One company is ensuring its overseas freight partners know exactly what is expected of them when importing to ensure a smooth and successful summer of events
Moving equipment in and out of international events is familiar territory to Production Freight. “The boot is on the other foot this year,” says business development manager John Burrows.
“In the past it’s always been us going overseas taking our client’s equipment to these events, but this year it’s going to be coming our way. It’s nice, as previously we have been taking instructions from our overseas partners with regards to the importation and delivery processes but now it’s us, working within the guidelines of Locog (London Organising Committee), who are able to dictate this criteria to our international partners.”
The Surrey-based freight company has previously been involved in the Sydney Olympics 2000, Athens Olympics 2004, Asian Games Qatar 2006, Gulf Cup 2006, Melbourne Commonwealth Games 2006, Beijing Olympics 2008, Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 and the South Africa World Cup 2010.
“One of the more positive initiatives that has been put in place is an importation Customs procedure that allows equipment and material destined for temporary use at the games by family members to enter the country free of import duty and VAT, subject to the material leaving the country after the games, which will really help to speed up the Customs clearance process,” says Burrows.
Production Freight will also have to adhere to the stringent security procedures put in place for all vehicles heading into and out of the 34 games venues, and have been proactive in working with its overseas agents and partners to ensure they are aware of the rules and schedules required to have their freight delivered on time.
“We’re already dealing with enquiries from our overseas partners and it’s very important that we make them aware at the earliest opportunity to the specific requirements with shipping. From the information available to us contained in the official Locog Customs and freight manual, we have been able to help everyone in our network to get fully up to speed with what’s expected of them,” says Burrows.
The timing of the games will also instigate extra challenges with regards to the pre-booking and securing of equipment throughout the summer period. “All the annual events and festivals which happen in London and throughout the UK are still going ahead this year but there’s going to be an exponential demand for trucks, not only to service the summer of sport but also the preliminary events such as London Live in Hyde Park, and immediately prior to the games there’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and Euro 2012 football tournament. It’s going to be a busy summer for everyone in our business,” says Burrows.
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