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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

Lynden responds to crises at home and abroad

Posted on Fri, Oct 01, 2021

The month of August brought temperatures so hot that wells ran dry in Oregon. The month also delivered devastation in Haiti with a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. In typical Lynden fashion, LTI, Inc./Milky Way and Lynden Air Cargo quickly mobilized people and equipment to help.My Post - 2021-11-22T130941.566

"Like many states, Oregon has been suffering from drought conditions this summer. When I first talked to the Oregon Emergency Management Team about this project in late July, there were 55 dry wells. That quickly increased to 187 and numbers continued to climb," says LTI, Inc. Klamath Falls Operation Manager John Bailey.

The state reached out to LTI, Inc./Milky Way to see if its tankers could haul water, instead of milk, to stranded residents. Oregon's Bootleg Fire was in full swing and water tenders were scarce. John, Regional Manager Greg Tolle and Lynden leaders came up with a viable plan and moved forward to meet the state's needs.

A milk tanker is not set up to pump water, so alterations were needed to make the deliveries. "On day one it took two drivers, one to run the pump and the other to hold the end of the hose so it wouldn't come flying out of the tank," John explains. "On the second day, we built a 2-inch PVC fitting that slips into the tanks making it a one-man job. That worked so well another water hauler copied us."

John says he was surprised at the overwhelming support from residents when they first saw the Milky Way tankers pulling down their streets. "Driving a 6,700-gallon milk tanker on city streets can be challenging. In some instances, we had to ask neighbors if it was ok to back into their driveway to get turned around." Each day, the Oregon State Water Master emails a list of homes needing water to LTI, Inc. and the delivery route is built from that information. The Lynden team will continue serving Oregon residents through October.

A half a world away an earthquake struck Haiti on Aug. 14 leaving thousands dead and many injured. Haiti is still dealing with the fallout from an earthquake in 2010 that killed an estimated 300,000 people. As it did in 2010, Lynden Air Cargo began flying relief missions immediately.
Haiti earthquake flights - LAC
"Our first three flights were assisting with the movement of a search and rescue team's gear from Washington, D.C. to Port-au-Prince in Haiti," explains Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Charter Manager.

"We have also flown two supply missions from Fort Lauderdale, FL to Port-au-Prince. Authorities that grant landing permits switch from one day to the next which adds to the confusion on the ground, however the Lynden team persevered and operated all flights very close to the originally scheduled date and times."

The two crews flying to Haiti include: Captains Brent Ellender and Chris Nichols, Flight Officers Random Dudley and Guillaume Saget, Flight Engineers John McClellan and Cliff Ayers, Loadmasters Ron Pine and Kevin Boyles, and Mechanics Bill Hamilton and Jim Brookshire.

Tags: LTI Inc., Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Milky Way, Drivers, Truckload, Specialized, Community

A wish comes true in Wrangell

Posted on Tue, Sep 21, 2021

Arrowhead Transfer Port Manager Scott Curley heard about a surprise shipment of Cars-themed bedroom furniture arriving in Wrangell on the barge. He then discovered that the Make-A-Wish Foundation asked the local fire department to deliver the furniture to a local boy via fire truck.Blog crop (2)-2

Scott decided the fire truck delivery was a "bit bland" so he came up with a new plan. "Scott suggested that we decorate one of our tractors and a forklift to match the characters in the Cars movie and join the delivery by creating a parade," explains Charity Hommel, Customer Service Manager.

Jason Gadd suffers from a form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. Jason's mother Dacee wrote to the foundation with a wish for furniture matching his favorite movie Cars. Scott, his wife Keeleigh, Dorthea Rooney, Charity, local drivers and Jason's uncles pulled the pallet of furniture when it arrived via barge, assembled it and loaded it on a flatbed for delivery the next day. The team then got to work decorating the vehicles as Guido and Mack.

"We spent our fourth of July in the warehouse working on this," Scott says. "We went through a lot of construction paper and tape!" On delivery day, the firetruck arrived at Jason's home and took him for a ride while volunteers assembled the furniture in his bedroom. "When Jason returned, the parade was ready with more than 50 Wrangell residents lining the streets all the way to Jason's front door," Scott says.

According to Dacee, she saw emotions in Jason that day that she hadn't seen in years. "I am just so thankful to everyone," she says.

