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GAC Pindar rises to Volvo Ocean Race Sanya stopover logistics challenge

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    4 February 2015

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Sanya, China – 4 February 2015: Great cooperation by GAC Pindar and local teams from the global GAC Group has met the most complex logistics challenge presented so far by the Volvo Ocean Race, for the stopover in Sanya, China.

As the official logistics provider for the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race, GAC Pindar had to take care of the transportation, cargo clearance and final delivery by air, sea and road of all the components of the Race Village from Cape Town, South Africa, to Sanya, ensuring that everything was in place and ready to open on time.

The location of the Sanya stopover presented the team with series of challenges, as Richard Mallen, Project Director GAC – Volvo Travel Teams, explains: “The two container ships containing the Race Village could only go as far as Hong Kong, so a barge was chartered for the 60-hour trip to Hainan Island at the southernmost tip of China. However, we then discovered that the 113 containers had not been not stacked together at Hong Kong port, so we had to work through the night to locate the cargo and load the barge.”

Hainan Island’s port is essentially a fishing village with limited berths for incoming cargo, and congestion on arrival delayed the unloading by 30 hours. Further, Hainan Island’s ban on the movement of trucks between 6.30am and 9.30pm meant that 16 trucks had to shuttle back and forth over two nights to deliver the containers to their final destination.

In addition to the cargo arriving by barge, GAC Pindar also managed air freight direct from the previous stopover in Abu Dhabi. Volvo cars and air freight boxes from each of the teams were flown into Hong Kong and Guangzhou airports then taken to Sanya by truck and ferry.

"Despite the many challenges we faced, the bump-in was completed ahead of schedule and the Race Village opened on time," says Mallen. "The next challenge will come with the bump-out which starts this Sunday (8 February), when the Race departs Sanya. We shall have just five days to discharge the Race Village and connect with the container ships in Da Nang, Vietnam, that will take the 113 containers onto Itajaí, the fifth stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race."

Due to the sheer size of the Volvo Ocean Race - 38,739 nautical miles across five continents over nine months - two identical Race Villages are leap-frogging one another around the globe. After the completion of the China stop-over, the Race Village used in Sanya will be packed up and sent to Itajaí in Brazil and then on to Lisbon in Portugal.

To keep up-to-date with the latest Volvo Ocean Race action, go to http://www.volvooceanrace.com

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