In May, Lynden Chairman Jim Jansen was honored with the Walter J. Hickel Award from Commonwealth North, Alaska's non-partisan public policy forum, for distinguished public policy leadership. The award was established in 1999 to recognize the contributions and achievements of individuals who have played a significant role in advancing Alaska's public policy interests. Former recipients include: Walter Hickel, Ted Stevens, John Katz, Willie Hensley and Lisa Murkowski. Jim received the award at a gala event on May 11 at the Anchorage Hilton Hotel Ballroom. Jim is a Navy Seabee with a tour of duty in Vietnam in the 1960s. He has served as an advisory director of Wells Fargo Bank of Alaska, director of National Bank of Alaska, director of the Boy Scouts of America, director of the Resource Development Council and as director of the Nature Conservancy of Alaska. He is also co-chair of the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition, a distinguished alumnus of Central Washington University and he has been an Alaska business leader for more than 40 years.
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Lynden's restored tractor and trailer that began Alcan service in 1954 has undergone a refresh and update in preparation for a busy travel season. Each year, the iconic tractor-trailer is part of community events and parades throughout Alaska and Washington. A museum showcasing Lynden's history is inside the trailer and is open for tours during the events. Chairman Jim Jansen is often at the wheel in addition to other Lynden drivers. Events include the Colony Days Parade in Palmer, Alaska, the Golden Days Parade in Fairbanks, and the Alaska Trucking Association's Truck Driving Championships in Anchorage, as well as many others. Keep your eye out for No. 27 this summer and check out the museum!
Lynden is starting off the new year by offering customers improved online shipping tools. Beginning this month Lynden will introduce Shipment Updates, a new feature that makes it easier for customers to keep track of shipments throughout the shipping process – from receipt by Lynden to delivery.
Customers may choose to receive email updates for all of their shipments or only for the individual shipments they specifically request. The real-time shipment updates are the latest in a suite of online enhancements under development to make it quicker and easier for customers to interact with Lynden. The new feature is available to Lynden customers and can be accessed through either Standard Tracking or EZ Commerce. Customers will be able to include any email party (such as suppliers or their own customers) on the update messages so everyone can see when a shipment is received, enroute and when it is delivered. For more information on how to start using Shipment Updates, please visit www.lynden.com/updates.
Users of Lynden's EZ Commerce tracking will also see new features in 2018. Applicable shipments will display additional information, providing detail down to the individual pieces of freight on a shipment, including the equipment identification number and type of equipment it is located in. This information will help customers better manage their freight and inventory and will be especially useful for projects or more complex moves. The freight-level detail feature will show automatically in the coming weeks whenever a customer tracks shipments within EZ Commerce.
Delivery receipts are also getting a refresh to better fit customer needs and create a standard look across Lynden companies. The format will be more efficient and easier to read and understand. The new receipts will be rolled out gradually to customers and will include options such as the ability to have multiple shipments on one delivery document, or deliver partial shipments.
"Our goal is to provide Lynden customers with a set of best-in-class self-serve tools, giving them ultimate control and visibility of their shipments," explains Ann Suver, Vice President, Information Technology. "We are proud to offer these new features for our customers."
"When we ask customers for feedback, we often hear that they want more control over their shipments and transparency into the freight movement," says Director of Marketing & Media Ryan Dixon. "Lynden has done a great job of responding to our customers by developing a new self-serve style of tracking, more information about the freight they are shipping and giving them more choice with receipt documentation."
Lynden was selected as an Inbound Logistics Top 100 Trucker for 2017. Lynden was selected out of 300 leaders in the trucking industry who submitted credentials. Lynden was also named a Top 49er in Alaska Business Monthly Magazine's annual ranking of Alaska companies. Lynden ranked fifth among all Alaska companies for providing jobs and services to keep Alaska's economy strong. Lynden Vice President Jeanine St. John is pictured with Charles Bell of Alaska Business Monthly.
