What type of logistical challenges do these top athletes face?
We heard quite a few anecdotes about this. A bicycle is not a simple parcel but quite a huge object. Just sending it as it is can cause a lot of problems. One problem that Daniël Knegt encountered, for example, is that his bike was held up by an airline as it suddenly became clear that there was no room for it. When he had arrived at his destination for an important race in Africa, it turned out that his bike was still standing in a cargo lift in Germany. So he went inland to look for a bicycle and ended up finding a farmer who collected bikes. By chance, the collection also included a tandem which Daniël was allowed to borrow for the race. It was a stroke of luck and an amazing stunt that occurred just in time...but it was not exactly a relaxing way to prepare. So we thought: "we can help with this!"
How does DHL help behind the scenes?
Good packaging is essential as every shipment goes through so many channels and through so many hands in the hubs and gateways and at customs, etc. So in collaboration with Daniël, we created a sturdy "flight case" so that the bicycle is well protected and arrives in good condition wherever it is sent to. The paperwork is also important and the correct details are crucial for a fast delivery. We once sent a bicycle to Canada and while it was making its way there with DHL Express, the hotel where the athletes would be staying was changed at the last minute. Alarm bells started ringing immediately at Canadian customs because the hotel at the original address did not know anything about the bike. The large case with the bicycle was set aside, could no longer go anywhere, and would have been subjected to an extensive inspection. Fortunately, we have good contacts with local customs authorities all over the world. Our DHL colleagues in Canada immediately stepped into the breach and clearly explained to customs what the case was meant for and why the address had changed. Canadian customs then released the case quickly and we were able to deliver the bicycle at the correct hotel on time.
So networks and teamwork are what matters?
Everyone at DHL has their own expertise and is indispensable, from our Customer Service and Customs experts to the Service Centers for pickup and delivery and the hubs and gateways that keep a close eye on everything. Together we work as a team in the background to make sure that everything runs quickly and smoothly. We make life easier for our customers! So you can see that, as with these top athletes, everything does indeed center around teamwork. We are also known for our can-do mentality. And the speed at DHL Express speaks for itself! We are therefore delighted to be able to make a contribution, however small, to the success of this extraordinary team of top athletes!