid contact with three remote villages for COVID-19 precautions. Richie won on the revised course with a record-breaking time of 36 hours and 8 minutes.

"This is a race I grew up on, and I love it. It's the biggest accomplishment in my mushing career right now," he says. Due to a schedule change he was also able to compete in and won the Bogus Creek 150 sled dog race three weeks earlier, which is customarily held the same weekend as the Kuskokwim 300.

Lynden Air Cargo transporting race dogsIn March, Knik employees Richie, Pete and Dakota Schlosser all battled harsh, negative degree weather while competing in the 2021 Iditarod. Richie placed ninth in his ninth race outing. Pete, who won the race in 2019, was forced to scratch out of precaution for his dog team's health. Dakota finished 35th in his first Iditarod race. The Iditarod course was also shortened this year due to COVID-19 restrictions with start and end points in Willow, AK. After the race, Lynden Air Cargo donated space on its Hercules aircraft for Iditarod race dogs flying from McGrath back to Anchorage. Pictured right, race dogs are carefully loaded into the back of the Herc.

In addition to his race wins, Richie has a new beer named after him at Old Man Rush Brewery in Eagle River, AK. The new IPA is called the Real Diehl. "We wanted to give Richie some help and sponsor him in some way," says Reid McDonald, owner of the brewery.

Tags: Lynden employees, Knik Construction

Everyday Hero Profile: Alfred Blum

Posted on Tue, Apr 20, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Alfred Blum, Warehouse Associate - Detailed Receiver at Lynden International Logistics in Delta, British Columbia.

Alfred Blum, EDH croppedName: Alfred Blum

Company: Lynden International Logistics, Delta, British Columbia

Title: Warehouse Associate - Detailed Receiver

On the Job Since: 1980

Superpower: Perfect Attendance

Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.

Favorite Movie: Rambo: First Blood

Bucket List Destination: Thailand

For Fun: Golf, landscaping, BBQ and smoking meats

How did you start your career at Lynden?
I started my career working for Johnson & Johnson and other companies. Then Livingston came in and I worked for them until they were bought out by Lynden. Now I have 41 years of seniority overall and the last 20 years with Lynden. With the change, I knew the work would be different products, but I was confident that I would adapt. I've been through a lot of managers over four decades and never been called into office for discipline or issues. After the buyout everything stayed the same with the business, we just had new clients.

What is a typical day like for you?
I get up at 5 a.m. and my shift starts at 6:30. I work four 10-hour shifts Monday through Thursday. First, I unlock the cages and bay doors and then the trucks show up for morning deliveries. We load and wrap pallets, I unload the truck, and do all the paperwork to put the product away. Afternoon is crunch time for CPDN (spell out) orders to go out. I assist with picking orders. With CPDN it's all different drugs for around 20 different clients. Before CPDN, we were shipping for Abbott and Johnson & Johnson products, so we warehoused soaps, toothbrushes, hygiene products, drinks like Boost and Ensure. Now we have a 50,000-square-foot warehouse and most of our product is pharmaceuticals. Our warehouse incudes a drive-in cooler at 2 to 8 degrees, an ambient area at 15 to 30 degrees and a walk-in freezer to store ice packs for packaging of our cold chain vaccine products.

Monday and Tuesday are big days for drug receiving from Ontario. On a typical Monday we get 15 skids, Tuesday might be 8, then cold-chain products. Cold chain comes on refrigerated truck from drug companies in Ontario and Vaughan. Some products don't move that often, some move within days. But all of the shipments are high value. One vial can be worth $30,000. When you pick orders, it prints out an invoice and you can see how much the order is work. Sometimes a $650,000 shipment will fit into three small boxes destined to a hospital or cancer clinic.

What has been most challenging in your career?
Probably keeping up with the volume of shipments. We'll get orders from 1 to 3 p.m. which is the busiest time of day for the drugs. Pharmacies, clinics and hospitals place their orders and our last truck leaves at 5 p.m. to deliver to a flight or to get it delivered next day all over B.C. It's a crunch to get the orders checked, packed, labeled, put onto pallets and shipped. You don't want to fail. We have a team that does this and if they are swamped, we all stop what we're doing and pitch in. I don't think we have ever failed, but there have been times we begged the driver to stay until 5:15 p.m. to get it all on the truck.

