FIRST PUBLISHED AT INSIDE BUSINESS
The spirited representatives from QVC cheer on their teammates.
Pallet puzzle spring. Pallet jack relay. Peaklogix pick/pack hurdle. The box put.
No, these are not new Olympic sports or tongue-twister phrases, but contests at the fifth annual LogistXGames.
Panattoni Development Co. and CBRE Hampton Roads hosted the June 7 event in a warehouse at the Virginia Regional Commerce Park in Suffolk.
With over 30 sponsors and 12 competing teams, the games were an opportunity to bring members of the regional logistics community together for competition and camaraderie. It was also a successful fundraiser, with $33,000 brought in this year. That brings the total raised to more than $100,000 total since the event’s founding.
The money raised from sponsorships is divided between Paul D. Camp Community College Foundation and Tidewater Community College Educational Foundation to support scholarships for logistics workforce development programs. Stephanie Gorham of TCC said the college uses its proceeds to support veterans going through truck driving school.
“It’s unique to use sponsorship to raise scholarship money,” Gorham said. “The warehouses talk it up each year, and through word of mouth new teams come in.”
This year’s teams of logistics and maritime industry workers were: Damco, Lineage, Expeditors, The Port of Virginia, Keurig Green Mountain, Target, QVC, Tidewater Staffing, CBRE, Remedy, World Market and defending champion Givens.
Lang Williams of CBRE, the co-founder and co-chairman of the games, kicked off the event by addressing hundreds of excited competitors. Many were decked out in their corporate colors, with pom-poms and posters in hand.
“It makes me proud we have such a community, and such great people,” Williams said.
The first event – the pallet puzzle sprint – involved teams of three who had to fold, pack and stack about 50 boxes as fast as possible.
The pallet jack relay followed. In that event, skilled workers glided across the warehouse floor pulling jacks around staged obstacles, stacks of boxes in tow. Next up was the hurdle and the box put, where competitors sprinted to shelves, placing items in their proper locations.
With each event, the teams acted with intensity, and the crowd cheered.
Lesley Silva of QVC said the team spirit and energy are what she loves about the event, “Some of us play the games, some of us are in the spirit squad.”
Williams, perhaps, had the most spirit of anyone. Besides taking the lead in planning the event, alongside Scott Flanders of ACE Hardware and their executive committee, he also served as announcer, judge and hype-man.
The first LogistiXGames was conceived in 2007 by a CBRE counterpart in Louisville, Kentucky. The event has since spread to locations across the East Coast.
Williams said the regional event highlights an important segment of the workforce.
“Key leaders from major logistics employers, economic development and service providers have come together to promote the logistics workforce and highlight the importance of supply chain and logistics to our economy,” he said.
“All the goods we consume flow through the supply chain,” Williams said. “The games raise awareness in support of the industry.”
And from a human resources standpoint, he said employers get to reward their staff and foster company spirit. Target and a few other sponsor companies even have a lottery to participate.
So who were this year’s best logistics crews?
Givens held onto its first place title. Keurig Green Mountain came in second and Damco claimed third.