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Chequered Flag for Savino in ‘The Race Behind The Dakar Rally’

While Giniel de Villiers received the plaudits in Santiago, Chile for his stunning 2nd overall on the 2013 Dakar Rally, a new race was about to get underway; returning the entire Toyota Motorsport operation back to Buenos Aires within 24 hours to meet the departure deadline of the chartered ship back to Europe and the South African Airways flight to South Africa.

This is where the expertise of Savino Del Bene SA, part of a global logistics and forwarding Group came to the fore.  Specialised pallets to accommodate the three Toyota Hilux racers were sent from Argentina to Chile to pack the racers for their homeward journey and support trucks with six tonnes of spares had to cross 1500km in an overnight race against time to be unloaded into containers bound for SA. The trucks were loaded onto the ship.   Each operation had to meet differing, multiple country’s customs and excise requirements.

The knowledge and experience that Savino Del Bene has accumulated during more than a century of moving goods around the globe made the South Africa – Argentina – Peru – Chile – Argentina round-trip a cinch for Toyota Motorsport… a trip where planning started in August 2012.

It is an operation that Savino Del Bene and Hallspeed, operators of Toyota Motorsport, have got down to a fine art.  1300 different parts have to be weighed, measured and packed under the watchful eye of customs officials.  Every box, tool cabinet and crate has to be correctly labeled.  Any discrepancy can lead to valuable equipment being confiscated by the authorities at any of the border crossings encountered.

“We pride ourselves on doing everything right the first time with our intimate knowledge of the customs documents and formats of every country where we do business”, says Johan Augustyn, Air Products Manager at SDB South Africa.
In spite of months of planning, which is a major team effort within Savino Del Bene the unexpected can still happen.  When the valuable cargo arrived in Argentina, the plane for the connecting flight to Lima, Peru was unable to accommodate the vehicles and containers of parts.

Undaunted, Savino Del Bene located suitable road transport for the 4500km, 10-day trip to Lima while Toyota sent two personnel to fit wheels to the three Hiluxes to drive them onto the carrier truck.  (The race vehicles are loaded onto specialised pallets without wheels and shock-absorbers).

The Dakar organisers appointed Waiver Logistics to handle on-event border crossings and they facilitated SDB’s moving parts around the route as required with a pre-arranged ‘open border’ policy for the race.

“It is a combination of communication, experience, knowledge and diligence that ensured that no VAT or duties were imposed by any customs authority we encountered and all deposits paid were refunded in full”, added Augustyn.

Savino Del Bene prepared eight drafts of the export documents as the Toyota team’s requirements changed up to the last minute and this attention to detail made the difference in getting the entire Toyota Motorsport operation in place and on time under massive pressure and scrutiny from the global media.

Glyn Hall, Toyota Motorsport Team manager said in his post event letter of appraisal: “I am privileged to have Savino as a service provider for our company. You [Johann] have personally made a difference and your involvement and effort does not go unnoticed. All this being said, you pulled through when we most needed extra help and we thank you for making a difference. You are a part of our success as well as a great contributor towards bringing the trophy home. This is not only an achievement for Toyota, Hallspeed and our sponsors, but also for South Africa.  Well done Savino and thank you for being a part of our team and our success”.

Glyn Hall was awarded the Colin Watling Award by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists last night. The award recognises special achievement in motor sport by someone other than a competitor.  Giniel de Villiers received the Bridgestone Motor Sportsman of the Year award for 2012 in Johannesburg for his third overall and first in class Dakar 2012.

Date: 26 Mar 2013

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