Vaulting poles, winners’ podiums, plus jerseys and shoes for around 1,600 athletes: when the European Athletics Championships take place in Berlin this August, DHL employees will be in the thick of the action, ensuring gold-medal worthy logistics.
At a track & field event, there is a lot to transport, from bulky items such as vaulting poles, hurdles, and javelins to heavy discus and shot puts. In August, Europe’s top athletes compete for the medals in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and other venues. Under the motto “Love, Peace and Freedom”, organizers expect about 300,000 visitors on six days.
DHL Trade Fairs & Events (TFE), the specialists for fair and event logistics and part of DHL Freight, take care of the logistics for the European Championships as sole logistics partner. “We have a great deal of experience in handling sporting event logistics and were able to submit a winning bid to the organizing committee. Since being awarded the contract in April, preparations in our Berlin branch have been in full swing,” says Vincenzo Scrudato, Managing Director, DHL Trade Fairs & Events.
On the road across Berlin
In addition to the Olympic Stadium in the west of the city, events take place around Breitscheidplatz next to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The “European Mile” features an extensive cultural and entertainment program, medal ceremonies, and the start and finish of the road races. Another event at this location gives DHL TFE specialists the heaviest single transport of the European Championship, namely a complete shot put ring measuring 240 cm across and weighing 970 kg. It has to be transported from the stadium to the heart of the city, where it will be used for the preliminary rounds. “As unusual as this might sound in terms of dimensions and weight, this is not a major problem. Nevertheless, it is a great thing for my employees to be present at the European Championships,” says Patrick Thierling, Branch Manager Berlin at DHL TFE.
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, the logistics specialists have assigned a project manager and a deputy to the job since early May. The equipment of the participating teams and organizers is picked up by TFE at the airport or train station and then delivered directly to the respective competition venue, athlete’s hotel, or a central warehouse offering more than 1,000 m² of storage space. Besides others this is where the 5.3 m long vaulting poles find their place. A special area for sensitive medical devices is also available.
StreetScooters in action
In addition to the equipment for the competitors, DHL delivers also the one for supervisors and judges. Moreover, DHL employees pack around 8,500 welcome bags with items provided by about 15 sponsors. These are for the athletes, VIPs, volunteers, judges, and accredited media representatives and will go directly from the central warehouse to the various event hotels. “As you can see , this involves so much more than just driving jerseys and shoes from point A to point B. We serve destinations throughout the city of Berlin with the required equipment. For this we use experienced employees and our most modern materials,” Patrick Thierling adds. Since almost all of the deliveries take place in the inner city, also StreetScooters are used as environmentally friendly, emissions-free transporters for the European Athletics Championships.
Even when the last national anthem has finally played by mid-August, the employees of DHL Trade Fairs & Events still have a lot of work to do. “Of course, after the event, we will also take care of the reverse transaction, transporting the equipment back to the teams and organizers,” says Vincenzo Scrudato. “After all, nobody should have to carry their vaulting pole through the airport terminal.”
In numbers: Logistics for the European Athletics Championships
- 1 central warehouse (more than 1,000 m²/10,764 sq. ft.)
- 3 forklifts
- 2 work platforms
- 6 pallet trucks
- 50 rolling containers
- 40 Euro pallets
- 160 moving boxes