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 Logistics 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.
Welcome to Lynden News!
These oversized modules were just a few of the total picked up in Seward for transport to Big Lake, AK recently. "All loads required permits or pilot cars," explains Brandon Bovy, Lynden Transport Operations Supervisor. "We sent four drivers a day for two weeks to move them all."
Kenai Service Center Manager Andy Collins worked with the state on approving permits, and Operations Assistant Mike Gaiser was on site each day to walk through the process with the drivers. "I also rode down one of the days to oversee the project," Brandon says. "We had a very tight deadline and specific times we were required to be in Seward. We used step-deck trailers and step-deck stretch trailers to move the loads legally over the road. Everything went smoothly thanks to the expertise of our Drivers Mike Allman, Jack Sorensen, Tolo Mauga and Vic Capala."
This oversized process module was on its way to an oilfield at Prudhoe Bay via Alaska West Express. The trip required crossing the Chatanika River Bridge on the Elliott Highway. "This is when our variety of equipment really pays off for our customers," explains John Binder, Alaska West Express Safety Specialist in Fairbanks. "The Scheuerle trailer allows us to raise and lower loads to clear just about any obstacle we might encounter." It was a smooth trip across the bridge and the mod arrived on time. Oversized loads like this require weeks and sometimes months of advance planning with the Alaska West Express team securing permits, insurance and additional personnel and pilot cars. "Dealing with unusual and heavy loads is our specialty," John says.
Lynden Transport maintained its top spot among carriers by earning a seventh consecutive No. 1 ranking and its 23rd overall award in the 36th annual Logistics Management Quest for Quality Awards. The company received the highest scores among Less-than-Truckload (LTL) western regional carriers in the on-time performance and information technology categories and earned the highest overall weighted score.
“Although this is our seventh award in seven years, it is still exciting and gratifying to be recognized by our customers for the work we do each day,” says Lynden Transport President Paul Grimaldi. “Our industry is rapidly changing with the demands of e-commerce and the pressure of quicker delivery expectations. This award lets us know that we are not only keeping pace with industry changes, we are doing it while providing exceptional customer service. As always, credit goes to our hard-working drivers, customer service representatives, support staff and the entire Lynden Transport team.”
For more than 30 years, Logistics Management’s Quest for Quality Award has been regarded as the highest measure of customer satisfaction and performance excellence in the transportation and logistics industry. The results are the culmination of a six-month research project conducted by Peerless Research Group. This year, 4,975 ballots were cast by readers for the “best of the best” in service excellence across a number of criteria including: on-time performance, equipment & operations, value, information technology and customer service. To be a winner, a company had to receive at least five percent of the category vote.
Lynden’s specialized high-capacity equipment was one of the advantages Canadian Lynden Transport offered when the Supreme Group was looking for a company to haul structural steel beams from Alberta, Canada to Alaska. The Supreme Group is the largest privately-owned steel construction company in Canada with locations in Edmonton (Acheson), Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Vancouver and a U.S. location in Portland, OR. The company was awarded two U.S. military projects to supply the structural steel beams at Clear Air Force Station in Central Alaska and an airplane hangar at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) in Fairbanks.
"Our equipment really sealed the deal as we can safely haul more weight," says Account Manager Sandra Darke. "We also have a mix of Canadian and U.S. drivers and, of course, Alaska is our turf and expertise. We have completed approximately 100 loads for the Clear project since September, including a few loads of nuts and bolts from suppliers in the Lower 48 up via QuickTrans." Materials for the hangar will require approximately 80 loads and construction should be completed by June. According to Sandra, the projects have presented several challenges.
"Our operations team has to communicate and coordinate with five different origin locations and we are required to spot trailers for loading in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and three locations in Edmonton," she says. "Our Edmonton team has done an amazing job keeping all the loads organized and meeting Supreme and the builder’s specific needs. The Lynden Transport team in Fairbanks has kept close contact with the builders to hold some loads and deliver as they need them."
Alaska West Express received the 2018 Alaska Safe Truck Fleet of the Year Award from the Alaska Trucking Association (ATA) at its annual meeting in April. Alaska West Express also received the award in 2016, 2014, and 2013. The carrier was recognized for its safety performance in 2018, including accident frequency rates, Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores and OSHA recordable injuries. Pictured to the right are members of ConocoPhillips, Alaska West Express and the ATA at the meeting.
