Aloha 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.
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The 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."
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 International 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.
"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 International to distribute the H1N1 vaccine to more than 400 locations.
Add award-winning whiskey to the long list of LTI, Inc.'s food-grade hauls. Woodinville Whiskey Co. recently called upon Lynden to haul its premium 140-proof whiskey from Woodinville, WA to its aging and bottling facility in Quincy, WA. LTI, Inc. drivers are also picking up the mash byproduct from the whiskey distilling process and delivering to a farm near Monroe, WA.
Because the whiskey is flammable, it qualifies as a hazmat, food-grade load which is one of LTI, Inc.'s specialties. "The project really is a good fit for our strengths as a carrier," says Business Development Manager Al Hartgraves. Al says the new project came about through company teamwork. While LTI, Inc. Driver Cesar Cortez was delivering a load to one of the wineries next door to Woodinville Whiskey, he was approached by one of the owners. He asked Cesar if LTI, Inc. could provide the same pickup and delivery service for his company to Eastern Washington. Cesar passed along the request to dispatcher Eric Bordynoski who got in touch with Al and soon a contract was under way.
"LTI, Inc. has never hauled whiskey before so specific equipment needed to be sourced and drivers trained for this type of hazmat transport," Al says. The maintenance team of Dave Seaman and Jerry Crisp jumped into action to secure the highly specialized food-grade hazmat trailers, DOT 407s, needed for the project. Although the whiskey is picked up in Woodinville and delivered to Quincy, the run begins and ends at LTI, Inc.'s Sunnyside facility due to the wash facilities located there.
Sunnyside Driver Brandon Weaver, pictured right, was the first driver to haul the whiskey this fall, and he says it is a nice change from his usual route. "It's a lot of responsibility, too, though. Hazmat loads require an endorsement and intense focus, so safety is always on my mind." Driver Ed Flores is also hauling whiskey for the project.
The second part of the project is hauling the spent mash, which is grain left over from the distillation process. A full load is picked up each day from the distillery and delivered to a farm facility near Monroe where it is used to produce electricity for Qualco Energy. "The whole process is full circle and something we have not been involved in before," Al says. "It's an exciting new project for us to fully support the efforts of Woodinville Whiskey, and we will be bringing on more qualified drivers with this type of hazmat endorsement early in the year."
The grain for the whiskey is grown in Quincy which is where the whiskey is returned to age five to seven years before bottling. Woodinville Whiskey's expansion has positioned them to produce over 250,000 cases per year.
Lynden International Logistics Co. (LILCO) has expanded its network of healthcare facilities in Canada by opening a fifth location in Guelph, Ontario. "We consider this our flagship facility," says Brian MacAskill, LILCO Vice President and General Manager.
LILCO serves the human and animal health industries in Canada, and its continued growth prompted the additional location. The company is widely recognized as a leader in Canadian healthcare logistics.
The new location, with state-of-the-art security and temperature control, will accommodate 8,000 ambient pallets, 1,000 cooler pallets and 350 pallets of controlled substances storage. Pharmaceuticals represent a high-value inventory and security can be a challenge. Controlled substances require storage regulated by Health Canada's Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. One of LILCO's two controlled drug vaults is the largest third party logistics (3PL) vault in Canada.
The vaults (see photo at right) include motion, heat and smoke detection, seismic detectors and layered security access that includes access cards, combination locks and biometric fingerprint reading.
At 108,000 square feet, the Guelph facility is LILCO's largest. It brings LILCO's Canadian footprint to nearly 450,000 square feet. The other locations are in Vancouver, Calgary and two in the greater Toronto area – Vaughan and Milton.
Construction on the Guelph location started in late 2019, and the doors were open in July. Despite the challenges and delays of the COVID pandemic, the facility was completed on time. "This required approvals from regional authorities and a tremendous amount of dedication and teamwork from Lynden and vendors alike. The Health Canada audit went very well, and the facility was licensed for operation on schedule," Brian explains. The technology aspect was a key element of the startup. "Lynden's IT team was terrific in supporting LILCO and its requirements," adds Adrian Peluffo, LILCO Vice President of Administration.
Hawaii's animal shelters had been overcrowded since the Wings of Aloha transfer program that provides off-island adoptions was paused due to the COVID pandemic. Air Charter Service, Wings of Rescue, Greater Good Charities and The John R. Peterson Foundation came up with the perfect solution: the largest pet rescue flight in history. But they needed a plane. A big plane. One large enough to carry nearly 600 dogs and cats collected from five shelters across Hawaii.
Enter Lynden Air Cargo and its flight crew. On a Wednesday in late fall, dozens of staff, volunteers, and foster families worked day and night to prepare the animals for the long journey to Seattle where they would receive a second chance in new homes. Dubbed the Paws Across Pacific flight, it took months to coordinate.
