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Lynden makes important deliveries in hard-to-reach places

Posted on Mon, Feb 28, 2022

My project (8)Lynden Air Cargo participated in two lifesaving projects this winter on opposite ends of the globe. Two flights were chartered to La Paz, Bolivia to supply Bolivian residents with Covid vaccines donated by the U.S. Government. Lynden's Hercules aircraft was one of the only planes capable of landing at the high-altitude airport; elevation 13,325 feet.

Each charter carried 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccines packed in dry ice with real-time temperature loggers to protect the temperature-sensitive drugs. "This project involved multiple Lynden crews and coordination with several departments as well as the customer," says Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Commercial Operations Manager. Additional charters are scheduled this month.

More than 7,500 miles away in the remote whaling communities of Point Hope and Kaktovik, a Lynden Herc delivered four 40-foot "hi-cube" containers to store frozen whale meat from the annual hunts in the villages. "Their size makes them extremely difficult to load and offload, so it required some novel solutions to accomplish the delivery," explains Dave Beach, Lynden Air Cargo Commercial Operations Manager. Lynden's Joe Bates and Cory Myren worked with the Alaska Marine Lines team to modify tractor dollies into mobile platforms for transfer. "Our partners at AML did an exceptional job," Dave says. "We found a way to help these communities when the only other delivery option was to wait for the next barge season.

"Lynden was key to making this important delivery happen for us. The flight crew watched for breaks in the weather and flew during small windows of opportunity," says Jenny Evans, Grants and Operations Manager for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. "It is so meaningful to our communities and to ensuring food security for our villages."

Tags: Lynden, Lynden Air Cargo, Alaska, Charters, Temperature-Controlled, Air, International, AML

Lynden supports 50th anniversary Iditarod race

Posted on Fri, Feb 18, 2022

IditarodThe Iditarod sled dog race celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and Lynden will be out in front as a major sponsor of the 2022 race. The world-famous Iditarod begins March 5 in Nome, AK, and commemorates the mushers and dog teams that delivered life-saving diphtheria serum to save critically ill children in 1925.

"Lynden has a long history of supporting the Iditarod and the mushers and dog teams who compete each year," says Susie Stevens, Lynden Transport Account Manager and coordinator of Lynden’s involvement in the event. "We are proud to support this iconic Alaskan race on its 50th anniversary and to celebrate the culture and heritage it represents."

Peter Kaiser with Lynden team"Given that the Iditarod is one of the most challenging events in all of sports, it’s great to welcome Lynden as a partner with its long history of logistical expertise and a strong commitment to bettering the lives of Alaskans," said Rob Urbach, CEO of the Iditarod. The Iditarod is an incomparable sled dog journey traversing approximately 1,049 miles of off-the-grid wilderness while contending with weather extremes of snowstorms, slush, ice, and high winds. These weather extremes are very familiar to Lynden as it has a reputation for delivering solutions and high-quality service through all logistical challenges over land, on water and in the air.

Lynden will sponsor the following mushers this year: 2019 Iditarod Champion Pete Kaiser (pictured right with Lynden volunteers) and repeat competitors Dakota Schlosser and Mike Williams, Jr.

Lynden’s history of supporting the Iditarod and its mushers goes back to the 1980s when it sponsored the late Susan Butcher. Butcher was the second woman to win the Iditarod in 1986, the second four-time winner in 1990, and the first to win four out of five sequential years. She is commemorated in Alaska by Susan Butcher Day.

Lynden Air Cargo continues its support of the race by delivering dog food and supplies to race check points, and employees volunteer to help in a variety of capacities. Lynden was also a sponsor of the Junior Iditarod for many years.

In 2005, Lynden Logistics and Lynden Air Cargo transported Fritz, a fragile, taxidermied member of the legendary relay of dog sled teams that brought the serum to Nome in 1925, from Lake Placid, NY to Anchorage. From Anchorage, the dog was flown to Nome where he is part of an Iditarod display at the Carrie M. McLain Memoriam Museum. Fritz and his half-brother, Togo, traveled more miles than any other mushing team to deliver the serum to Nome where it saved scores of lives.

