The Alpine republics Switzerland and Austria are traditionally winter sports nations. To enable leading athletes on snow and ice to deliver their best, however, the logistics services for their sensitive and valuable equipment also have to be top-notch. Thus the winter sports logistics specialists are currently in action again around the world.
It’s always winter somewhere in the world. Sports aficionados from every corner of the globe will have their eyes glued on Rio de Janeiro between 5 and 21 August this year, when the first South American Summer Olympic games take place in the southern hemisphere’s winter. Here in the northern hemisphere the logistics experts were in the starting blocks long before the Alpine skiing season got under way late in November.
Thus DB Schenker Logistics, which has been the Austrian skiing team’s partner for ten years now, transported equipment weighing approximately 60 t from the team’s Kufstein headquarters in Austria to North America, in preparation for the races in Aspen (USA) and Lake Louise (Canada). Other destinations had included Vail / Beaver Creek (USA), New Zealand and Chile, with the latter the scene of (northern) summer training camps during the (southern) winter. By the end of the year another 35 t had been shipped.
The timely delivery of the equipment is particularly important. A total of 3,500 items, including ski-bags, slalom poles, workbenches and ergometers have first to be cleared through customs and then be delivered to the hotels concerned. DB Schenker manager Armin Kopp wants «the athletes and coaches not to have to worry about their equipment at all, but rather to focus entirely on their build up to their great performances.»
The Austrian stars journey to the Alpine skiing classic in Wengen (Switzerland), where the famous Lauberhornrennen were held on 15–17 January this year, is shorter, but no less demanding for the logisticians.
Swiss International Air Lines is the new logistics partner of the Swiss skiing team. The airline made a strong impression on fans in Wengen last year, with a fly-by involving an Airbus A320 and six F-5E Tigers of the Patrouille Suisse, one of the Swiss air force’s display teams. This year the 86th edition of the Lauberhornrennen will see the airline improve on that. Its Airbus A321-111 (registration HB-IOH) is set to be named the «Wengen» during a flight over the finishing line of the races – again accompanied by the Patrouille Suisse, of course.
Swiss CCO Markus Binkert said that «as Switzerland’s airline it’s particularly gratifying for us to support Swiss winter sports, one of the most popular pastimes in the country.»