"Thomas Howe of Air Charter Service reached out looking for a unique solution to a unique requirement, which we felt was right up our alley," says Dan Marshall, Lynden Air Cargo Charter Manager. "We were able to fly our C-130 aircraft from Oakland, CA to each location to pick up the animals and reduce the loading and unloading that other operations would require by using a spoke/wheel approach. We linked the four locations together and then launched from Hilo direct to Boeing Field in Seattle."
Island by island, kennel by kennel, hundreds of shelter animals made their way into the massive Hercules. Most of the animals were already adopted upon landing in Seattle and around 120 of the cats and dogs continued their journey to shelters in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The flight was covered by national media and provided some heartwarming good news for many people who are overwhelmed by pandemic updates.
"It was a pleasure to be involved in this monumental transport of pets," Dan says. "Our crews reported that the Greater Good team was one of the most organized and efficient groups we have ever encountered. Thomas Howe pulled it all together and ran an excellent operation coordinating between all the groups involved, and we heard positive feedback about Lynden and our flight crew."
Amy Mills, an employee at Seattle Area Feline Rescue, sent a message about the project to Lynden's Facebook page. "I was on the receiving end of this flight. We were a destination shelter for some of the cats," she writes. "When the plane taxied to the hangar and I saw Lynden Air Cargo on the side, it was an added bonus to the day. (Lynden patriarch) Hank Jansen was a neighbor of my grandparents in Lynden, WA. Lynden Transport will always catch my eye and make me smile. Thank you for helping all these pets and the people who work so hard to protect and care for them."
Lynden Air Cargo has transported many animals over the years, including whales, horses, bison and Icelandic ponies.
Lynden Air Cargo delivered a mobile medical facility, called "Clinic in a Can," to Western Alaska this fall bringing much-needed medical services to the small community of Naknek. Pictured to the right, Clinic in a Can is the brainchild of a doctor who began repurposing 20-foot containers as emergency medical clinics for third-world countries. Ethan Bradford, Lynden Air Cargo's Vice President of Technical Operations, put the project together.
Alaska West Express transported the mobile clinic from Wichita, KS to Tacoma where it moved via ship to Anchorage. Lynden Air Cargo took the last leg to King Salmon's Camai Community Health Center. "Protecting workers, Alaskans and our communities during the fishing season and year-round continues to be an important challenge in our state's COVID response," explains Mary Swain, Executive Director of the Camai Health Center. "We received grant money to purchase the mobile clinic, and we can transport it to wherever it is needed most." The clinic has proven so effective, she has requested two more to serve the region. "This was a good One Lynden door-to-door move from Wichita to Naknek," says Matt Jolly, Vice President of Sales and Pricing for Alaska West Express.
In another recent project, the Lynden companies worked together to transport two oversized turbines, one from Houston, the second from Kenai, to Prudhoe Bay, AK. Lynden International coordinated the transportation, which involved a charter flight on Lynden Air Cargo to Anchorage then truck delivery via Lynden Oilfield Services to two North Slope destinations.
Earlier this year Northern Star Resources Limited, owner of the Pogo Gold Mine, donated $1.5 million worth of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) to Alaska communities with a focus on Fairbanks and the delta regions. Lynden International arranged customs clearance and Lynden Transport delivered the supplies to the communities which were then distributed by Foundation Health partners to doctors, dentists and health providers who have been unable to secure PPE on their own. "We value our partnership with Lynden and appreciate the help distributing these supplies," says Wendie MacNaughton, External Affairs Manager for Northern Star. The shipment, which was the largest donation received from private industry, included 12,500 isolation gowns, 100,000 N95 masks and 400,000 surgical masks. "Lynden International employees were glad we could assist Northern Star-Pogo navigate the import challenges that come with these PPE imports, and we're extremely grateful for their generous donation to Alaskan health care providers," says Keith Hall, Licensed Customs Broker for Lynden International in Anchorage.
Lynden companies were winners this summer, receiving recognition for trucking, cold storage transportation and 3PL services. Lynden Transport was ranked 39 out of the Top 100 For-Hire Carriers in North America according to Transport Topics 2020 list. Lynden was one of only three carriers to be named within the West Coast and Canada. Food Logistics magazine named Lynden to the 2020 Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers last month, which recognizes leading third-party logistics and cold storage providers in the food and beverage industry.
This hearty band of Lynden International employees was ready and waiting for a FedEx charter flight of personal protective equipment (PPE) arriving from China to the Anchorage airport earlier this year. They quickly unloaded five 53-foot containers worth of masks, gowns and other materials and palletized it for next-morning delivery to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services warehouse. According to Regional Vice President Rick Pollock, most employees were working remotely at the time, but the group immediately responded to the call to action and worked late into the night to get the work done. After the Alaska governor made the request for PPE supplies for Alaska's frontline workers, Lynden worked with FedEx and other partners to coordinate the charter, sourcing suppliers in China and handling customs. "From the first planning call in March to the plane landing in Anchorage, Lynden was with us every step of the way. They are a great partner and we are appreciative of their logistical support during the COVID pandemic response," says Heidi Hedberg, Director of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.