Wrangell resident and Arrowhead customer Jim Debord wrote in to share what he witnessed that day. "Your people definitely went above and beyond to make that boy feel special. You have some really awesome people here representing your company."

Tags: Lynden Employees, LTL, Community, AML

Lynden companies team up to deliver emergency supplies for Anacortes water system

Posted on Tue, Aug 03, 2021

Lynden companies stepped up to help the City of Anacortes, WA when it experienced a shortage of chlorine for its regional water system. Despite a national shortage of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine), employees from Lynden Logistics Services, LTI, Inc. and Alaska Marine Lines worked together on a plan to deliver chlorine to the city as quickly as possible. Lynden Logistics Services moved 21 totes of chlorine product from Houston, and LTI, Inc., using Alaska Marine Lines' fiberglass-lined ISO tanks, delivered two loads from California to Anacortes. Thanks to these efforts and others, the treatment plant is now at full capacity and the regional water system is stable.

"The City of Anacortes is extremely thankful to Lynden as they assisted Marathon Refineries with the shortage of sodium hypochlorite," says Anacortes Mayor Laurie Gere. "This is an amazing community and the protection of the safe drinking water for our region was a priority for all. Again, the city has much appreciation and gratitude for the rapid and generous response."

Anacortes water system unloading chlorine2

Lynden has been a transportation partner to the Anacortes refinery for more than 20 years. "Our refinery team members have great relationships with a number of suppliers and contractors such as Univar and Lynden Logistics Services who were able to quickly respond to the supply shortage," says James Tangaro, Manager of the Marathon Anacortes Refinery. Pictured to the right is LTI, Inc. Driver Glenn Manning (top) and Mechanic Tyler Manke unloading a tank of chlorine.

Anacortes water system unloading chlorine

"It's a great feeling to know that our assistance averted what could have been a very serious situation for the community drinking water supply," says Lynden Logistics Logistics Services Manager Becky MacDonald. "It was a great team effort by all three companies with assistance from Lynden Safety Director Jim Maltby on the bulk loads, Al Hartgraves, Anthony Knapp and the LTI, Inc. crew providing the drivers and quick response, and Alaska Marine Lines providing the tanks."

Tara Havard, of the Marathon Anacortes Refinery, expressed her appreciation for Becky's quick response. "Through Becky's efforts, not only were we able to keep the refinery situation under control, we were also able to support the City of Anacortes during this crisis. Not to mention the creative brainstorming with Alaska Marine Lines to use the ISO tanks to fill bulk loads out of Univar in California."

Tara also noted her relationship with Lynden is deeply rooted to her days growing up in Valdez, AK where she observed her grandfather, Mac McElrath, navigate logistical and supply chain issues on a daily basis while working for the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Mac worked closely with Harmon Hall, the father of Knik President Dan Hall. "That was the best training a kid from Alaska could have in creative problem solving, the power of relationships and taking care of your community," she says.

Tags: LTI Inc., Lynden Logistics, Community, AML

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 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: Lynden Air Cargo, Disaster Relief, Charters, Project Logistics, Air, Community, International

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: Lynden Air Cargo, Community, International

Lynden delivers COVID-19 vaccine to Western Alaska

Posted on Wed, Mar 03, 2021

Since mid-December, Lynden has been assisting with the distribution of equipment to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, but now the shipments contain the vaccine itself. Each morning Lynden Logistics District Operations Manager Bob Barndt gets a phone call alerting him to an incoming shipment arriving in Anchorage from Louisville, KY. Bob meets the plane and personally transfers the boxes of vaccine to Alaska Airlines where they are checked in as critical care shipments – the highest level of service available. After arriving in Bethel, AK, the Lynden agent receives the boxes and hand delivers them to hospitals in Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow for distribution to village elders and front-line workers in those communities.

"For over 30 years, we have managed deliveries to remote Alaska communities," Bob explains, "but the vaccine shipments are different than anything else we have handled." Lynden provides white-glove service for each 40-pound box which is red-flagged as hazmat material. The vaccine is packed in dry ice and each box contains a GPS tracking device and temperature monitor.

Shipping COVID-19 vaccine"We never lose control of the boxes and have eyes on them during the entire journey," Bob says. Shipping paperwork is also vitally important so the federal rollout of vaccines is documented. Pictured right, Lynden employees offload a shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kotzebue, AK.

