DHL and the WTCC: By air, land and sea

Key Takeaways

  • The WTCC is a year-round job for Official Logistics Partner DHL
  • 200 tons of materials are transported each race weekend
  • The touring cars travel approximately 1,600 kilometers in all in the season’s 24 races

The World Touring Car Championship stages twelve races per season. Six of them are in Europe, the remaining six in South America, Africa and Asia. The WTCC is a year-round job for logistics partner DHL. Tightly organized logistics planned a year in advance ensure that the cars can be in the right place at the right time, precisely as the race calendar dictates, along with the teams’ extensive equipment and infrastructure.

Around the world

However, DHL transports not only the cars from race to race, but also spare parts, ad banners, TV, timekeeping and scrutineering equipment belonging to teams. Plus, there are 4,000 liters of fuel and 620 tires per event to take into account as well. The heaviest item is the racing car at around 1,100 kilograms. The screws weigh the least. They are the smallest items to be shipped. 

All in all, 200 tons of materials are transported each race weekend. Some 87,500 kilometers per year are covered by ship, truck and plane across four continents arranged by DHL. By way of comparison, the touring cars travel approximately 1,600 kilometers in all in the season’s 24 races.

On-time delivery is key

Time management is is essential. Possible delays in transit have to be factored in, as the equipment simply must be available for race weekends. In addition, customs clearance, trucking from port to race venue and the assembly and dismantling of equipment all have to be considered in the planning. Each of these steps is carried out according to a strict schedule. 

Despite excellent time management, there are occasions at which DHL has to find solutions on short notice. ‘Last-minute’ flights can be organized, should teams find that parts are missing or have to be returned for overhaul.

Apart from the above-mentioned circumstances, airfreight is the exception rather than the rule when planning logistics for the WTCC.  Air moves took place three times this season. Materials are shipped by sea for the most part. The journey from Bangkok in Thailand to Qatar for the season finale in Doha is the only one to be made exclusively by air. 

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