Olympics logistics companies deserve gold medal

Olympics logistics companies deserve gold medal article image

Preparation, dedication, precision and timing. These are all key attributes of an Olympic athlete and are also the critical components in ensuring the 17-day Rio Olympic Games run smoothly from a logistics perspective.

Getting the right things in the right place at the right time are key to the success of the event.

The Olympic Games will effectively be the world’s largest peace-time logistical exercise. To put it in perspective, it is the equivalent to running 26 simultaneous sporting world championships.

All up, there have been around 30 million items moved to Rio for the games, in 6000 different cargo containers arriving by sea, air and overland.

About 70% of the freight has been moved on containership, 25% by air and the remainder on road and rail.

Loads are brought into warehouses, unloaded, checked and X-rayed for security purposes before being loaded onto vehicles to be sent into the venues.

There is a workforce of nearly 2000 in the Olympic games logistics department alone, with two warehouses covering 115,000sqm housing everything from 32,000 tennis balls, 400 footballs, 8,400 shuttlecocks, 250 golf carts to 54 boats.

Essential equipment

Omega, the official timekeeper for the games, had 450 metric tonnes (including 200km of cable and 414 scoreboards) of gear to bring into Rio for the games.

Then there is all the equipment required for the Olympic Village – including 6,000 televisions, 80,000 chairs, 70,000 tables, 40,000 mattresses (and beds), 60,000 clothes hangers and 10,000 smartphones!

And don’t forget the Olympic special items such as food, drink and souvenirs, plus of course, the horses competing in the equestrian events.

A total of 310 horses have been flown to Rio from various ports around the globe, with special investments made at Galeao International Airport, including loading ramps connecting horses with trucks to get them to the competition area.

It’s not just the athletes putting in an Olympic effort! There are a few freight forwarders, ships' captains, stevedores, warehouse staff and truck drivers in need of a gold medal too! 

Pete Johnson is the Co-Founder of CargoHound, the first online marketplace for international freight. For more information:


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