Pictured above: Oceana's Jon Warrenchuk (left) and Matthias Gorny with the ROV onboard the research vessel Island C in Kodiak, AK.
This spring, researchers spent eight days circumnavigating Kodiak Island exploring 23 different sites in search of deep-sea corals and other seafloor habitat areas. "The expedition's goal was to expand our knowledge of the Gulf of Alaska seafloor to support Oceana's ongoing campaign to protect coral, sponges and other sensitive sea life," explains Cheryl Eldemar, Pacific Business Manager for the nonprofit conservation group Oceana.
The star of the expedition was Deep Discoverer, an 1,800-pound Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) which captures undersea images with a sensitive camera. Getting the ROV and its four crates of batteries and accessories from Santiago, Chile, to the island of Kodiak fell to Lynden Logistics. "We Alaskans are keenly aware of Lynden's long-term dedication and reputation for providing goods and transportation to Alaska," Cheryl says. "This international shipping project was another example of Lynden's flexibility, patience, persistence and professionalism."
Lynden moved the ROV once before from Chile to Portland, OR in 2013 for Oceana's Oregon Coast Expedition. According to Ahmad Abed Rabuh, General Manager at Lynden's Portland Service Center, things have changed dramatically in the decade since the last move. The pandemic, supply chain disruptions and changes in rules and regulations for transporting batteries and other sensitive goods all affected this year's journey of the ROV from continent to continent.
"We excel at unusual international shipments, but this one required special customs declaration, custom-built crates made from a specific heat-treated wood, separate air freighter transport to Miami for the battery, and a lack of wide-body lift in the South American lane," Ahmad explains. "International Regional Operations Manager Elodie Gergov was instrumental in helping me navigate the South America complications for this shipment." Lynden's John Dill and Fernando and Chanelle Hernandez also worked diligently on the project in Portland along with Matt Kelly in Anchorage.
Once the ROV arrived in Miami, it was trucked cross-country to Portland in three days, then flown to Anchorage. Once in Anchorage, finding another flight to Kodiak proved difficult. Backlogs and freighters being pulled from the flight schedule complicated the last leg of the journey. "With Matt's help, we finally got a flight and delivered the ROV via a ground carrier six hours before Oceana needed it on the boat," Ahmad says.
"Please extend our gratitude to all at Lynden who had a hand in ensuring the Gulf of Alaska Expedition's star player arrived on time," Cheryl says. "Campaigns like this one remain an important tool in the Oceana toolbox as they help us photograph, film and research unique marine ecosystems. We can help the public and policy makers understand just how much is happening below the ocean surface when we share expedition footage. It brings those places to life."
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Pictured above: Oceana's Jon Warrenchuk (left) and Matthias Gorny with the ROV onboard the research vessel Island C in Kodiak, AK.
Aloha Marine Lines recently transported two large tour boats for the Pacific Whale Foundation. Celebrations sailed from Seattle followed by Ocean Legacy. The boats were craned off the barge at Barber's Point Harbor on Oahu. The larger boat is 80 feet long, 18 feet high and weighs 118,000 pounds.
"The boats were so large we hired vendors to assist with the lift and launch into the water," explains Joan Nacino, Pricing Business Analyst for Aloha Marine Lines. "Intermodal Coordinator Lauren Minckler responded to the initial request to move the boats, and Service Center Manager Zack Anderson and Freight Operations Gerry Bustamante assisted in putting the project together."
Upon arrival in Hawaii, Celebrations was taken to a boat repair yard located near Barber's Point harbor and the Aloha Marine Lines office. Ocean Legacy was launched from Barber's Point using a crane company and divers. Both boats join the Pacific Whale Foundation's fleet on Maui. The Foundation plans to purchase more boats from the same boat builder, Mavrik Marine, located in La Conner, WA.
Although all Lynden shipments are important, it's not every day that Alaska Marine Lines transports cargo used to build an evacuation bridge for an endangered Alaskan community. The long-awaited Kivalina Bridge, connecting the Western Alaska village of Kivalina to the mainland, was completed last spring by Lynden customer ASRC Civil Construction with support from Alaska Marine Lines.
For decades, the small coastal community of Kivalina has been working with a variety of agencies to address threats of coastal erosion and flooding. The bridge and an 8-mile gravel road are part of the Kivalina Evacuation and School Site Access Road project which provides residents an evacuation route in the event of a catastrophic storm or ocean surge.
"We first started talking about building a road and bridge for the community several years ago," says Mike Morris, Alaska Marine Lines Account Manager. "Now the road and bridge are done, and a replacement school project followed. We have moved building materials, equipment and other supporting freight for all three projects."
Getting freight to a remote village on a small spit of land is no small task. The projects required a combination of mainline barge sailings from Seattle and Anchorage to Nome, and from Nome, numerous landing craft voyages for additional inter-port moves. Each landing craft can transport up to 400 tons of cargo, which came in handy for the rock trucks, excavators and huge steel girders needed to build roads and the bridge.
