27-30/2013 There's an end to waiting
British people had to wait 77 years until the trophy, or its replica, that is presented by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon could remain on its home island. Its winner, ironically enough, was Scotsman Andy Murry, my namesake. It is not known how many of the traditional snacks that are eaten on the grandstands would fit into the trophy. The number is certainly more than the minimum of ten, freshly picked strawberries that fill the over 8,000 bowls of fruit that sell like «hot cakes» day by day in the Wimbledon grounds. Tennis fans gobble up around 28 t of one of England’s favourite foods, topped with 7,000 l of fresh cream, during the tournament at the end of June and beginning of July. English food may not have one of the best reputations, but the strawberry consumption figures point to a masterly logistics performance.
A similar event took place on the other side of the English Channel at the start of the European summer, which took rather long to arrive. However, there was a subtle difference – Unesco added French gastronomy to the World Heritage list three years ago. But I am less concerned about the what the participants consume during the Tour de France, which is as legendary as the tennis tournament in the London suburb.
Although the supply chain for the race does not like to be in the spotlight, all the logistics for the Tour de France, whose 100th edition is due to end on the Champs-Elysées in Paris two days after the publication of this journal, are impressive. The official logistics partner takes care of a team of 50 truck drivers who travel more than 4,000 km up and down roads in France. The athletes are accompanied by 36 trucks and trailers offering 120 cbm of storage space. The processes also have to be spot-on for the peleton’s vanguard thats an advertising cavalcade consisting of 200 vehicles that need to distribute around 11 million gifts to the spectators who start waiting patiently on the kerb hours before the actual spectacle begins.