What are you most proud of in your career or your most memorable project?
A few years ago, we had an account with the center for disease control called BBC up here. It's like the CDC in the states. I was on call 24-7 for rabies vaccines for the BBC. Mostly it was children who would come in contact with a bat or a wild animal. I would get four to five calls a week to come in after hours (usually at 2 to 3 a.m.) to fulfill emergency orders for hospitals. I did that for five years. The only time I missed a call was when I was on holiday. I would get the call, drive to the warehouse, pick the order, pack it and sometimes drive it myself to the doctor, other times I would contact a carrier to pass it on. I am still the go-to guy for CPDN emergency shipments. I am also the designated first aid contact for my work group.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I was born in and lived in Vancouver until I graduated from high school in 1979. Then I moved to New Westminster where I met my wife Earlena. We were both employed by Johnson & Johnson and Abbott Laboratories. We've been together 30-plus years. We have a 25-year-old daughter Madison and a 22-year-old son Austin. My father passed away 26 years ago, and I miss him. We went duck and goose hunting for many years in Saskatchewan. My mom is 97 and lives in an independent living facility. I visit her three times a week. She just gave up driving a few years ago.

In school, I was an average student. I had to work for my grades. I graduated from David Thompson Secondary in 1979. All through school I played rugby and tennis. My dad was a baseball coach with community baseball, and he coached me from little league until I was 15. I played Babe Ruth league, until age 17, then tried one season of mens hardball. I wasn't comfortable doing that so started playing men's fastpitch and played that competitively for 6 or 7 years. I then joined slo-pitch and played on the same team, the Homegrown, for 22 years. My position was shortstop and left field. My wife played on the team, too. I now play golf almost every weekend and shoot in the mid-90s.

What was your first job?
A paper route, but I had to get up at 4 a.m. and ride my bike a long way to get the papers, so my parents made me quit. I then worked for a company called Evergreen Press. It was a local newspaper. I would go to the press building where they printed the paper and put strapping around the bundles on the conveyor belt. I did that for six months, then I got a job at Fletcher's Meat Packers. It was brutal and I didn't last long. I then started my career path with Johnson & Johnson that lead me to LILCO.

What would surprise most people about you?
I have perfect attendance. In 41 years, I have never missed a day of work.

What are you most proud of?
I feel proud that both our children have never been in trouble. They were great kids growing up, always respectful. Both of them were dream children. I would hear about other parents dealing with problems with their kids and feel so grateful that ours didn't have any issues. My son is into sports, played football all his life, peewee to high school, and my daughter is an avid runner and earned her black belt in Tae Kwon Do at age 12. Both work and still live at home. My son is a fourth-year plumber and about to earn his Red Seal which means you are qualified in plumbing, gas and electrical to work anywhere in the world.

I am also proud of what we have accomplished with the money we make. We are not rich, but I'm happy that we have a beautiful home and a good life.

What do you do outside of work?
I enjoy landscaping and taking care of our front yard. We have a manicured Japanese garden and topiary in the front. We moved into the house 21 years ago and brought it back to life. My wife and I do it together on Saturday afternoon and it's very relaxing. Then we sit on the back deck with a bottle of wine. We have a core group of friends, 4 different couples, that get together once every two weeks. We'll have dinner and then go to the pub 'meat draw.' They sell tickets for a package of ribs, steaks or a roast from Costco and then call the winning ticket. There may be 100 people entered. This may be a uniquely Canadian thing!

We also watch NFL football and consider the Seattle Seahawks our home team since they are the most local for us. My son likes Pittsburgh. When we go out to the pub with our friends hockey is always on the TV. But I don't care about hockey.

What kind of music do you like?
Neil Diamond, Simply Red, Michael Jackson, Queen and many other bands and artists. I used to play piano and my son dabbles in guitar.

Favorite hobby?
I BBQ quite often. Our back deck has a gazebo so I can cook in all weather. I also have a Big Chief Smoker. My friends do, too, so we all buy salmon and have a smoke off at my house, using our various recipes. You can sometimes buy a Sockeye Salmon off the boats for $15. My special recipe includes brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic powder, red wine and onion. I use hickory or alder wood. We start the smokers at 10 a.m., then they go home and usually come back at 3 p.m. to enjoy the finished product. We have a few drinks and swap smoked salmon with each other.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

Lynden Air Cargo completes first campaign in South Sudan

Posted on Thu, Apr 01, 2021

Blog crop-1South Sudan is the newest country in Africa after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011. Since then it has been plagued by civil wars, ethnic violence and unrest. In 2020 the government and opposition forces signed a peace agreement, but the operating environment remains challenging.