Tags: Lynden, Lynden Air Cargo, Lynden Employees, Lynden Transport, Alaska, Lynden Logistics, Community

A look back at the Kivalina Evacuation road and bridge project in Western Alaska

Posted on Tue, Feb 01, 2022

Kivalina BridgeAlthough all Lynden shipments are important, it's not every day that Alaska Marine Lines transports cargo used to build an evacuation bridge for an endangered Alaskan community. The long-awaited Kivalina Bridge, connecting the Western Alaska village of Kivalina to the mainland, was completed last spring by Lynden customer ASRC Civil Construction with support from Alaska Marine Lines.

For decades, the small coastal community of Kivalina has been working with a variety of agencies to address threats of coastal erosion and flooding. The bridge and an 8-mile gravel road are part of the Kivalina Evacuation and School Site Access Road project which provides residents an evacuation route in the event of a catastrophic storm or ocean surge.

"We first started talking about building a road and bridge for the community several years ago," says Mike Morris, Alaska Marine Lines Account Manager. "Now the road and bridge are done, and a replacement school project followed. We have moved building materials, equipment and other supporting freight for all three projects."

Getting freight to a remote village on a small spit of land is no small task. The projects required a combination of mainline barge sailings from Seattle and Anchorage to Nome, and from Nome, numerous landing craft voyages for additional inter-port moves. Each landing craft can transport up to 400 tons of cargo, which came in handy for the rock trucks, excavators and huge steel girders needed to build roads and the bridge.
Kivalina project, landing craft Nunaniq"We have worked with ASRC for many years, so we knew what was expected and got right to work building loads and coordinating sailings," Mike says. The first load of girders left Seattle aboard the landing craft Nunaniq. "It was a challenge to figure out how to load steel girders that were 104-feet long onto a landing craft with a 100-foot deck," says Brian Ward, Western Alaska Marine Operations Manager. "For me, that was the toughest piece of this move."

In Seattle, Brian, Tom Crescenzi, Zed Runyan and Oliver Zidek came up with a dolly system that bolted two girders together for the support needed for the 100-ton weight.

A long, cold winter presented another challenge for the crews. "That year we were fighting ice, and spring had been slow to come," Mike says. "Our summer season for serving Western Alaska and the surrounding villages starts in early April to mid-May, and even later in places like Kivalina above the Arctic Circle, but it's always contingent on Mother Nature."

Beginning with Bristol Bay, nine scheduled sailings, with multiple shuttle voyages, provided delivery to approximately 80 different coastal and river villages.

"We are happy to be a part of improving the quality of life and accessibility in remote locations. We pride ourselves on being able to help communities by bringing in needed equipment and supplies to complete civic projects, like the school improvements in Kivalina," Mike says.

Tags: Lynden, Alaska, Project Logistics, Multi-Modal, Ocean, Construction, AML

Alaska Marine Lines wraps up strong fish season

Posted on Mon, Nov 08, 2021

My Post - 2021-11-01T112738.579"We had a very good seafood year," says Tyler Maurer, Alaska Marine Lines Seafood Sales Manager. The 2021 fish season for Alaska Marine Lines and the supporting Lynden companies has been strong. Alaska salmon runs were 15 percent higher than projected, and the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run stunned scientists with a record 66.1 million fish, with a catch of approximately 40 million which was 90 percent of the record 44 million.

At Lynden, salmon season is an 'all hands on deck' event typically lasting from May through September. All Lynden companies were busy keeping up with the volume this year, prompted not only by larger returns, but by restaurants opening back up after pandemic closures and a change in consumer buying habits.

Each year, Lynden Air Cargo flies fresh fish from Naknek, Emmonak, Cold Bay, Sand Point and Dillingham to Anchorage where Lynden Logistics provides support for transloading to Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska West Express and Lynden Transport and ships seafood with other air carriers all over the world. LTI, Inc. trucks provide Seattle surface delivery support and provides transportation to locations in the Lower 48.

On average, Alaska Marine Lines moves 7,000 containers of fish each year from Alaska fisheries southbound to Seattle. "We moved over 11,000 containers this year," Tyler explains, "and we still have more frozen and canned product to clean out of Alaska for a few more weeks to come."

Alaska Marine Lines moves significant volumes of frozen and canned fish from all over the state departing Western Alaska, Prince William Sound and Southeast. "We also have a new facility in Kodiak and have started to move domestic fish from the island. We use Kodiak as a re-handle port for fish originating in Western Alaska," Tyler says.

To prepare for the push each year, Lynden asks its customers for projections so it can build realistic expectations for staffing and equipment. "We knew this would be a big year," Tyler says. "We just didn't expect it would be this big of a year with all regions having strong returns."