The ATA sponsors this prestigious safety award with ConocoPhillips to recognize and reward carriers who operate safely on the highway and in the workplace. CSA is a major safety measurement and reporting initiative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
"This award demonstrates the dedication and hard work of our entire team of transportation professionals," says Alaska West Express President Eric Badger. "Our drivers, maintenance personnel, operators, dispatchers, supervisors, managers and administrators all share in this success. Their efforts to continually identify safety improvements in our extremely challenging conditions is the cornerstone of our program. The safety of our people, the environment and our equipment is our most important objective each day."
"Alaska West Express clearly demonstrates to themselves, their management and the general public that the trucking industry can and does operate safely. Safety is our number one priority. ATA is proud that Alaska West Express is a member" said Aves Thompson, Executive Director of the Alaska Trucking Association.
Alaska West Express was also the Grand Award recipient for the National Tank Truck Carrier (NTTC) Competitive Safety Contest in the 7–12.5 million mile class. The award is based on best in class for the number of accidents, personnel injuries and actions the carrier takes to better the cargo tank industry.
Alaska West Express provides truckload transport of liquid- and dry-bulk products throughout the U.S. and Canada and specializes in trucking to Alaska with terminals in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Tacoma. It also operates a training center and offers classes in hazardous materials transport, emergency response and workplace safety.
Lynden Transport’s steady and consistent efforts at improving efficiency and reducing waste have paid off with real savings for the company and the environment. In 2008, Lynden Transport was the first and only trucking company in Alaska to join the SmartWay Transport Partnership and to earn the Green Star business award. Over ten years later, the company continues to improve and to see the results of these efforts.
"We started in 2008 with a complete re-evaluation of our line tractor specs for aerodynamics and reduced weight," explains Charlie Mottern, Lynden Transport Director of Maintenance. "With these changes we were able to dramatically improve our fuel economy and have continued to improve on these specs incorporating design elements into local and regional applications."
"Our trailer design maximizes payload and cube for the lane that it travels," he continues. "We have used heated and refrigerated trailers and all electric and electric standby for over 30 years. Wide-based tires and side skirts have been added in lanes that are best suited for those enhancements."
These changes have led to a substantial improvement in efficiency and emissions reductions. Since 2009, Lynden Transport has improved freight efficiency (measured in grams of CO2 per ton mile of freight moved) by 29 percent, miles per gallon by 43 percent, and reduced nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by 63 percent and 81 percent respectively.
"We also work to reduce the time trucks spend idling by working with drivers and using automatic shutoff in areas where it isn’t a safety hazard," says Dallas Freeman, Director of Line Haul and Equipment. "We are partnering with the state to test hydronic heaters on our local trucks which allow us to shut the trucks off in extreme temperatures. Throughout the company, we have reduced the average truck idle time per truck by nearly 14 percent in the last five years."
Small changes add up to big savings in other areas as well. Nearly 20 separate energy efficiency upgrades at Lynden Transport’s facilities have led to an overall 37 percent reduction in natural gas use and 18 percent reduction in electricity used.
The Anchorage Service Center replaced all exterior lights with efficient LEDs resulting in a 30 percent reduction in electric use in the past 10 years. "Each year we pick a project, replacing old lights, adding motion sensors, repairing insulation. We even removed the lights in the vending machine," says Richard Hennagin, HSSE Manager.
The Anchorage facility also cut its heating needs by over 50 percent by investing in automatic thermostats and insulated dock shelters. The shelters prevent heat loss around the trailers when they are parked at the dock for loading and unloading. Lynden will continue to strive to operate in the most efficient manner with the highest regard for the health and safety of our employees and protection of the environment.
A cross-town move from one REI store to another went off without a hitch thanks to Lynden Transport’s Anchorage team and experienced drivers.
All retail merchandise from the previous store location in Anchorage was transported to the new, bigger facility in Midtown Mall within a few days. "Some of the gear was palletized and some of it was loosely stacked. REI even left apparel on the clothing racks and rolled them right onto the trailers," explains Northwest Regional Sales Manager John Husby. "The only thing we didn’t move were the lighting fixtures."