The vaccine deliveries will continue this year along with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gowns and gloves to protect those administering the drugs. Boxes of dry ice are sometimes shipped along with PPE to ensure that the vaccine remains temperature controlled at destination. "There is no guarantee that the destination hospitals or other locations have enough dry ice, so it's considered a precautionary measure," Bob explains.

The boxes are tracked from origin to destination, so speed and timing is critical. "Lynden has a reputation for excellent service and on-time delivery, so we are all working as fast and efficiently as we can to uphold that standard," Bob says. "We want to get the vaccine to those who need it most and to protect our customers and their families." In addition to utilizing Alaska Airlines, Lynden Air Cargo was called into service to fly the vaccine to Kotzebue last month and will continue to make its aircraft available if needed. In 2009, the State of Alaska also relied on Lynden Logistics to distribute the H1N1 vaccine to more than 400 locations.

Tags: Lynden Air Cargo, Alaska, Lynden Logistics, Temperature-Controlled, Community

Lynden helps shore up stores for a new year

Posted on Tue, Jan 05, 2021

Shopping MallThe COVID pandemic put a strain on retail businesses this year and that was especially felt during the holiday season. “I don’t think any of our retail customers could’ve prepared for the massive changes brought on by the pandemic,” says Howard Hales, Lynden Logistics Domestic Services Manager in Seattle. “COVID turned the world upside down and retail was hit hard. At the beginning of the shutdown this spring, we were in daily communication with our retailers. They needed to know where their product was along the supply chain and either stop shipments or store products at our warehouses until stores re-opened.”

The pandemic has been an elusive opponent for retail companies. Not knowing when stores could safely re-open, store managers played a waiting game wondering when conditions would improve enough to bring shoppers back into stores. According to Hales, retail companies are typically more than a year out on planning for their sales seasons. A whole supply and sales cycle is set based on shipping season-specific merchandise, and having the stores filled with that particular product in time for back-to-school or Christmas shoppers.

“When COVID hit, retailers were forced to shutter their stores for two to three months, and it broke that sales cycle,” he explains. “By the time they were able to start opening stores, they had merchandise on their shelves that had moved beyond the planned season, and new product was on the way or in their warehouses waiting to be moved to the stores.”

For Lynden’s long-time customers Gap and Old Navy, this overstock was both a dilemma and an opportunity. Their elegant solution made national headlines. Recognizing that the COVID crisis has left many families struggling to buy basic necessities like clothing, Old Navy donated $30 million of new clothing to American families. National and local charities, such as Delivering Good, helped distribute the clothing to those who needed it most. Gap asked Lynden to help coordinate the shipments to its major markets of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

“That decision created a whole new logistics cycle,” Hales says. “Gap had to source and supply all of their stores with packaging material so the merchandise could be boxed up and moved. They then had to coordinate the pickups with their local delivery providers for final delivery to the local charities.” As Gap’s primary transportation provider for Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, Lynden coordinated store recoveries in the three markets and redelivered more than 400,000 units to local charities. Old Navy and Gap also donated 50,000 reusable masks to Boys & Girls Clubs of America as many have remained open and operational throughout the crisis as a safe place for kids and families in underserved communities.

Lynden performed similar work for other retail customers. “We had two COVID-related shutdowns for TJ Maxx,” says Stuart Nakayama, Director of Strategic Accounts and Hawaii Trade Services in Los Angeles. “Working with our ocean carrier Pasha, we came up with a solution to help them safely store their products through both shutdowns.” Lynden also helped ship personal protective equipment (PPE) to Hawaii and distributed it to the stores there, as well as all Hot Topic clothing stores in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico upon re-opening of their retail locations.

“The trick was not all stores were opened at the same time, and store hours and availability of store personnel varied,” Nakayama says, “so our Lynden employees had to hold product and get creative on delivery dates and times.”

In addition to apparel, Lynden works with “essential” retailers consisting of restaurants, health and beauty, and grocery stores in national markets. “Service to these customers was, and still is, impacted by airline capacity and delivery networks to some degree,” Nakayama says, “but it’s slowly improving. This year we have seen many changes in our retail markets and shopping patterns. While we can’t predict future change, Lynden can be the constant amid the change for our retail customers.”

Tags: Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Alaska, Lynden Logistics, United States, Retail, LTL, Community, 3PL