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Pole position.

30 Porsche racing cars stand in Stuttgart ready for transportation to the Persian Gulf. The freight forwarder Damco (Germany), Lufthansa Cargo and the Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency collaborate closely to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

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They are built for one purpose only: to win cups of glory at a furious pace. 30 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing cars wait lined up behind one another like a pearl necklace strung out on the tarmac. Sorted according to teams. Numbered consecutively car by car. An aggregate power pack of 12,000 hp. And each team now just impatiently awaits its starting signal.

Then off they go. To the second exactly, punctually at 8 a.m. The destination: the scales in the cargo hangar at Stuttgart Airport. “I can tell they’re in a hurry,” says Heinz Hogenacker. The National Key Accounts Manager at Lufthansa Cargo is responsible for business transactions with the customers Porsche and the Lufthansa Cargo Business Partner Damco (Germany).

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The logistics and freight forwarding service provider acts as the dispatch agent in Stuttgart on behalf of Bahrain International Cargo Services (BICS). The goal: the time definite transportation of vehicles to the Kingdom of Bahrain for the opening race of the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup 2007.

Hogenacker coordinates the loading of the so-called carracks and airfreight pallets by the handling personnel in accordance with instructions from the Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency (LCCA).

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On the taxiway, Hans-Guenter Bareiss from LCCA takes charge. His challenge: to load the cargo hold of the Boeing swiftly, without wasting stowage space. The aircraft can carry a weight of 100 tons and has a volume of about 570 cubic meters.

The most important question is: Does the entire cargo package fit on board? Each vehicle has a tare weight of 1,120 kilograms. In addition, each team individually puts together the equipment such as spare parts, tools as well as brake and cleaning fluids. Including the pallets on which the vehicles are transported, the exclusive cargo weighs 90.5 tons. 

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“Unfortunately, aircraft do not have roof racks or trailers. There is no scope for miscalculation. Attention must be paid to weight, dimensions, but also the aircraft’s center of gravity and the curvatures and contours on board. A lot of manpower and experience is required. No computer can do that,” says Bareiss.

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Great sensitivity when loading is also needed. “The cars are built as lightweight constructions. That is why it is important for us that they arrive in Sakhir for the Grand Prix correspondingly packaged,” says Jens Walther, Head of the Supercup. The charter aircraft lands in Stuttgart at 4:27 p.m.

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Just a few minutes later, the ten airport employees unload the vehicles through the rear door on board with main deck and low deck loaders.

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"As the racing cars only have a low ground clearance, we have additionally laid out the recesses in the vehicle rails of the carracks with small boards,” Bareiss explains. In the Boeing, the employees push the carriage packages into their defined positions.

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Every centimeter counts: nine Porsche cars on the low deck, 21 on the main deck. At about 6:45 p.m. the aircraft takes off. 30 Porsche racing cars make their way towards the Persian Gulf.

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Porsche Mobil1 Supercup.

The Porsche Mobil1 Supercup has been an integral part of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 1993. At the fastest international brand cup, professional teams and drivers from 18 nations, including Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and the UK, compete in 400-hp, identical 911 GTI Cup racing cars. The series ranks as a stepping stone for careers in the sports and touring car category. In 2007, ten racing weekends and eleven rated races are on the agenda, including races in Bahrain, Silverstone, Monza and Magny-Cours.

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Damco Sea & Air.

The logistics and freight forwarding service provider Damco(Germany) not only takes on special assignments like the logistics for the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup, but has also specialized in, among other things, automobile and textile logistics. In the fields of both air and sea freight, Damco (Germany) is known for its creative and innovative solutions. The logistics and freight forwarding service provider has a worldwide company network in 55 countries.

www.damco.com

Photos:

Matthias Just

planet 2/2007