The Summer Olympics Meets Logistics

Written By: Chris Bratten

Team Spirit Winner at the 2011 Indianapolis LogistXGames

Team Spirit Winner at the 2011 Indianapolis LogistXGames

In about two weeks, thousands of spectators will watch athletes from around the world compete in the 2012 summer Olympics in London. At the same time, a different type of summer games will take place right in our own backyard: the 2012 LogistXGames. Beginning in Louisville this Thusrday, teams of warehouse employees will put their unique skills to the test in hopes of moving on to the Global LogistXGames at the end of September.

These athletes and spectators might not match the Olympics’ numbers, but you better believe their enthusiasm and spirit are equally as intense! Teams from UPS, Zappos, Houston-Johnson (last year’s winner), and others will participate in four events to earn the Golden Pallet award, signifying the team’s authority in logistics.

The Louisville games were first conceived by Kevin Grove, senior vice president and partner for Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis’ Louisville office. It is a competition that aims to build camaraderie among team members, while allowing companies to interact with one another. The LogistXGames also give companies a unique opportunity to offer their employees a chance to participate in a fun and morale-boosting event, while organizers can network with other industry players and showcase properties.

The Pallet Jack Relay Sprint

The Pallet Jack Relay Sprint

During the games, “warehouse warriors” from each team compete in a variety of events to test their mettle in different areas of warehousing operations:

  1. Pallet Puzzle Sprint – A timed event in which three team members have to build, label, and palletize three different box sizes. A special team-decorated box must also be carefully packed with three bottles of liquor and two different packaging materials to be placed on the top of the pallet.
  2. Pallet Jack Relay Sprint – Teams use a pallet jack to thread their freshly built pallet of boxes through an obstacle course in a quest to record the fastest time.
  3. Pick Pack Hurdle – With the help of a putaway list, teams must sort their labeled boxes to locations within a wall of pallet rack. Teams are judged based on the accuracy of their putaways.
  4. Box Put – Those liquor bottles are in for a ride when competitors have to toss their team-decorated box as far as they can! A distance penalty is assessed for each bottle found broken.
Teams showing their spirit at the 2011 LogistXGames

Teams showing their spirit at the 2011 LogistXGames

To further promote logistics, the games will travel to three additional cities before returning to Louisville on September 28th for the final Global Games in which the three top-performing teams from the regional events will compete. The next three LogistXGames will be held in:

  • Atlanta – July 27
  • Cincinnati – August 16
  • Indianapolis – August 24

So while you’re watching the Olympics this summer, consider coming out and cheering on the teams competing in the 2012 LogistXGames. There will be music, dancing, cheering, and lots of excitement. It is truly a unique and fun experience that showcases the significance of logistics and the people behind it.

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