Equipment reliability is extremely important when moving a temperature-controlled, high-value commodity like fish, so reefer techs take on an even more important role during fish season.

"With Copper River Kings selling at $80 per pound to retailers in the Lower 48 states, to start the season, we must have everything in place and running well to deliver the fish in pristine condition," Tyler says. "We are sometimes pushed to the limit in the summer months, but we all get the job done safely. From top to bottom, it's a Lynden-wide group effort, and we all lean on each other to get the job done including our partners at Western Towboat, Bering Marine and Dunlap Towing."

Tags: LTI Inc., Alaska West Express, Lynden Air Cargo, Seafood, Lynden Transport, Alaska, Lynden Logistics, Multi-Modal, AML

Mexico to Prudhoe Bay: Cross-border move beats ice breakup

Posted on Tue, Oct 19, 2021

Equipment moveA recent One Lynden move ensured that an essential piece of equipment for Doyon Drilling's Drill Rig #26 made it to Prudhoe Bay in time for drilling this summer. According to Lynden Transport Corporate Account Manager Jacob Harrison, Doyon Drilling called on Lynden to move three oversized loads from Calexico, CA to the drilling site of Alpine on the North Slope. The challenge was to deliver the cargo before the ice roads became impassable in late April. Delivering the loads to the TOTE ship in Tacoma for the Friday sailing was essential to make the deadline.

Jacob and Lynden Transport's Houston Service Center Manager Terry Smith flew to San Diego to meet Doyon's Bill Walter to coordinate the project. "The day after we arrived, we drove to Mexicali where a representative with National Oilwell Varco (NOV) picked us up and took us across the border. Terry and I measured and inspected the loads while Bill Walter ran some final tests on the equipment with NOV," Jacob says. One load was almost 63 feet long riding on a 53-foot step stretch trailer that was stretched to 76 feet. The other two measured 56 and 57 feet long respectively.

The loads departed Mexicali and arrived in Calexico where Alaska West Express drivers were on standby waiting. Neil Cranford and Robben Finch of Alaska West Express coordinated the inbound trucks for all three loads. Neil, Robben and Jack Morad at Lynden Transport were ready and waiting when the loads arrived in Tacoma. Each load was heat wrapped for the sea voyage to Alaska.

On April 19, the ice road was only open from midnight to noon and closed during the day due to warm weather. Despite the incredible challenges, the loads were delivered via ice road three days later and by the deadline. An additional load of 10 wind walls for the rig was handled by Canadian Lynden Transport, departing Edmonton and arriving at Prudhoe Bay before the other freight arrived.

Once onsite, the three loads of odd-shaped cargo were used to build a pipe skate, a system to deliver pipe from the drill rig's pipe shed to the rig floor.

"We provided updates twice a day to ConocoPhillips Alaska and Doyon Drilling from origin to destination," Jacob explains. "The success of this move can be credited to the operations teams of Alaska West Express, Lynden Transport, Canadian Lynden Transport and Lynden Oilfield Services. The coordinated joint effort is the reason we were able to meet the required delivery date prior to the ice road closure."

Tags: Alaska West Express, Lynden Transport, Alaska, Oversized/Heavy Haul

Lynden mariners keep waters and people safe

Posted on Fri, Sep 03, 2021

Greta crew long shotLynden's captains, engineers, mates and deck hands do more than just deliver freight via barge, landing craft and tugboat. These mariners are the eyes and ears on the waters they sail, often being called upon to assist in emergency situations and to report on marine conditions for other vessels.

Just last month on the Kuskokwim River, the Bering Marine crew of the landing craft Greta pulled a man to safety after he fell off a seawall, while the crews of the Arctic Bear and Padilla assisted U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hickory with safe navigation of the river channel.

According to Brandon Leary, Alaska Marine Trucking's Bethel Service Center Manager, "I was getting ready for bed and my wife, Alyssa, actually saw the man fall in the river. I ran down with a life ring that I keep on my deck, and I had my wife alert the crew on the Greta while I assisted the man in the water." The Greta crew responded with a Jacob's ladder boarding device, then contacted emergency crews who met the tug on shore and transported the man to a local hospital.

"The City of Bethel would like to extend thanks and appreciation to the Greta crew," says Bethel City Manager Peter Williams. Police Lieutenant Jesse Poole also expressed thanks for the quick actions of the crew, which includes Captain Mike Dawson, Engineer Clint Mathews, Mates Chris Benny and Fred Haag, and Deckhands Anthony Augusto and Manny Belarmino.

