View 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."
Welcome to Lynden News!
View from the cockpit, left to right: Hudson Bay, Canada, the Niger River, Niamey, and Tabubil, Papua New Guinea.
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.
"As I told you when we met, we're probably going to ask a bit more of you than your typical client does, but it will be about things we can do together to help firefighters all over the world," says Deputy Chief Jon Ibrahim of Hearts In Motion and Fire Service International, nonprofits based in Indiana. Lynden Account Executive Ollie Ladd and Ocean Operations Manager Dave McGeath worked with Jon to coordinate the move of a 20-foot container filled with donated firefighting equipment from Hearts In Motion to the San Francisco dock for ocean shipment to Guatemala City. The equipment was bound for some of the world's poorest firefighters in Central America as they combat the aftermath of the eruption of the Fuego Volcano this winter.
Hearts In Motion has been providing firefighting assistance and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to Guatemala for 35 years as well as Nicaragua, Ecuador and other parts of Central and South America. Ollie, Dave and the Lynden team pulled the Guatemala move together in just one week, working against last-minute deadlines and changing requirements. "When you consider that these donations were sitting in a warehouse and within a week they were loaded into a container and on the sea, it really speaks to Lynden's capabilities, and how employees bent over backwards to help us out, not just with the logistics, but also the communication and walking us through the process," Jon says. "We are going to have a long-term relationship with Lynden because of the personal touch of everyone involved. When I was there it felt less like a business meeting and more like I was just having lunch with a Chicago buddy."
"It is rewarding to know that we had a hand in sending relief to the people of Guatemala who are struggling with the aftermath of the volcano," Ollie says. "Jon tells us the shipment made a huge difference in the lives of the firefighters in Guatemala and El Salvador who can now do their jobs safely and more effectively."
When an aircraft is grounded, or Aircraft On Ground (AOG), every minute counts. Regular aerospace customer UTair recently asked for Lynden's help when one of its passenger planes was grounded waiting for a new engine.
The Lynden International team quickly scheduled trucks to transport the heavy haul freight to Miami International Airport, took care of customs documentation and booked a flight to move the 15,000-pound engine to UTair's Moscow hub within four days.
"We usually deliver smaller parts for the Russian airline, but this request gave us an opportunity to show that we can handle any size freight – and come through on a critical shipment," says Sergey Buchumov, Head of Business Development and Sales in Moscow.
S7 Airlines is the second largest airline in Russia and a long-time Lynden International customer. Over the years, the carrier has called upon Lynden for a variety of projects. A project toward the start of this year involved disassembling an Embraer E-190 aircraft in Madrid, stripping it to the wings and fuselage and shipping the spare parts to S7 subsidiary Nelson Parts in Bend, OR.
According to Sergey Buchumov, Russia Sales and Marketing Director, Lynden was handling about one shipment a week ranging from an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to a fuel thruster weighing 2,000 pounds. "This project required many of our services," Sergey says, "such as brokerage and hazardous freight transport for aviation batteries." The first shipment of 8,000 small parts required 8,000 line items with all the necessary documentation for each. This inaugural shipment also included a freak snowstorm in Madrid that shut down roads leading into and out of the area.
"Snow in Spain was not the type of hurdle we were anticipating with this project," quips Daniel Gotham, Business Development Director, Global Projects. "They don't salt roads in Spain."
Lynden provided customs and import services to the U.S. and door-to-door delivery to the Bend airport and the airport hangar where the parts were consolidated and stored. When the aircraft parts were eventually sold to domestic and international buyers, Lynden handled that as well, which included ocean and air transport. "We are often moving the same parts twice; from Russia to the U.S. and then again from Oregon to a new destination," Sergey explains.
In addition to S7, Lynden serves nine other Russian aerospace customers from its offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg. For those producing aircraft, Lynden moves production parts and for those already in operation, repair parts for Aircraft on the Ground (AOG) situations and other needs. Parts are often sourced from Boeing and other U.S.-based suppliers allowing Lynden to call upon its network of Service Centers for expedited service.
In addition to handling critical samples for the Ebola vaccine in West Africa, Lynden International is supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by coordinating the transportation of HIV rapid test kits to Zambia.
