Organising international sporting events is a demanding task
International sporting events have long ceased to be just about the sport itself. Major sporting events take years of planning. Logistics experts at DB SCHENKERsportsevents specialize in such events - developing logistics concepts for organizers, hospitality programs, sponsors, suppliers and media well in advance. In an exclusive interview with The STAT Trade Times, Christian Schultze, head of DB SCHENKERsportsevents speaks about the challenges involved in event logistics. Which are the major events where DB Schenker has been a logistic partner for? DB Schenker has extensive experience in the provision of logistics services to large international sporting events inclusive of the Munich 1972 and Sydney 2000 Olympic Games until recent events such as 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil or the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. How much time is devoted to planning for a particular event? Organising international sporting events is a demanding task, regardless of whether it is the World Cup, the Olympic Games, sailing regattas or athletics championships. In order to ensure the perfect logistics we start our preparations and planning approximately three years before the actual event takes place. We offer a continuous project management - throughout all phases, including logistics consulting, strategically planning as well as organization and operation of the event. What are the challenges faced by DB Schenker when it comes to event logistics? Every event logistics solution is a highly complex task that requires absolute flexibility from our DB SCHENKERsportsevents logistics experts. We always have to plan ahead, consider all possible obstacles. Challenges vary from event to event. One of our major challenges is to comply with the tight schedules. Any delay is inacceptable as it will cause major difficulties for the event itself. Very often we are transporting highly sensitive and expensive goods, such as broadcasting equipment. Customs clearance has to be discussed in advance in all details as clearance of goods for sports events always requires special customs procedures. We prepare ourselves to any kind of challenge with a mixture of comprehensive planning, thoroughness, knowledge and the right amount of flexibility. Could you cite an example where DB Schenker had to face hurdles? For instance we had a major ocean freight shipment for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. All over sudden the ocean carrier changed the routing of one of the vessels, with the consequence that the vessel arrived later than originally planned. In order to make up for the delay we used all our long-term experience, managed to arrange a special customs procedure and accelerate the process to one day. Additionally we always plan a little time buffer. This way we were able to deliver to the event site just in time. Are there any regulatory hurdles while transporting goods for such events? Every country and every event has different rules and regulations, and every country has its own procedures. There is no worldwide standard. For example in Brazil, currently temporary imports cannot be arranged by Carnet ATA which is the most common way to import goods for a short term. Also medication for the participating teams is always a challenge as we have to strictly oblige to the individual rules of the event and country. Could you explain the entire process of logistics planning for any event? We begin approximately three years before the actual event takes place. Firstly, we are building our teams, locally as well as worldwide and define responsibilities within these teams for the planning, coordination and organization of logistics services related to the event. During these three years we go step by step, arranging all necessary phases such as: Analyze event and country rules and regulations, establish handling manuals, clarify customs procedures, develop transport concepts and infrastructure solutions, actual operation and transportation of goods, customs clearance, warehousing and distribution, venue management, just to name a few. Our DB SCHENKERsportsevents team members are available 24/7/365 to help manage the entire logistics supply chain.