Thursday, February 06, 2014
Supply Chain for the 2014 Olympiad
From a logistical standpoint, the Winter Olympics is one of the largest freight and shipping nightmares to happen on a global scale. There will be packages, parcels, and pallets of goods shipped from other countries to one central location -- en masse -- for the athletes, spectators, media representatives, and workers. These goods will be shipped by sea, air, rail, and land as all transportation routes will be monitored by the Federal Customs Service and managed by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee.
Due to the complexity of the logistics, any company or individual planning to bring goods into Sochi should prepare well in advance. For example, only a few checkpoints can pass certain types of goods for entry to the country. It is imperative that you work with freight forwarder and customs broker familiar with both the region and the new regulations pertaining specifically to moving goods to the region before and after the event.
You will want to familiarize yourself with Russian government Decree 911, dated November 3, 2011 and Eurasian Economic Community Customs Union Decision Number 663, dated March 14, 2011. While there are other regulations that may apply, these two speak specifically to the Sochi Olympics. Working with an experienced freight forwarder is crucial to guarantee your goods reach the venue without incident, delays, or fines.
While there are specific marking and labeling requirements for importing goods to Russia for the Olympics, there are extensive regulations regarding cosmetics, hygiene products, food, and certain types of equipment. No rapid-fire guns, long guns, armor piercing ammunition, switchblades or other similar weapons can be imported. If you are responsible for ensuring firearms and ammunition reach the site for use in the games, you must have a special permit.
· Managing assets through customs and into Russia. There will be a tremendous volume of materials brought into Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Skis, bobsleds, electronics, training equipment, and more will all need to pass through Russian customs, be stored appropriately, and be sent back to their originating countries. Customs management into Russia depends largely on how the items are transported, the goods transported, and where the items are transported. All customs regulations should be thoroughly reviewed and followed to ensure there are no delays or additional fines regarding transportation. If possible, items should be sent in advance.
· Types of assets moving into Russia. A large volume of the assets moving into Russia are not Olympic equipment, sports training equipment, or professional equipment, but rather marketing materials, promotional goods, consumable items, gifts, and other similar items. The 2014 Winter Olympics will be an incredible marketing platform, and thus a large volume of items will be shipped and will require tracking. There are many merchandising and marketing opportunities during the games and most of these goods will be imported rather than locally sourced.
· Asset management challenges in Russia. With widespread corruption now plaguing the region , asset management becomes even more difficult. Not only do assets need to be tracked as they enter and exit the country, but it also needs to be certain the assets will be safe throughout the 17 days of the event itself. It becomes necessary to verify the presence of the assets at every turn and to constantly check they have reached their destinations. Not only do large items, such as sports equipment, need to be tracked but smaller items, such as merchandising material, needs to be both tracked and verified by quantity. This is an incredible enterprise that, without the proper tools, may ultimately lead to theft and loss. This is especially true if goods are transferred early on, as they will need to be stored.
During the entire first quarter of 2014, the area around Sochi will be under tight security; requiring deployment of more than 37,000 security personnel. Every delivery vehicle must be registered and have a special permit. The cargo must be screened and sealed and the vehicle must have an assigned slot on the master delivery schedule to prevent undue congestion on roadways and docks. There are similar requirements for removing goods after the event.
The logistics for this event are as complicated as logistics can ever be, so it’s important to be aware of the regulations and to ensure your goods are marked properly. After all, it takes a lot of beets to create the 70,000 gallons of borscht that the 7,000 chefs and waiters expect to serve during the Sochi Olympics - not to mention all the other food, equipment, and personnel necessary for the event.
Submitted by Brian Sutter