Keeping its green streak going, Lynden was once again named a 2017 G75 Supply Chain Partner by Inbound Logistics magazine. Companies are chosen for the top 75 list based on four benchmarks: Measurable green results, sustainability innovation, continuous improvement and industry recognition.
Alaska Marine Trucking was the first business in Juneau to qualify for the Green Star recognition award for environmental responsibility in 2011 and was recertified for 2017. Alaska’s Green Star Program supports businesses and organizations that practice waste reduction, energy conservation and pollution prevention through education, technical assistance and an award-winning voluntary ‘green business’ certification program. Lynden Transport in Anchorage was the first trucking company in Alaska to earn certification in 2008 later joined by Fairbanks and Soldotna locations. Alaska Marine Lines in Cordova and Alaska West Express, Lynden Air Cargo, Lynden Logistics and Lynden Incorporated in Anchorage are now certified as well.
Over the past several years, several Lynden companies have replaced propane forklifts with energy efficient electric models. "Not only are the new lifts better for the environment, they perform better, too," explains Charlie Mottern, Lynden Transport Director of Maintenance. "Independent drive motors allow both tires to spin together which makes them great in the snow."
The lifts also improve indoor air quality and have unexpectedly reduced electric and heating use at some of the Lynden Service Centers. Lynden Transport began replacing propane forklifts with electric lifts in 2008, with 27 of 40 lifts replaced so far. In total, Lynden Transport, Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska West Express, Lynden Logistics, and Lynden International Logistics Company (LILCO) have replaced 104 of 246 lifts with the new electric models, which emit 54 percent less carbon than propane lifts. Lynden Transport, Lynden Logistics and Lynden Air Cargo's Alaska operations are now 100 percent electric.
"Electric lifts in high-use applications account for the majority of the hours," says Charlie. Lynden companies are using electric lifts for small lift hours at a rate of 95 percent for LILCO, 80 percent for Lynden Transport, 81 percent at Alaska Marine lines, 60 percent at Alaska West Express and 53 percent at Lynden Logistics.
"This year we plan to replace four lifts at Alaska Marine Lines in Seattle and two at Lynden Logistics' LAX facility," Charlie explains. However, not all of Lynden's propane lifts will be replaced. "Some locations and applications are not suited for electric lifts or do not get enough hours per month to warrant putting electric lifts into play at this time."
At the end of 2016, electric lifts in operation across the Lynden companies saved over $300,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs, while reducing 433 metric tons of CO2 emissions. This equates to a 32 percent reduction in Lynden's total small lift emissions.
Bob Griggs likes to tell a good joke. His favorite is that he left Lynden last month due to the stress of worrying about being laid off. "I started as a vacation relief driver in 1974. Don Guthrie and Vic Jansen trained me to drive a truck and pick up milk with the expectation that I would be laid off in a few months," he says. "I've been joking about it for the past 43 years."
Bob retired last month after working for Lynden longer than any other Lynden employee besides Jim Jansen. "When I started, Milky Way was a division of Lynden Transport," he recalls. "I've worked for LTI, Lynden Logistics Services and Hawk Inlet Services over the years in addition to some short projects in Alaska. Wherever they needed me, that's where I would go. It's been a lot of fun and very challenging."
Bob says his most memorable project was making the impossible possible in Caldwell, ID about six years ago. "A dairy's milk hauler gave them seven days' notice of termination, so they called us for help. We told them we'd get it done, and we did," Bob explains. With just seven days to prepare to take over the new milk routes and location, Milky Way employees mobilized, pulling together supervisors, drivers and volunteers from throughout the company to travel to Idaho to learn the routes. "We rounded up equipment and interviewed, hired and trained 25 drivers in seven days. The customer thought there was no way we could do it, but we did. We now have a successful operation there. It was amazing teamwork."
