F1 logistics: 3 ways DHL takes FORMULA 1® to the next level

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MELBOURNE GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 10: Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 2nd position, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 1st position, George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, and the Ferrari trophy delegate on the podium during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday April 10, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images / Adrivo)

As the longest-standing global partner of the FORMULA 1® Grand Prix, DHL has shown commitment to enabling smooth execution of F1 logistics for nearly 40 years. Revelling in speed, precision and state-of-the-art technology, just like how it is on the tracks, we show you how we steer the wheel.

For decades, up to 1,400 metric tonnes of race cars, fuel and equipment have zoomed across the world to 22 FORMULA 1® venues, including Melbourne’s Albert Park. This happens in the safe and steady hands of the DHL Motorsports team. The official partner for the Australian FORMULA 1® Grand Prix, DHL emerges as the leader of event transportation and F1 logistics amid the ever-changing volatile business climate.

Grit, resilience and foresight characterise our team of 35 international specialists — necessary traits that make each Grand Prix a successful milestone in DHL’s history.

Noting significant touchpoints along the supply chain journey, DHL’s processes reveal insightful learning points that delve into the intricacies of F1 logistics, from planning transporters to keeping a close watch on carbon footprint.

1. Strategic planning of on-ground teams

Organising the transport of up to 1,400 tonnes of highly sensitive freight components comprising car parts, engines, fuel, broadcasting equipment, and marketing and hospitality materials across five continents for 20-plus races is surely a tremendous feat. But for global logistics experts like DHL, it is a yearly affair, and the Australian Grand Prix was no different despite unforeseen challenges.

When three F1 teams were caught in a web of COVID-19 sea freight delays in a 42-day trip from Europe, DHL intervened to ensure the teams could race in the third leg of the F1. After a quick reroute to Singapore, 150 tonnes of racing equipment were hauled into a couple of Boeing 777 and 767 DHL Express air freighters and transported straight to Melbourne. Having heavily invested in a  fleet of air transporters, DHL was able to side-step limitations of commercial passenger planes, in terms of schedule and availability, allowing freight to reach its destination within a quick turnaround time.

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Paying attention to race day operations was also key to successful F1 logistics. To reduce any cross-contamination during the COVID-19 outbreak, three logistics teams comprising of different personnel were deployed to manage the logistics of each race in the triple headers. Moving in strategic laps, the teams were individually responsible for three main roles during the F1: circuit set-up before the race, managing freight that arrived during race week, and de-rigging and packing towards the end of the week.

DHL applied efficiency and steadfastness to detailed strategy, executing one of the world’s biggest events with cargo-heavy logistics.

2. Commitment to sustainable logistics

DHL's environmentally-friendly fleet of vehicles has also helped put the FORMULA 1® on track  to achieve its sustainability targets — to hold sustainable events by 2025 and reach net-zero carbon footprint in 2030. In doing so, we worked towards our own 2050 emissions commitment. To reduce the environmental impact of F1 logistics, DHL adopted a multi-modal transportation approach, combining overland and ocean freight in the logistical mix. To further its ambition, FORMULA 1® dedicated trucks will be replaced with low-emission units. Designed with features like GPS upload, the team can monitor fuel consumption and routes so they can apply the best practices to reduce their carbon footprint. Complementing these are our fuel-efficient Boeing 777 that cuts 18% more emissions than legacy aircraft.

3. Engagement-level partnership

Taking our partnership a notch higher, we are a Founding Partner of the F1 Esports Series and introduced two of the most coveted prizes in the race for many years — the DHL Fastest Lap Award and DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award. Facilitating engagement among fans as a global partner signifies our relentless effort to build strong and lasting relationships, maintain brand visibility, and cement loyalty and trust.

Roar into the circuit of success with DHL Express

Take a leaf out of our playbook and watch how the circuits ignite with passion. The intricacies of top-level logistics revealed in our partnership with FORMULA 1® exemplifies in true form the success you can reap when working with global experts. Putting your needs at the heart of every strategy, we enable you to execute seamlessly and reach your target audiences in the most impeccable manner.

Why not sign up for a business account with DHL Express and see how we can power up your international events?