DHL meets unique demands as Official Logistics Partner for Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012

  • Complete logistics solution for worldwide transport of high-end team gear
  • Emergency deliveries to remote locations helps teams in the race
  • All six sailing teams ready for Lisbon as Leg 7 starts Sunday, May 20

Miami, May 18, 2012 – DHL, the world’s leading logistics company and the Official Logistics Partner for the 11th Volvo Ocean Race, is meeting demanding challenges as it transports equipment and emergency spare parts that ensure the six elite racing teams can continue in their quest for victory in this highly competitive, round-the-world sailing event. All six teams are ready for the start of Leg 7 on Sunday, May 20, which will take them to Lisbon,Portugal.

Team Sanya, the Chinese entry which suffered hull and rudder damage as it left Auckland at the start of Leg 5 in late March, has rejoined the racing fleet in Miami. DHL chartered a vessel, placed the boat aboard, and collected the team’s equipment for transport to Savannah, Ga., for vital repairs.

DHL’s global logistics team jumped into action just a few hours after the Volvo Ocean Race got under way in Alicante in November. The first SOS call came from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the “Azzam” had broken its mast in 34-knot winds. DHL arranged the delivery of a new mast in less than 24 hours. DHL has shipped two other 33-meter masts since the race started – one was sent from Amsterdam to Itajaí, Brazil, for Groupama, and another was delivered to Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG, which managed to pull into Tristan da Cunha, one of the most remote islands in the Atlantic Ocean, after its mast broke.

DHL also set up the delivery of vital equipment to Chile where Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand stopped to do repairs, provided a crucial replacement part for Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG in Auckland and provisioned a chartered vessel to bring Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing yacht to Itajaí for repairs to its damaged hull before the start of Leg 6 last month.

“As the Official Logistics Partner for Volvo Ocean Race, DHL is integral to the success of this global event. DHL teams around the world have been working hard to deliver against extremely tight timelines and to disparate locations. We’re proud to support the arrival of this event in Miami, the first time the race has returned to theUnited States in 10 years,” said Mathieu Floreani, CEO for DHL Global Forwarding Americas.

Being the Official Logistics Partner for Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 is a job that goes well beyond meeting last-minute demands from teams and race officials. DHL’s key task is to ensure that each team’s equipment and spare parts – as well as the Race Village itself – are delivered to each stopover. That means shipping 160 containers via ocean freight, another 20 air freight containers plus more than 16 tons of loose air freight and more than 100 express air shipments. DHL has to work within a strict time frame to ensure that everything is delivered on time at the beginning of each stopover, and afterwards make sure all is packed and ready to be shipped to the next location.

DHL is moving two identical sets of 40-foot ocean freight containers with a volume of 67 cubic meters, which contain loft hand tools, lifejacket kits and rig lifting sling sets per team, according to the leap-frog principle. The teams use the content of the first container during the first leg, while DHL has already delivered the second container to the next destination. Upon arrival, the teams take over the second container to use it during the next leg while DHL prepares the previously used first container for the next stopover. This method is needed to guarantee on-time delivery because the Volvo Open 70 boats are much faster than commercial vessels.

“Those tight deadlines are the biggest challenge we face. We can’t miss a shipping deadline,” said Reinier Vens, DHL Project Director for Volvo Ocean Race. After the Miami stopover is completed on Sunday, DHL must ensure that all the containers are at the Port of Miami by Friday, May 25, so they can be loaded on ocean vessels and sent to Lorient, France, for the ninth stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race. The equipment for Lisbon, the next stopover, is already on its way.

The logistics for the entire race are monitored by DHL from an international control center established for the race in Amsterdam. A warehouse near Schiphol International Airport houses critical spare parts that can be shipped on short notice to a team in need. DHL ensures the smooth transition of the race from stopover to stopover, by supplying the race organizers, race teams, and partners with a full range of freight forwarding and venue logistics services from race start to race finish on 7 July 2012 in Galway, Ireland.

“DHL’s global network as well as its local knowledge of customs laws and clearance procedures in more than 200 countries are key elements in DHL’s ability to provide just-in-time service to the six racing teams and the entire Volvo Ocean Race organization,” said Stephen Fenwick, CEO of DHL Express Americas.


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Verena Huetteneder

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