Over four decades at Lynden, Bob said the biggest changes he's seen are the use of cell phones, the improvement in equipment and the increase in traffic. "If you were out on the road in the old days and someone needed to contact you, they called all the places on your route – weigh stations and dairies – and left messages for you," he says. "Now it's instant communication."
He also credits Lynden founder Hank Jansen for inspiring him years ago. "I'm fortunate to have known him and worked with him directly." Bob's advice for employees just joining the company? "Don't leave. You can have a great career at Lynden. If you need a change, take advantage of one of the many opportunities within the Lynden companies."
Bob has some retirement projects waiting in his woodshop like a stand-up paddleboard he is making from Paulownia wood. "I want to build a small boat eventually, so I'll start with this. It will either go in the fireplace when I'm done or I'll use it," he jokes. He hopes to use both on Lake Roosevelt in Eastern Washington this summer.
"Bob is just one of those people you could always count on," says Vic Jansen. "Good or bad he was there. It's been that way since I met him 43 years ago. We all appreciate the contributions he has made to Lynden."
The year 2017 will usher in new options for Lynden customers in online shipping tools. Lynden is making it easier than ever for customers to initiate shipments with Lynden by replacing EZ Shipping with enhancements to EZ Commerce. These changes are part of an entire suite of online enhancements being developed for customers.
"This is part of an effort to make it quicker and easier for our customers to interact with Lynden," says Ann Suver, Lynden Vice President, Information Technology. "We are creating a set of tools to drive a shipment from quote to payment. The new version will be familiar to our customers but with many exciting new features."
The new functionality within EZ Commerce allows customers to initiate a shipment with Lynden and maintain a set of templates and contacts to make regular shipping easier. A filtering-search and an "on-hold" feature allow customers to prepare shipping forms ahead of time and send them when ready.
When EZ Shipping was first introduced, users were directed to a third-party site to send shipments. Now Lynden can service customers from end to end allowing future upgrades to EZ Commerce. EZ Commerce continues to allow customers to track and trace shipments and generate documents and activity reports.
A group of employees who regularly work with customers from Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden Transport, Lynden Logistics and other Lynden companies served as advisors for testing and feedback on the program. Project Manager Rob Chapman met with the group as it tested the program with customers to fine-tune it before completion.
"This was extremely helpful to identify key areas to improve. Many employees and customers shared ideas and suggestions," Rob says. "We made strides to streamline our administrative and operations processes while building this software to incorporate customer and employee feedback. There is a lot of complexity involved when working with multiple companies offering multiple modes of transportation. We are proud to offer a program of this quality to our customers."
Since 2007, Canadian Lynden Transport has hauled copper ore concentrate for the Minto Mine, a copper-gold mine northwest of Whitehorse in Central Yukon, Canada. Minto started producing concentrate in July of 2007 and the first truckloads of concentrates were transported by Lynden trucks to the Port of Skagway Ore Terminal. It was the first concentrate to be produced in a Yukon hard rock mine for several years. Lynden also hauls the byproduct, high grade concentrate, to Skagway in containers when required by the mine.
Minto was the first in a wave of new mining potential in the Yukon. With Lynden’s transportation support, the mine has been successful. The route is not an easy one. Trucks are barged across the Yukon River at the Minto landing and then travel 16 miles up a mine road for loading. In the winter, the river becomes an ice road for truck travel.
Richard Bateson manages the mine project for Lynden. “We all have to work together, Minto Mine, Canadian Lynden Transport and Mineral Services in Skagway where we deliver the copper ore. We have had an excellent relationship with the mine, Capstone Mining and Mineral Services for almost a decade,” he says.
Ronald Light, General Manager for Minto Mine and Capstone Mining Corp., agrees that the relationship works well. “The relationship between the Minto Mine and Canadian Lynden Transport has been a beneficial partnership that demonstrates how safety and production go hand-in-hand,” he explains. “Lynden has provided consistent, productive performance and has remained focused during times of change. We look forward to supporting each other as we continue to optimize our business.”