"Those of us who live and work on vessels must always be prepared to expect the unexpected," says Captain Jack Rasmussen, Bering Marine Vice President. "We routinely perform safety drills so our crews know how to act and what to possibly expect during an incident. These drills are a regulatory requirement but also essential to protect our crews and equipment. We are proud of the Greta crew for their lifesaving actions in a Man Overboard (MOB) situation."

Another Bering Marine vessel was on the same river providing crucial navigation information so the U.S. Coast Guard could mark the channel with seasonal buoys. This is a yearly task as the channel changes each year.

"The Arctic Bear tug was running the river as soon as the ice went out this year," explains Port Engineer Steve Isaacs. "The crew developed a good track line by using a skiff they launch off the tug, help from locals in the area, and from Captain David Curtis on Bering Marine's pilot boat Padilla."

When the USCGC Hickory arrived in June, the crew reached out to Captain Chuck Gaffney on the Arctic Bear. He provided track lines for the 2021 channel and the location of shoals and sandbars to mark with buoys for safe navigation. In addition to Captain Gaffney, crew members include Engineer Sean Brooks and Mates Joe Pirak and Dave Smith.

Hickory Captain and Commanding Officer Jeannette Greene reached out to the crew with a thank you for the yearly assistance. "I sincerely appreciate your help with river information, soundings and shoaling each year," she writes. The Hickory crew marked buoy 28 with a small bear in appreciation of the Arctic Bear and its crew.

Tags: Bering Marine Corporation, Lynden Employees, Safety, Alaska, Ocean

Alaska Marine Lines increases capacity with 600 new containers

Posted on Wed, Aug 11, 2021

AML containersThis spring, the M/V Saga Welco Indiana departed the port of Qingdao, China, with 600 new refrigerated shipping containers on their way to be put into service at Alaska Marine Lines. These units are the latest addition to Alaska Marine Lines' fleet of nearly 29,000 shipping containers, flats and tanks. While they will primarily be used for transporting seafood products from Alaska, they will also carry all types of temperature controlled products.

"The story of how the containers made their way into service with AML is noteworthy," says Purchasing Manager Jay Marchand. Eastbound global steamship space was in short supply and prices were rising. Alaska Marine Lines collaborated with Lynden Logistics to export the containers from China and charter a ship to bring them east. Lead by International Manager Elodie Gergov, the Lynden Logistics team worked on the release from Chinese customs while Jay and AML's Steve Hardin worked with the container factory on specifications, pricing, inspections and production schedule.

With five days to go before the containers were scheduled to be loaded onto the ship, everything was on track for departure. But, at the eleventh hour, the Lynden team identified an unforeseen gap in port documentation and port release fees. On Friday afternoon of a Chinese holiday week, Lynden's local agent was asked to help clarify the issues. "By being there in person and having local contacts, the agent was able to act on behalf of both Lynden companies and clear the way for the containers to be delivered to the port," Jay says. "The ship successfully departed with all 600 containers and arrived in Dutch Harbor 10 days later."

The next challenge came at the offloading in Dutch Harbor. Alaska Marine Lines contracted with a company to perform the stevedoring using local labor. Due to a high demand of labor and a shortage of workers between fish seasons, only 50 percent of that labor was available, and the delays were counting against AML's contracted detention time. With the threat of the ship being detained another week before it could finish unloading, AML sought the assistance of Alaska Marine Trucking equipment operators, Bering Marine tugboat crews, and local AML Dutch Harbor operations employees to help unload the ship using the ship's gantry cranes. Once the ship was anchored in the bay, two AML barges were brought alongside the M/V Indiana and the Lynden team unloaded directly onto the barge decks.

"While the container purchase had many unexpected challenges, it was the access to logistics professionals and their perseverance that allowed the project to succeed," Jay says. As Elodie put it, "The world of international shipping is very unpredictable, but we never give up and always do our best."

Tags: Seafood, Alaska, Lynden Logistics, Grocery Chill and Frozen, Temperature-Controlled, Ocean, AML

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: Alaska, Energy, Oversized/Heavy Haul, Multi-Modal, Specialized, Lynden Oilfield Services

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, Alaska, Knik Construction, Community

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, Lynden Employees, Alaska, Oversized/Heavy Haul, Multi-Modal, AML