Over the vuvuzelas, noisemakers and a French horn (?!) you could hear the many chants “GEEK – SQUAD! GEEK – SQUAD! SU-BA-RU! SU-BA-RU! BEL-KIN! BEL-KIN! U-P-S! U-P-S!” as 12 teams representing three different cities–Louisville, Indianapolis and Cincinnati–prepared to face off in the Global LogistXGames held September 16 in Louisville, Ky. The teams competed in four events to determine the top three teams overall.
In the Pallet Puzzle Sprint, teams assemble and label three different sizes of boxes and stack them onto a pallet. In a separate box–that each team decorates in advance and brings with them to the event–glass liquor bottles are carefully packaged using materials provided. This last box is placed on top of the pallet. The team with the quickest time wins.
The Pallet Jack Relay has contestants using a pallet jack to navigate an obstacle course with the pallet they built in event #1. The goal is speed and keeping boxes on your pallet. Building a smart pallet in event #1 pays off here! If a box falls off, you must stop and replace it on the pallet before continuing.
Pick Pack Hurdle involves taking the boxes off of the pallet and looking them up on putaway lists to identify a specific location within the sections of rack to place the box. Being quick is important but you also want to make sure you get the box into the correct location.
Since it takes a while for the judges/referees to verify the placement of the boxes, it is time for food and entertainment. The dancing during this “intermission” seems to be almost another event; although in this one, there is no competition, just lots of fun and camaraderie by all the logistics workers.
The final event of the day, Box Put, involved taking that box of carefully packaged breakable bottles and tossing it as far as possible over a group of pallets and hoping that all the bottles survived in one piece. Yes, the floor does require some mopping up in between tosses.
In the end Promax Automotive from Cincinnati took home the Golden Pallet and a very large trophy topped with a pallet jack. It was a close battle for second and third place with Houston-Johnson Inc. of Louisville taking second and Reebok of Indianapolis taking home the third place trophy. It was also a close call on the Spirit Award and in the end it was shared by two well deserving teams, Geek Squad and Belkin.