"We have worked with ASRC for many years, so we knew what was expected and got right to work building loads and coordinating sailings," Mike says. The first load of girders left Seattle aboard the landing craft Nunaniq. "It was a challenge to figure out how to load steel girders that were 104-feet long onto a landing craft with a 100-foot deck," says Brian Ward, Western Alaska Marine Operations Manager. "For me, that was the toughest piece of this move."
In Seattle, Brian, Tom Crescenzi, Zed Runyan and Oliver Zidek came up with a dolly system that bolted two girders together for the support needed for the 100-ton weight.
A long, cold winter presented another challenge for the crews. "That year we were fighting ice, and spring had been slow to come," Mike says. "Our summer season for serving Western Alaska and the surrounding villages starts in early April to mid-May, and even later in places like Kivalina above the Arctic Circle, but it's always contingent on Mother Nature."
Beginning with Bristol Bay, nine scheduled sailings, with multiple shuttle voyages, provided delivery to approximately 80 different coastal and river villages.
"We are happy to be a part of improving the quality of life and accessibility in remote locations. We pride ourselves on being able to help communities by bringing in needed equipment and supplies to complete civic projects, like the school improvements in Kivalina," Mike says.
"We had a very good seafood year," says Tyler Maurer, Alaska Marine Lines Seafood Sales Manager. The 2021 fish season for Alaska Marine Lines and the supporting Lynden companies has been strong. Alaska salmon runs were 15 percent higher than projected, and the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon run stunned scientists with a record 66.1 million fish, with a catch of approximately 40 million which was 90 percent of the record 44 million.
At Lynden, salmon season is an 'all hands on deck' event typically lasting from May through September. All Lynden companies were busy keeping up with the volume this year, prompted not only by larger returns, but by restaurants opening back up after pandemic closures and a change in consumer buying habits.
Each year, Lynden Air Cargo flies fresh fish from Naknek, Emmonak, Cold Bay, Sand Point and Dillingham to Anchorage where Lynden Logistics provides support for transloading to Alaska Marine Lines, Alaska West Express and Lynden Transport and ships seafood with other air carriers all over the world. LTI, Inc. trucks provide Seattle surface delivery support and provides transportation to locations in the Lower 48.
On average, Alaska Marine Lines moves 7,000 containers of fish each year from Alaska fisheries southbound to Seattle. "We moved over 11,000 containers this year," Tyler explains, "and we still have more frozen and canned product to clean out of Alaska for a few more weeks to come."
Alaska Marine Lines moves significant volumes of frozen and canned fish from all over the state departing Western Alaska, Prince William Sound and Southeast. "We also have a new facility in Kodiak and have started to move domestic fish from the island. We use Kodiak as a re-handle port for fish originating in Western Alaska," Tyler says.
To prepare for the push each year, Lynden asks its customers for projections so it can build realistic expectations for staffing and equipment. "We knew this would be a big year," Tyler says. "We just didn't expect it would be this big of a year with all regions having strong returns."
Equipment reliability is extremely important when moving a temperature-controlled, high-value commodity like fish, so reefer techs take on an even more important role during fish season.
"With Copper River Kings selling at $80 per pound to retailers in the Lower 48 states, to start the season, we must have everything in place and running well to deliver the fish in pristine condition," Tyler says. "We are sometimes pushed to the limit in the summer months, but we all get the job done safely. From top to bottom, it's a Lynden-wide group effort, and we all lean on each other to get the job done including our partners at Western Towboat, Bering Marine and Dunlap Towing."
Lynden is known for providing innovative solutions to its customers. In a new twist on the term 'holding pen,' Lynden created a specially designed rack to hold surfboards for damage-free ocean transit. "There will always be a market for surfboards in Hawaii," explains Los Angeles Service Center Manager James Bisho, "so why not be the leader in providing cutting-edge transportation from the mainland to the islands?"
Lynden handles just about any type of freight imaginable from Los Angeles to Hawaii - from heavy machinery to perishable fruit to solar panels - via both air and ocean, full-container-load (FCL) and less-than-container-load (LCL). Coby Peterson of Marko Foam Products approached Lynden about shipping foam surfboard 'blanks' from LAX to Honolulu knowing they would be stowed in a container, but he didn't expect a special rack designed for just his freight. Lynden's Business Development Manager Maggie Parks couldn't wait to take Peterson's call. "I knew we could help him with this unique product," she says. "We thrive on and excel at requests like this. We are very good at creating solutions and showing nimbleness with how we can handle freight."
Lynden's 40-foot containers are equipped with Kinedyne Kaptive Beam® decking systems that can be adjusted at multiple levels to stack freight in a variety of configurations. The specialized containers are the only ones available in Hawaii and, with containers now in short supply, the 'sea cans' expand Lynden's shipping capacity at a critical time.
"With the Kaptive Beam® system, we can carry more cargo per container. Customers save time and money and realize increased value with every load," Parks explains. "I am receiving positive feedback from our surfboard customers on this new option for surfboards and blanks. We have taken a collaborative approach, finding better ways of packing and moving the boards."
"Lynden has greatly increased our business on the Hawaiian Islands by providing a reliable and cost-effective shipping method to better serve our customers," says Peterson, Marko's Manager of Business Development and Marketing.
