SVG Europe Sit-Down: SOS Global’s Michael Tenenbaum on transportation practicalities and future event preparations
Formed in 1986, SOS Global is an owner-operated, worldwide logistics and transportation service provider. Its operations are coordinated from two international hubs located in North Carolina, USA and Hamburg, Germany. From there, a network of event logistics partners around the globe is controlled. According to Michael Tenenbaum, managing director of SOS Global GmbH, the company’s strength lies mainly in its appetite for challenges, and a passion for the extraordinary…
Can you tell us a little about your operation and the scope of your services?
SOS Global is a logistics company that operates globally providing specialised and flexible transportation solutions to the broadcast and media industry. Our worldwide team of 150 is split amongst our offices in the Germany, United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil and the USA. Our team routinely coordinates ATA Carnets, air and ocean freight, customs clearance and turnkey logistics solutions for major sporting events, tours, shows and exhibitions – having begun in 1986.
Why should clients use your services, rather than do it themselves?
Our clients often come to us for our experience and flexibility. Logistics for shows and major events require a level of expertise that most general freight forwarders do not possess. Our team has over 30 years of experience handling
SOS prides itself on selecting quality partners who can work at the standards we demand and our customers have come to expect. We have developed an extensive network of trusted partners worldwide who specialise in the same core competencies as SOS over the past 30 plus years
Our teams worldwide also work 24/7/365 and provide experienced onsite project managers at all major events to take care of ‘all things logistics’.
Last, SOS has considerable buying power in the market allowing us to pass on savings to our customers while still maintaining an excellent level of service.
What, in particular can you offer broadcast/production clients?
Our strength has always been strong customer service, flexibility and experience since we began the company in 1986. We offer the complete package from budget preparation to final execution with 30 years working within the broadcast industry.
What information do you need from clients to ensure they receive the most efficient service?
First and foremost, we listen to our customers to learn their individual challenges and what they consider most important for any particular job. With this in hand, we can determine the most cost-effective mode of transport for that job.
Are there any areas of the world that require extra time in order to ensure consignments arrive on time?
Every area of the world has its unique challenges. Countries that accept the ATA Carnet system for events and shows tend to be the easiest. Other countries that require ‘import bonds’ versus Carnets can be more challenging but no so much that we have found in 30 years. The key is to have people and partners that understand the temporary import nature of the broadcast business and SOS has developed these people and partners in every corner of the world.
Any future plans you can discuss?
Our teams are currently in the midst of 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the precursor to the more expansive World Cup in 2018. While small in scale compared to the World Cup, it is a great proving ground for broadcasters to test equipment and learn the lay of the land. It provides us as logistics provider a time to test special customs procedures that are put into effect for these major events.
At the same time, SOS Global has a team of project managers in South Korea that are actively preparing for and already handling many early shipments for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. We have begun to deliver over 300 containers that moved directly from Rio2016 Games. We are also helping many rights holders and their vendors prepare for equipment moves later this year to PyeongChang.
Both projects rely on professionals based in Korea, Europe and North America who help coordinate around the clock.