Special delivery to Brazil for race
More 400,000 total pounds of freight were swallowed April 25 by two Atlas Air 747-400F planes for the 5,000-plus-mile ride between Indianapolis and São Paulo, Brazil - the initial logistical stage of conducting the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle.
Race cars, pit equipment, tools and consumables were weighed, wrapped, stacked and set in a staging area on Good Friday at Indianapolis International Airport by INDYCAR and DB Schenker personnel in a free-form ballet of fork lifts and 18-wheelers.
It was loaded (seeking an even distribution of weight in the cargo bay by the loadmaster) for the flight to Viracopos-Campinas International Airport in the state of São Paulo. Firestone Firehawk tires departed via ocean cargo vessel last month.
"Logistics are an essential part of our business and DB Schenker's global reach and international sports experience is a perfect match for our needs," Terry Angstadt, president of the commercial division for INDYCAR said.
DB Schenker has been associated with the sanctioning body since 2009, providing logistics for the Honda Accord Safety Cars between North American event venues. Its role expanded last year with oversight of the event logistics for the inaugural race on the streets of São Paulo.
DB Schenker combines all transport and logistics activities of Deutsche Bahn, employing more than 91,000 people across 2,000 locations in about 130 countries.
Upon arrival late on April 26, the freight is transferred to trucks to continue the journey to the Anhembi complex in the north-central section of the largest city in South America. Manifests are checked and spot customs inspections are conducted at the track in time for team personnel to unpack the next day and begin preparations for the race weekend.
"The most difficult part is making sure the paperwork (six copies for everything) is in order for customs," INDYCAR director of operations Bill van de Sandt said. "We're a racing league and not a shipping company, so all we can do is get everything ready and count on DB Schenker to get us there and back."
Before the champagne is uncorked in Victory Circle, packing is underway for the return trip.
"It's multiple processes, but it's very well-organized," van de Sandt said. "The cooperation of the governments, the help of DB Schenker and the airlines works very well. It's a process that is very effective and efficient."