Lynden Air Cargo's aircraft N409LC and crew arrived in Juba, South Sudan, last December to fly supplies to Rubkona Airfield near the town of Bentiu where the United Nations' largest refugee camp is located. It was the first time a Lynden Air Cargo aircraft and crew was based in South Sudan and the first time operating into Rubkona for the World Food Programme. Rubkona has very little infrastructure, so the Lynden plane landed on a dirt airstrip with visual flight rules operations only. Over the next three weeks, the crew averaged two flights per day for a total of 25 relief flights. The last flight was completed in January.

In advance of the crew arriving, Lynden Air Cargo Director of Safety Michelle Fabry and Project Manager Corné Steyn flew to Juba to meet with airport officials, vendors and the representatives supporting the World Food Programme. The threat level remains high in the area, so each flight required a security assessment and release prior to takeoff.

"We had contingency plans in place in the event that conflict erupted with pre-determined locations to divert and relocate as necessary and backup communication devices," Michelle explains. "I was most impressed with the positive attitudes, teamwork, and patience displayed by each crew member, even after multiple delays in getting started, COVID restrictions, and anything else that came up. Our team completed the campaign safely, without incident, damage or injury. We truly appreciate their extraordinary efforts."

Lynden Air Cargo's crew included: Captain Warren Woods, First Officer Isaac Ufford, Flight Engineer Chris Allen, Loadmaster Leo Lopez, Mechanic Milton Beaver, Mechanic Tim Buchholz, and Project Manager Corné Steyn. Some members of the crew are pictured above.

Captain Warren Woods had words of praise for his entire crew. "I'm amazed at the team I was allowed to work with, many sharing their vast local knowledge of Africa," he says. "Leo Lopez is not only a Loadmaster; he is a magician. He gets things done with limited resources, and his dedication to getting the job done safely is very important on campaigns like this. He earned the trust and respect of all the customer handlers, aircraft loaders and security personnel at Rubkona."

According to a member of the World Food Programme Aviation Unit in Rome, "The cooperation was brilliant between the two UN agencies and Lynden Air Cargo. World Food Programme is looking forward to future cooperation, as Lynden has proven once again to be a reliable and professional operator."

Tags: Hercules, Lynden Air Cargo, Relief Efforts

Aloha Marine Lines transports heaviest cargo load yet to Hawaii

Posted on Wed, Mar 24, 2021

AML barge loadingAloha Marine Lines Voyage H0497W, which departed in December last year, carried the heaviest cargo load Aloha Marine Lines has ever transported from Seattle to Hawaii. According to Aloha Marine Lines Seattle Service Center Manager Tom Crescenzi, the Namakani barge was close to its maximum. "We still have a little more tonnage we could get on board, but not much. The barge capacity is 16,850 tons and the sailing carried 13,158 tons of cargo plus the weight of the containers, dunnage, etc." With 691 picks and 1,032 TEU it was an impressive load. Aloha Marine Lines purchased two large barges from Sause Brothers last year that enabled the Hawaii capacity expansion.

Tags: Shipping to Hawaii, Barge, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden Capabilities, Aloha Marine Lines

Everyday Hero Profile: Bayard Folsom

Posted on Thu, Mar 18, 2021

Lynden is recognizing employees who make a difference every day on the job and demonstrate our core values, Lynden's very own everyday heroes! Employees are nominated by managers and supervisors from all roles within the Lynden family of companies. Learn more about the people behind your shipment.

Introducing Bayard Folsom, Driver at Alaska West Express in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Everyday Hero Bayard FolsomName: Bayard Folsom

Company: Alaska West Express

Title: Driver

On the Job Since: 2007

Superpower: Ingenuity

Hometown: Coos Bay, OR

Favorite Movie: Book of Eli

Bucket List Destination: South America

For Fun: Camping, hunting, fishing and four-wheeling

What is a typical day like for you?
Just like everyone else, I get up and go to work. Some days it's trucking the haul road and other days it's working on trucks or equipment projects in the shop. I may be driving in Alaska or helping on projects in the Lower 48.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud of being part of the team at Alaska West Express since 2007. I am the person they can depend on to run recovery or manage an emergency scene when there are limited resources. I try to be anywhere they need me to be.

