Tuesday 6th Dec 2016 - Logistics Manager

UPS takes on the Olympic bed-making challenge

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Half of the athletes’ apartments for the London 2012 Olympics have already been fully furnished, with 117 days to go, and the entire village due to be completed by May, according to UPS which is responsible for the event logistics.

Alan Williams, director, London 2012 sponsorship & operations at UPS, showed Logistics Manager reporter Johanna Parsons around the Olympic village this morning.

2,818 apartments will house some 16,000 athletes and team officials during the games, with all furniture assembles, delivered and installed by UPS. This includes 9,000 wardrobes, 11,000 sofas and 16,000 beds including around 5,000 extendable beds, for taller athletes.

The assembly of flat pack furniture was originally planned to take place in basement areas on the site, however as the apartment blocks were built UPS realised access would not be adequate. So instead, assembly takes place in UPS’s Tilbury warehouse.

This task has employed 40 staff since November, and another 40 staff are now moving the furniture in.

UPS shipped the furniture from China, and is also moving it to the games site along the river, reducing the carbon emission of transport.

Each apartment will house between one and eight athletes, with one or two beds per room, and one to three bathrooms. This is the first games where apartments include a lounge area.
Each apartment will also include 32 inch TVs from Panasonic and BT’s infinity broadband. 

23337 Jonathan Edwards tries out an Olympic bed

Each apartment will also include 32 inch TVs from Panasonic and BT’s infinity broadband.

Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards, chair of LOCOG’s athlete’s committee said: “Our focus at the athletes’ committee is to ensure the village provides the comfort and convenience needed by modern performance athletes.” He added that blackout curtains were a priority for athletes, as well as space to stow away suitcases, which prompted a change to the initial design of the beds.

Rooms will be allocated according to the size of the teams.