Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Le Mans Highlights the Talents of Shrewd Freight and Logistics Group Without Sponsorship

Kudos from Customers Which Recognise Ability of Air Cargo Carrier's Consistent Service
Shipping News Feature

US – UK – FRANCE – There are very few of the major players in the freight and logistics community which can resist the lure of having their name associated with a high profile sports brand, often tempted by the glamorous side of competition, ocean racing, Formula 1 etc. The best way however, rather than spending a packet on sponsorship, is to move the equipment required, resulting in both the kudos by association and, hopefully a profit, and one company that seems to have the balance right is air carrier Virgin Atlantic Cargo.

A solid reputation for moving high-value, prestige and motorsport cars made Virgin Atlantic the perfect airline partner to support Corvette Racing's bid to win the 83rd running of the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race in France. The airline teamed up with motorsport freight forwarding specialists first-air to organise the delivery of two Chevrolet Corvette CR.7 cars and 16 tonnes of equipment and spare parts from Chicago to London on their journey to the French town of Le Mans, which has hosted the world famous race since 1923.

The movement was contracted by first-air who saw the cars travel from the headquarters of Pratt & Miller Engineering in Hudson, Michigan, to London on board Virgin Atlantic's daily services from Chicago to Heathrow. Russell Smith, Motor Sports Logistics Manager at first-air, said:

"We have a fantastic working relationship with the Virgin Atlantic team. We’ve worked together virtually since Virgin was born over 30 years ago because we know we'll always get the job done right. Virgin supervised the loading and unloading of the cars and equipment and as always made sure everything arrived safely and on-time when we needed it. We also flew a further five Le Mans racing cars on Virgin's Orlando service back in March and again experienced an excellent service."

The first practice and qualifying sessions for Le Mans 2015, were scheduled to begin on June 11 in preparation for the race itself on June 13-14. The '24 Hours of Le Mans' is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing and is recognised all over the world as the 'Grand Prix' of endurance and efficiency. Racing teams have to balance the speed of their cars and the management of consumables such as fuel, tyres and braking materials with the ability to race for 24 hours. John Lloyd, Senior Vice President Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, observed:

"We have considerable expertise in moving cars for private owners and racing teams all over the world, working alongside specialist partners such as first-air. With victories in two of sports car racing's biggest events already in 2015, we're hoping Corvette Racing will continue their winning streak in Le Mans. With the recent addition of Detroit to our U.S. Midwest flight network alongside Chicago, we hope to increase our long association with the automotive industry in the region and moving such prestigious racing cars as the Chevrolet Corvette CR.7 is one of the best ways to show our capability."