Can you tell us about your family and growing up years?
I was born in Oregon and grew up in Alaska enjoying camping, fishing and hunting with my parents and younger sister.

What was your first job?
My first job was working as a helper in a local truck/hydraulic shop at age 15.

What would surprise most people about you?
I've been told I'm a pretty good cook, and I can sew!

What are you most proud of?
To be able to help when and where I'm needed.

Tags: Everyday Heroes

LTI, Inc. moves from Bonanza to Klamath Falls

Posted on Tue, Mar 16, 2021

LTI, Inc. Klamath Falls locationFor the past 15 years, LTI, Inc. drivers would head out to local dairies in Bonanza, OR to pick up milk for their customer. But the arrangement changed last year which allowed drivers to take on other projects and serve new customers. LTI, Inc. Vice President of Operations Chae Matta and Regional Manager Greg Tolle immediately started looking for options for the 24-man crew to continue working in the area.

"Unfortunately, our office and yard in Bonanza were more than 50 miles out of route for Lynden's California work, so we found a new 3.5-acre location just south of downtown Klamath Falls," explains Operations Manager John Bailey. "The new location on Highway 97 puts us right in line with the current routes, so it offers new opportunities for the Klamath Falls team."

By late fall, the mobile office, a shed, carport and other equipment were moved from Bonanza to the new space. "It was an all-day process to get everything set in place so we could resume business as usual," says John, "I really appreciate Chae and Greg creating this new opportunity for our team. I see nothing but growth in the future." Employees that came in on a day off to help included Brent Hadwick, Clint Shultz, Hank Walling, Joe Hicks, Sutherlin Driver Supervisor Patrick Murphy and McMinnville Mechanic Terry McCord.

Tags: LTI Inc., Trucking, Drivers

Lynden companies team up

Posted on Wed, Mar 10, 2021

Tanks loaded onto Alaska West Express equipmentThe combined talents of employees at Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska Marine Trucking and Alaska West Express were behind the successful move of four massive tanks from Seattle to Anderson, AK. According to Anchorage Service Center Manager Alex Clifford, the tanks traveled from Seattle to Whittier via barge, where Erik Scott, Whittier Service Center Manager, and the Alaska Marine Trucking team loaded them to rail cars for the trip to Anchorage.

Upon arrival, they were carefully transferred to Alaska West Express trucks (pictured above) where Drivers Brian Ambrose and Gary Ridall took the last leg – almost 300 miles north – to Clear Air Force Station Base and the radar facility in Anderson. Eric Meade and Malcolm Henry drove the assist trucks to help the loads up the hills due to winter conditions. The two teams worked together to help each other with loading and unloading operations. The four tanks required two transporters for two round trips.

"This project started with Jeff McKenney at Alaska Marine Lines," says Alaska West Express Project Manager Steve Willford. "There was a lot of effort put in by Alaska Marine Lines and Alaska Marine Trucking people getting the tanks to Anchorage so that we could transport to destination. All in all, it was a great One Lynden move."

Tags: Alaska Marine Trucking, Alaska West Express, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden employees, Shipping in Alaska, Lynden Capabilities

Lynden donates to Children Safe Uganda

Posted on Thu, Mar 04, 2021

Children Safe UgandaWhen Lynden Air Cargo finished its projects in Democratic Republic of Congo last year it decided to give back to the people of Uganda. Using proceeds from the sale of surplus equipment, Lynden Air Cargo Director of Maintenance James Schneider contacted Godfrey Kitagena, General Manager of Air Serv, a Lynden partner, to find a worthy non-profit organization.

Godfrey found a school taking care of orphaned children, Children Safe Uganda, and used the money to buy and donate food items and bedding. "We delivered the donations to the school in Kajjansi," he says. "We bought rice, beans, rice flour, cooking oil, blankets, mattresses and bar soap for the school which houses approximately 450 students. From what we saw and heard, the donation was very timely and the teachers and students were deeply grateful for the donation, especially during the pandemic. Everyone appreciated Lynden's generosity and kindness."

Children Safe Uganda, formerly Bweya Children's Home, opened in 1968. It serves orphaned and abandoned children and those needing rehabilitation.

Tags: Community Service, Lynden Air Cargo

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