Lynden International Business Development Director Dan Gotham has worked with the federal agency for many years and says Lynden is proud to provide a strong link in the global health supply chain. "In the past we've provided disaster assistance and rapid response with our Hercs and multiple transportation options," he says. Now, Lynden is supporting the test kit distribution as part of the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) established in 2003 to address the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and help save the lives of those suffering from the disease, primarily in Africa.
Lynden coordinates the shipments of temperature-sensitive, high-value kits to South Africa. "We may have 30,000 kits in one 34-pallet shipment and 18,000 in another shipment of 55 pallets," explains Eric Klunder, Senior Account Executive. "We recognize the significant health impacts of each shipment and use extreme care at every step of the process."
Lynden will handle the shipping through 2020 with destinations varying according to global health needs. "Besides delivering important cargo, we also serve as advisors to USAID," Eric says. "We have experience in the global health field and in serving challenging areas with developing economies. Our specialty is coordinating diplomatic clearance within those countries."
Earlier this summer, the 21st FIFA World Cup 'kicked' off at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium. The international soccer tournament draws huge crowds cheering for their countries and teams. Lynden played a crucial role in the success of the 2018 games by shipping high-value, fragile camera rigs and equipment from New York to 12 Russian stadiums to ensure that the whole world could see the month-long competition. The camera rigs were controlled by smartphones for the most technologically advanced coverage of the World Cup ever.
According to Lynden International Business Development Director Dan Gotham, the project developed from a quote request Lynden received on its website. Customer Global Octagon asked for Lynden's expertise to guide the fragile electronics through customs by the deadline of the first game.
"We helped the customer choose the most effective import mode to Russia," Dan says. "By selecting a temporary import, we avoided potential duty and Value-Added Tax (VAT) for the import and eliminated the need to reexport the cargo. We worked daily with both shipper and consignee to troubleshoot during the customs import process in Russia, ensuring the cargo was released in time for the event." Lynden also handled the export packing and return shipment of the camera rigs after the event.
Phil Maxson recently returned from the EBOVAC-Salone Labs at Kambia District Hospital in West Africa. That's where Lynden's customer, Clinical RM, is working on a clinical trial of Ebola vaccine in Sierra Leone. Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus species.
Lynden International has been assisting government and non-government organizations with transportation and logistics in West Africa since the Ebola crisis in 2014. "This particular project involves Lynden transporting human blood samples from the clinical trial to the U.S. and Europe for testing," explains Phil, Lynden International's Director of International Operations.
Due to the difficulty in keeping the samples frozen and stable during the long transport back to the U.S., Lynden is using Liquid Nitrogen Dry (LN2) shipping containers to maintain a temperature of minus 150C for up to 10 days. The containers are more commonly known as 'dewars.'
"Each LN2 Shipper can accommodate up to 405 2ml vials, and is equipped with a GPS-temperature sensor so at any time, (except when on an aircraft in the air), we can monitor the temperature and see exactly where the unit is anywhere in the world," Phil says. "First we ship the charged, but empty containers into Sierra Leone and then deliver them to the laboratory which is about three and a half hours from Freetown, Sierra Leon's capital city."
Once the lab has loaded all the samples into the special canister containers (see photo at right), Lynden handles the shipping of the units to various labs located in the U.S. and Europe.
Lynden International handles the transportation of over 400 shipments per year into and out of Africa for various organizations; many of these are temperature-controlled products requiring specialized handling.
Lynden supports Ward Village construction and other projects
Lynden International caught the wave—and made sure the wave caught the flight from London to Honolulu. A 30-foot-long custom desk designed to resemble undulating water, the 'wave' is one of countless items Lynden has shipped to Honolulu for the construction of Ward Village, a 60-acre master-planned community boasting 4,000 residences and more than a million feet of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues.
"We were contracted to provide furniture, fixtures and equipment for all the public space for Ward Village, including the penthouses and the pool area," explains Randy Gentz, President of Hospitality Freight Company (HFC) in Las Vegas. "The oversized desk for the lobby was a beast and one of the most difficult things we have ever asked Lynden to ship for us—in the dimensions, 30 feet by 8 feet, fragility and its value of $250,000." Designed in England and made of resin, the wave arrived in Honolulu in a special crate. Due to its size, it required a sky crane to set it in place and secure it into position. With Lynden's help, HFC this and other work for Ward Village by the deadline.
