Lynden Employees Go Above and Beyond
Keep freight moving during the pandemic

espite the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year, Lynden kept crucial supplies moving—without interruption—to meet the needs of Alaskans. Managing the difficulties of this past year was a team effort that Lynden proudly attributes to its outstanding employees. The unprecedented trying times produced by COVID-19 have helped the company emerge stronger and wiser—and highlighted the essential nature of the transportation industry.

The employees of Lynden’s family of transportation and logistics companies met—and exceeded—incredible demands. And their dedication, ingenuity, and hard work have been awe-inspiring. “Lynden people consistently rise to meet a challenge, and this year was no exception,” says Chairman Jim Jansen. “No transportation company in Alaska has a more essential and critical responsibility than we do. Without our service throughout the last year, many Alaskans would not have received food and other essential items they needed to survive. Our employees can be proud of that and many other accomplishments.”

Employees Made Key Adjustments
Lynden employees adapted to a variety of changes during the past 12 months. They successfully navigated new work environments and technology; masks and social distancing; virtual meetings; and additional safety procedures to sanitize trucks and equipment. But the most significant achievement was the continuous service that employees provided customers. Incredibly, Lynden’s companies maintained normal business functions, with the critical supply chains to and from Alaska operating as usual.

“Serving our customers without failure became a key focus and goal as we entered the pandemic in 2020,” says President and CEO Jon Burdick. “It was an extraordinary year of Lynden employees adapting, meeting new challenges, and responding with a dedication to serving our customers reliably, safely,and efficiently.”

For example, Lynden’s customer service teams employed remarkable resourcefulness and flexibility to meet clients’ needs, creating new workflows to accommodate remote workers. Service Center managers quickly addressed social distancing requirements and created safe spaces for customers and employees by sanitizing facilities and equipment. Many drivers, mechanics, flight crews, and other operations employees continued their daily responsibilities despite the uncertainty to ensure freight was delivered to the customers who needed it. In some cases, work rotations were extended to ensure safety protocols could be followed, requiring employees to stay away from home for longer periods than originally planned. Their sacrifices and dedication did not go unnoticed. “We had a flight crew working overseas for months longer than expected, people on the North Slope for over ten weeks at a time, and many employees throughout Alaska adjusting their schedules and routines to ensure the job got done,” says Gail Knapp, Vice President of Employee Relations. “We often say that Lynden’s people are the best, and that was certainly shown this past year.”

Alaska Marine Lines container being transported
Alaska Marine Lines containers are unloaded in Juneau. Despite the pandemic, barge service continued as scheduled without interruption.
Covering All of Alaska
The Lynden family of companies covers the entire state of Alaska, from Ketchikan to Kaktovik and everywhere in between. Barge service is a supply lifeline for many communities in Southeast and Western Alaska, and keeping that lifeline intact was paramount for Alaska Marine Lines. “There is no question that 2020 provided us with multiple opportunities to demonstrate that our employees can overcome adversity and, most importantly, that our customers can count on us,” says Kevin Anderson, President of Alaska Marine Lines, part of the Lynden family of companies. Barge service successfully continued throughout the year, without interruption, keeping Alaskans supplied.

When a lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) threatened the health and safety of frontline workers, Lynden and partners coordinated the purchase and transport of 78 pallets of PPE and chartered a FedEx plane from China to Anchorage. Employees who were waiting in Anchorage quickly unloaded the material and prepared it for next-morning delivery to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Even while airlines were forced to cancel flights, thus reducing the amount of cargo capacity available, Lynden’s operations team was able to keep 80 percent of scheduled air cargo moving, working expediently and creatively to take care of customers and get shipments booked and on their way.

Lynden coordinated and expedited the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine and PPE from Anchorage to remote locations in Western Alaska. Lynden agents were waiting and hand-delivered them to hospitals in Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, and Barrow for distribution to village elders and frontline workers in those communities.

“Alaska is our home, and we are so happy we could do our part to help our friends and neighbors,” says Jeanine St. John, Vice President for Lynden Logistics. “We look forward to positive things ahead in Alaska, and Lynden will be there ready to assist with the next challenge.”

Smiling Lynden employee working on a forklift
Lynden employees play a critical role in Alaska’s supply chain.
Reflecting on 2020
In retrospect, this past year was one of the most arduous periods for Lynden employees. But they remained undaunted, met the challenge, and performed exceptionally. Working together, they kept the supply chain moving and delivery routes open as Lynden has always done during difficult times. In short, employees came through with flying colors for their fellow Alaskans. As Jansen put it, “We’ve been keeping freight moving to Alaska since 1954, and we’re not planning to stop now.”

“Looking back, it’s inspiring to reflect on the challenges our employees overcame,” Burdick says. “Our culture of safety shone through, and we had zero interruptions to our service. We look forward to working with our customers and serving the communities of Alaska as things get back to normal this year and beyond.”

Lynden companies provide transportation and logistics solutions in Alaska, Canada, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii, and around the world. They serve the entire state of Alaska and offer a full range of transportation options across all modes – air, land, and sea – so customers can optimize time and money when shipping to, from, or within Alaska.
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6520 Kulis Drive
Anchorage, AK 99502
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