The great logistics challenge – DHL on the challenges of Formula 1’s triple header

by James Eagles

For the first time in Formula 1 history, the series lines up for a triple-header of Grand Prix weekends; in France, Austria and Great Britain.

Behind the scenes, the sport’s official global logistics partner DHL faces a unique challenge. As much as 1,000 tonnes of equipment used over the course of a Grand Prix weekend must be dismantled, transported and reassembled within a time period of 48 hours, ready for the next event.

DHL’s Trackside Manager, Martin Pople, revealed that just one race weekend takes “months of planning” and that their work is critical to ensure that the fans can enjoy the “huge spectacle” of a Grand Prix.

“For the spectators at the track and in front of their TV sets view, a Grand Prix is a huge spectacle,” said Pople.

“A single race weekend involves months of planning and the work of two dozen of our specialists. For fans, three exciting Formula 1 weekends in a row are a gift.”

The cargo that DHL is entrusted with can be anything from hospitality infrastructure to the 20 race cars and their various spare parts. At a typical European race, DHL will operate 25 trucks to transport around 1,000 tonnes of average. For the flyaway races, that load can double – relative to six fully loaded Boeing 747 aeroplanes and 40 sea freight containers. It’s a challenge that requires all of DHL’s 35 years of experience in Formula 1.

“For the tight schedule to work, everything has to be planned well in advance to the minute,” said Paul Fowler, Vice President of DHL’s Motorsport division.

“Of course, this season’s race calendar presents us with particularly complex issues. But we are also looking forward to this special opportunity to demonstrate our expertise in motorsports logistics and to showcase our capabilities.”

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