In addition to unique designer desks, Lynden ships flooring, appliances, furniture, bathroom fixtures and other freight to support the hotel industry. HFC is a freight company dedicated to providing its clients with the best possible freight rates and service on hotel furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E). The company has counted on Lynden to make good on its promises for 32 years. For Ward Village (pictured above), Lynden moved domestic freight to its Los Angeles warehouse where the team consolidated weekly air and ocean shipments to Hawaii as the construction schedule dictated. The pieces included unusual items like an oversized dining table that required removal of a window for crane placement inside an upper floor unit.
Late last year, HFC also completed the 38-story Ritz-Carlton Residences in Honolulu and is currently at work supplying materials for the Wilshire Grand project, a 73-story, 900-room hotel on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. When completed, it will be the tallest hotel west of the Mississippi.
Lynden has provided warehousing, shipping and deliveries for the project from the beginning and will continue until it is finished this summer. "I choose Lynden because they perform," Gentz says. "From providing quotes quickly to all the weird stuff that comes up with international air and ocean freight, they are always flexible and creative. Looking down the road, we may be working on a years-long monster project 20 times the size of Ward Village. Lynden was the first company I thought of to ship the variety of freight needed."
Two years ago during the West Coast labor dispute, Lynden's creativity came into play. HFC was facing delays at U.S. ports and needed to move FF&E from Vietnam to Chicago for a hotel grand opening. "By routing ocean shipments to Prince Rupert, B.C. then rail, the less-urgent cargo was on its way and we avoided U.S. ports," remembers Dave McGeath, Ocean Operations Manager in Seattle. Commercial flights and a chartered 747-400 freighter from Vietnam were used for the hottest shipments and overflow.
"Our goal is to create partnerships that make our customers successful and allow them to get those 'heads on beds' by hotel deadlines," explains Charlie Ogle, Lynden's Senior Director of Global Sales.
Hotel-condo conversions, hotel renovations and construction of new condominium hotels with mixed use space are sweeping the U.S. In some markets, like Miami, there has been a 15 percent reduction in hotel rooms as they are repurposed for condos.
Whether condos or hotels, the freight deadlines are non-negotiable. "These projects are high touch and high pressure," Ogle says. "They are notorious for running late due to late signoff of designs, funding and manufacturing delays. Materials orders are often placed when projects are already behind schedule. Customers look to the logistics provider to save the day. That's when our multi-modal mix of transportation comes into play."
Lynden's array of air, sea and surface choices allows customers to create customized domestic or international transportation plans to accommodate a mix of slower moving freight as well as expedited cargo. "We often move furniture from the manufacturer's factory overseas all the way through to delivery at the project site or project staging warehouse," Ogle says. In the event of time critical FF&E air transport or expedited domestic shipments, trucking can be arranged so that hotel equipment installation schedules are kept on schedule.
The ramifications of late or missing freight in the hospitality industry can be serious business. Hotel owners cannot afford to turn away confirmed guests due to a renovation project running behind. "Our job is to make sure the FF&E is there on time. Since we are the last cog in the procurement wheel it's up to us to proactively follow the customer's shipments and make adjustments mid-stream if necessary to meet installation deadlines," Ogle explains. "We design the solution around the needs and desires of our customers."
Through its worldwide network of international partners and sister companies serving Alaska, Lynden International introduced a new service this spring offering seamless Less-than-Cargo-Load (LCL) and Full-Container-Load (FCL) transportation to Alaska from foreign ports around the world. Whether it’s a pallet of fishing gear from China or a full container load of machinery made in Germany, Lynden can handle it all the way from origin to delivery in the 49th state.
“This product is unlike anything we have offered before and unique in the industry,” says Charlie Ogle, Lynden’s Senior Director of Global Sales. Working with its contracted ocean carriers and Shipco Transport, Lynden now provides port-to-door through ocean rates from more than 50 major ocean ports around the world to Alaska.
FCL customers save money, time and potential cargo damage by eliminating the transfer of cargo from one container to another in Seattle. LCL customers enjoy a single factor “all in” rate from the origin warehouse to door delivery in Alaska. Lynden can also handle all import requirements with U.S. Customs through its customs brokerage department in Anchorage.
“In this buy everywhere-sell everywhere world, Lynden’s new ocean product literally brings the world to Alaska customers,” Ogle explains.