In addition to the store-to-store freight, Lynden drivers loaded up trailers at REI’s distribution center in Sumner, WA, with additional merchandise to stock the 50,000-square-foot space. Sumner is the usual pickup location for both Fairbanks and Anchorage REI stores. Lynden Transport drivers drop the trailers for loading at the center, then take them the rest of the way north via ship. Trailers for Fairbanks go via rail and are then intercepted for truck delivery to the REI store. Kayaks and canoes sometimes ride the rail barge, according to John, and Alaska Marine Lines barges are often used for larger freight.
John attended the store’s soft opening in January. "Everything was in the store and everyone was all smiles. "Lynden’s support for our relocation was invaluable to us," says Sarah Chadd, REI Logistics Supply Chain Analyst.
Brown Line drivers made good on a bet made between Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds before the Alamo Bowl football game in San Antonio, TX. "Both Iowa and Washington state are used to being No. 1 in agriculture – apples for Washington and corn, eggs and hogs for Iowa," Gov. Reynolds said before the contest. The Iowa State University Cyclone football team was beaten by the Washington State University Cougars, 28-26 and Gov. Reynolds lost the bet.
Gov. Reynolds pledged to send the Iowa delicacies once the Cougars won the game. Iowa's Vande Rose Farms and Lynch Family Foundation donated bacon and other pork products to Olympia's Thurston County Food Bank. Brown Line, which specializes in transporting perishable commodities, delivered the items. Had the Cougars lost, Gov. Inslee wagered a feast of Ivar's famous clam chowder to Iowa's Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
Alaska West Express truly walks the talk when it comes to handling and transporting hazardous materials over challenging terrain with the utmost respect for safety, pollution prevention and the environment. Over the last five years, Alaska West has transported an average of 14 million gallons of fuel annually with no accidents. This year alone, drivers have traveled nearly 5 million miles without a recordable accident. Since joining the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership in 2012, Alaska West has increased fuel efficiency by 25 percent while increasing the average payload by 10 percent. This means moving freight with less fuel and an overall 26 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per ton mile.
"Over the last several years, we have continued to make Alaska West Express’s trailering equipment more efficient," explains Alaska West Express President Eric Badger. "Our 406 and 407 tanker fleet is predominantly 5-axle, leading to a dramatically increased payload while reducing fuel consumption and number of trips. We have also purchased eight DOT 407 chemical tanks to allow us to haul over 2,000 gallons more per load."
Earlier this year, Alaska West Express took delivery of 10 Wilson aluminum 53-foot 5-axle flatbed trailers providing a 72,000-pound payload. They also feature a tire inflation system with heat-sensing devices that will alert the driver to an elevated wheel-end temperature. Alaska West drivers helped test the system from prototype to production.
According to Director of Maintenance Tommy Douthit, auxiliary power units provide heat and power to the cab when the truck is turned off and have helped reduce idle time by over 40 percent. Tire pressure monitoring equipment and laser alignment of tires reduces tire wear and also contributes to fuel efficiency. Newer, more efficient engines, combined with the improved fuel economy and payload, have led to a 39 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions and an 83 percent reduction in nitrous oxide emissions. "This contributes to better air quality in places like Anchorage and Fairbanks where winter inversions can trap pollution," Tommy says.
The Fairbanks line haul fleet is equipped with an onboard oil filtration system that allows maintenance to stretch out oil changes from 750 hours to around 2,500 hours or more. "We are only performing full oil changes on an annual basis now," Tommy says. "This translates to about a 75 percent reduction in engine oil use. Nothing goes to waste, as used oil from the trucks is then used to heat the parts warehouse in Fairbanks." The company is also testing a disc brake pad free of copper and other metals to meet an upcoming EPA requirement to preserve sea life in the Pacific Ocean.
Efficiency is not limited to equipment. Over the last several years, Alaska West’s Fairbanks facility has converted nearly 90 percent of its lights to LEDs which have dramatically improved lighting quality and led to a savings of $50,000 per year in electricity costs. "This year, we also upgraded our primary heating system boilers to improve efficiency and added propane fired air exchangers to augment our floor heat. This gives us faster recovery time and quicker thaw cycles for our equipment to allow us to haul freight in snowy conditions," Tommy says.