Besides Marko Foam Products, based in Huntington Beach, CA, Lynden is now handling shipping for other California companies including Catch Surf and Pyzel Surfboards. Pyzel, a leading global surfboard manufacturer, is moving full containers of boards and blanks to Honolulu inside Lynden's Kaptive Beam®-configured containers.
Lynden is well-known as one of the largest providers of air freight forwarding between the mainland and Hawaii, but it's now gaining recognition for ocean service with a variety of LCL options. The multi-mode capabilities of choosing barge, steamship or air and mixing the modes to speed up or slow down delivery for changing timelines and budgets is a selling point.
"Our service levels give us multiple layers of experience and options to offer customers," explains Stuart Nakayama, Lynden Vice President of Trade Lane Development. "Ocean LCL has always been a part of our service, but things really took off last year when we added our containers equipped with the Kaptive Beam® system, which allows us to manage our loads more effectively and price competitively. We can mix and match heavy, odd-sized loads, double-stack and handle just about anything - from tall pallets of odd-sized freight like surfboard blanks, to smaller pieces."
With backed up ports, slowed supply chains, and a shortage of containers, ocean shipping has been anything but smooth sailing this year. "The ocean shipping industry is still feeling the effects of the pandemic. It's like a snake trying to eat a rabbit," Nakayama says. "Log jams at port of entry are still occurring and impacting the Southern California market. It used to take four days to get large vessels unloaded, reloaded and leaving the port. Now it takes weeks. In my 33 years in the industry, this is unprecedented. As the experts, we are here to help our customers navigate these sometimes choppy waters and make sure we take care of their logistics needs."
Despite the current challenges, Lynden employees still manage to pull off wins for customers on a routine basis. Recently Lynden's Los Angeles team worked through a weekend after an urgent shipment arrived after deadline on a Friday night. They knew their customers at a well-known grocer had a division vice president arriving on Monday to inspect the store. The bagged salads had to be on the refrigerated shelf when he arrived. So they flagged the perishable freight, quickly split the cargo, prepared the documents and booked space on the first available flights. The store passed the inspection.
"Whether it's working overtime, creating new ways to protect freight, or offering the latest and best equipment to ship that freight across the Pacific, we are always thinking of our customers," Nakayama says, "even if it means building holding pens for surfboards!"
Lynden Oilfield Services' fleet of three PistenBully snowcats have been hard at work in Prudhoe Bay this past winter. In an average week, the cats delivered essential supplies to a remote drilling site 145 miles southwest of Deadhorse and hauled a propane truck to refill two remote tanks used to power a weather station. Operators Tony Warner, Joel Martens, James McSharry and Hunter Keogh operate the machines in severe conditions to serve Lynden customers. They received instruction in freight operations and survival as part of their preparation to operate the machines in extreme weather. The PistenBullys give Lynden customers over-snow options to move their cargo including heavy equipment, containers and camps.
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."
Earlier this year the Alutiiq Tribe of Old Harbor, AK was awarded three bison bulls from Yellowstone National Park to improve the genetic diversity of its Sitkalidak Bison Herd. The catch: the bison required transport from Montana to Seattle, from Seattle to Anchorage and from Anchorage to Homer Spit. The final destination required a boat ride to Sitkalidak on Kodiak Island.
"I was informed that on special occasions Lynden Transport may transport livestock," says Cynthia Berns, Vice President of Community Affairs for the Old Harbor Native Corp. "So I called Paul Friese in Anchorage."
Paul Friese, Vice President of Alaska Sales for Lynden Transport, responded to the call with the usual can-do attitude. Gathering all the details, he quickly put the team in motion. Lynden Driver Clay Bonty met the FedEx plane in Anchorage, carefully loaded the special 20-foot container containing the three bison and headed to Homer, AK. "This was a very special project," Paul says. "We were happy to be involved and assist the Alutiiq Tribe."
The container weighed in at 4,500 pounds, plus three bulls at 1,200 pounds each, for a total weight of 8,100 pounds. Once Clay reached Homer, the container was loaded onto a landing craft vessel bound for Sitkalidak Island, pictured right.
The transfer was a historic moment in returning Yellowstone bison to tribal lands. These particular animals are important to tribes because they are the genetically pure descendants of the bison that tribal ancestors lived with. In the case of the Sitkalidak herd, the new bulls will introduce genetic diversity for herd survival. "Our herd is managed to provide food security for our community of 230 residents and tribal members throughout the state," Cynthia explains. "In 2017, DNA testing was conducted on the herd, and it was suggested that we integrate new genes into the herd for long-term health and survival."
The bulls are settled in and doing well. They are outfitted with GPS collars that provide hourly updates on their status. "From trucks, plane and landing craft, these animals have come a long way. A huge thank you to our supporters at Lynden Transport for safely getting the bison to Homer and secured on the vessel for the last leg of their journey."
Five years ago, Lynden was involved in another bison relocation project using Lynden Air Cargo's L-100 cargo plane. Employees spent three days loading 100 wood bison into special containers in Portage, AK for truck transport to Anchorage via Alaska West Express. All 100 animals were loaded in Anchorage and delivered safely in three flights to Shageluk for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
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 Logistics 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.