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Industry Insight

Logistics services for the fitness sector

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Professionally transporting and assembling fitness equipment

A fitness studio is just about to open. All that is missing are the new exercise machines. They need to be delivered quickly and assembled professionally. How can this be successfully achieved? By using full-service partners, who are responsible for the complete project management work. Trained employees take care of installing the units at their final place of use. This creates a detailed supply chain that meets the highest quality standards.

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Fitness logistics at a glance

  • How the digital transformation is changing the logistical needs of the fitness industry
  • What matters when transporting, assembling and installing sensitive equipment
  • What kind of role expertise plays in expert delivery
  • What kind of vehicle equipment is important for safe delivery
  • What advantages professional logistical support gives you

Best practice

Learn how a logistics specialist streamlined processes for a digital training solutions provider by taking over distribution and assembly of its fitness equipment.

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Interview

Digital trends have revolutionised the fitness market and sports equipment. In this interview, Sven Markus reports on how Rhenus Sports Tech can support customers logistically.

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The fitness sector is undergoing a boom. The numbers of gyms and members have been growing for many years and even the Covid-19 pandemic has only created a temporary decline. People know how important working out is for their physical and emotional health and want to strengthen their immune system. Whether the delivery involves a single treadmill or a complete circuit with several exercise machines – complex logistics processes are required before everything can be installed and is ready for people to use them.

High expectations for logistics specialists

It all starts with the manufacturer or retailer of large exercise equipment. It receives the order to equip several floors of a fitness studio in Munich with exercise machines, for example. However, a physiotherapy practice in Hamburg wants deliveries of new equipment at the same time. Tight schedules are commonplace in this sector. Logistics specialists often have to dispatch large numbers of units to different destinations at the same time. The consignments, however, are valuable and must not be damaged under any circumstances.

After all, just one treadmill in the premium segment is worth about EUR 15,000. Many manufacturers offer a defined number of exercise machines and their total value can quickly add up to EUR 100,000. Logistics specialists therefore not only have to transport this high-value cargo reliably, but also ensure that it remains undamaged and protected.

Back to our order in Munich. The gym is located right in the city centre and the premises can only be reached via a staircase. The customer wants the items to be sent and delivered to their place of use, that is to say, to their final point of use. It is also necessary to assemble and install the units and provide instructions for the gym team. The physiotherapy practice in Hamburg needs a training unit which has to be assembled at the site, installed and connected to the Internet within the next two days. The workout machine manufacturer therefore has the task of perfectly coordinating the orders and meeting the recipients’ high standards in the best possible way. How can it cope with this challenge?

Transporting sensitive machines

Every customer is different. This means that the underlying conditions for logistics partners will not be the same either. Their services and tasks go far beyond those of a simple freight forwarder, who simply picks up and transports the goods.

While some exercise device manufacturers produce the power machines after the order has been received, other ones operate an extensive warehouse. On one occasion, the delivery may only involve individual machines, while, on another occasion, the entire equipment for a gym is required – and this may possibly include special electronics and sensitive displays.

Experienced logistics services providers secure the valuable cargo using special equipment. Box trucks lined with felt, with air suspension, offer the best possible protection of the goods, for example. The exercise machines are carefully unloaded at the destination. Installation teams transport them to their final position and remove them from the pallet. Floors and fittings have to be protected from any damage and scratches while this is taking place.

Transportation in line with individual requirements

Depending on the situation at the site, transport services are provided using large trucks or several smaller vehicles. The latter are more suitable if there is little space available to manoeuvre or unload the materials. Rhenus asks questions about the general conditions at the site in advance or even conducts a local inspection.

„Standardised processes according to a particular scheme don’t create the desired effects in the fitness sector. Instead, tailor-made solutions and individuality are key.“
Sven Markus | Managing Director of Rhenus Sports Tech

Rhenus Sports Tech has specialised in the field of fitness, wellness and health as a technical value-added logistics provider. The company is a subsidiary of Rhenus High Tech and is a member of the Rhenus Group. The expert firm handles the complete roll-out of equipment and offers full services, which not only include transporting units to their place of use, but also warehousing as well as assembling, installing and maintaining the gym equipment.

Trained personnel have all the intricate skills required

The logistics specialist makes use of trained personnel to assemble the equipment professionally. The employees attend courses at the company’s own training academy and are therefore able to continually expand their specialist knowledge.

„We use installation teams who have many years of experience and who apply their skills in the best possible way.“
Sven Markus | Managing Director of Rhenus Sports Tech

This creates the shortest possible set-up times and achieves enormous benefits for the assembly of complex products. If there are no handling instructions to assist with the assembly work, the logistics expert draws them up in close cooperation with the customer.

One contact partner for the complete supply chain

If necessary, Rhenus Sports Tech also handles the equipment maintenance and repair work. For one customer, the technical value-added logistics specialist is responsible for the complete spare parts logistics for the German-speaking world, for example. Rhenus Sports Tech may store the spare parts or the equipment manufacturer can send them directly to its end customer. The service technician from Rhenus Sports Tech then often performs the necessary work locally.

The high-tech logistics specialists guarantee absolutely trouble-free operations – whether they are shipping a single unit, a complete set of new equipment or even moving an entire gym. They assume complete responsibility for the project. Rhenus Sports Tech sets up a so-called control tower for this purpose: a team coordinates all the operations and communicates with the customer. The tasks may range from obtaining the best possible transport service and tracking the consignment on the Internet to professional installation work, and may even include organising training sessions for the installation teams.

Tailor-made logistics for distribution across Europe

„We focus on reliability and quality. We identify with the products and deliberately adapt to suit our customers’ needs.“
Sven Markus | Managing Director of Rhenus Sports Tech

For example, Rhenus Sports Tech operates one of the largest warehouses in the fitness sector for one customer; it measures 8,000 square metres. This complements the reliable technical distribution network services in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

And the logistics specialist can help even when things need to happen particularly quickly.  

„If a customer phones us because gym equipment is required at short notice for the opening of a fitness studio, we can handle the task.“
Sven Markus | Managing Director of Rhenus Sports Tech

The value-added logistics specialist can also deliver large numbers of items safely and reliably. For instance, all 90 studios of a fitness chain in Germany were supplied with a total of 160 machines within two weeks. Whether it is the physiotherapy practice in Hamburg or the gym in the centre of Munich – the right logistics partner ensures that the fitness equipment is transported smoothly and installed professionally, even in very tough conditions – and all at clearly calculable costs.

In a nutshell

Rhenus Sports Tech offers tailor-made logistics solutions for the fitness sector. They include warehousing, assembly, transportation, installation and maintenance work.

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Rhenus Sports Tech has already transported and installed more than 6,000 exercise machines for the manufacturer EGYM. Discover more about this in our best practice.

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Interview: Sven Markus, Managing Director of Rhenus Sports Tech, talks about the challenges and advantages of professional logistics services for the fitness sector.

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