- England and South Africa face off Saturday in the Rugby World Cup final in Japan.
- During the six-week tournament, DHL shipped over 67,000 kg of team freight to nearly 200 sites.
- Typhoon season required contingency plans for every shipment.
Off the field, DHL’s successful delivery of World Rugby's pinnacle event has been no different. As the Official Logistics Partner for three successive Rugby World Cup tournaments, no team was better placed to appreciate, understand and execute the intricate logistical operations that are required to deliver the world's third largest sporting event.
“It’s been a fantastic opportunity for the DHL operation in Japan to showcase our expertise and reliability” says Shirabe Kanji, RWC 2019 Logistics Service Manager, who points to Japan’s geography and climate as the biggest challenges that had to be overcome during the tournament’s successful delivery. “As well as the timing issues presented by domestically shipping team freight by truck while the teams fly or take the bullet train, from September to October it’s typhoon season, meaning it was necessary to make a contingency plan for every single movement.”
Team spirit on and off the field
It’s a huge behind-the-scenes operation that, working in conjunction with Japan Rugby 2019, has involved over two years of meticulous planning.
In addition to supplying kit vans to all 20 participating nations, DHL successfully delivered over 432,000 match tickets to over 140 countries, while over the course of the six-week tournament the company shipped over 67,000 kilograms of team freight – which included everything from BBQs to ice baths - to nearly 200 different locations in every corner of Japan.
“The team spirit has been fantastic,” says Francis Ktenidis, Vice President of RWC Logistical Services, speaking on the eve of the final. “Everyone had their part to play and niche areas of expertise and we’ve all had to come together to deliver on a common goal,” he adds.