A logistical challenge: Presenting Austrian specialties at the Figure Skating Championships in Minsk!

As next year’s host city, Graz hoped to score with the crowd at the European Figure Skating Championships in Minsk by offering authentic Styrian specialties. But, considering the numerous customs-related hurdles and sanction-related difficulties, the task was anything but simple.

From the 21st to the 27th of January 2019, the Figure Skating Championships took place in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Graz, Austria will host the next European Championships in 2020 and naturally wanted to present itself in the best light possible at this year’s championships. Thanks to the superb quality of Austrian culinary specialties, they chose to offer regional Styrian chocolate, wine, speck, pumpkin seed oil and other such delicacies for this very purpose. However, that such an undertaking would prove to be complex was not immediately obvious. That is why the Austrian Ice-Skating Association decided to order the delivery on very short notice and wish that it be cost-effective as well.

But the challenges were, indeed, manifold:

  • Firstly, an efficient transport route via Moscow and distribution from there is not possible due to Russia’s food sanctions against the EU.
  • Moreover, different food types must be processed at different customs offices. For example, wine, which is subject to excise duty and requires a license to import, can only be processed by a certain number of customs offices for clearance.
  • Additionally, parts of the delivery were sensitive to temperature and therefore had to be transported refrigerated, others had to be sent using the quickest route possible, meaning by air freight in transport boxes that we especially custom-made for this purpose.

As such, the entire order had to be split up into three partial deliveries – and that in a very short time – and then re-grouped in Minsk, where it made it just in time thanks to being granted permission to directly deliver to the stadium!

All’s well that ends well! Graz presented itself as a worthy next venue at the European Championships. We wish the Austrian athletes successful training and preparation for this event and great results at the European Championship 2020!

  1. The Task
    Cost-effective and quick delivery of Styrian specialty goods to the European Ice-Skating Championships in Minsk for Graz’s presentation as upcoming host in 2020.
  2. The Challenge
    Timely delivery to the stadium, despite multiple hurdles due to varying requirements for customs clearance as well as sanctions for foodstuffs.
  3. The Solution
    Division of the goods into three partial deliveries, different transport routes, separate customs clearance and consolidation in Minsk for pre-approved delivery in the Stadium.

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