TO BE clear from the outset, this is no ordinary race car.

Porsche joined forces with DB Schenker for the vital logistics component of the GT4 e-Performance prototype demo tour.

The GT4 e-Performance is an all-electric race car, and one of only two of its kind in existence. The sustainability of the vehicle’s global tour would therefore need to align with the sustainability of the vehicle itself.

DB Schenker is providing sustainable logistics services for the GT4 e-Performance Tour. DB Schenker’s head office in Germany organised the logistics of the tour, and when the car reached the Australian leg of the journey this year, DB Schenker Australia and New Zealand took the wheel.


The demo tour, which began in 2022, has led the GT4 e-Performance through North America, Asia and Oceania. By the time it reached Sydney in March, it had travelled some 40,000 kilometres.

Ocean-freight voyages have so far outnumbered air-freight movements, with marine biofuel used on the majority of voyages at the time of writing. The main ocean carriers involved were CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and COSCO.

Where sea freight isn’t an option, DB Schenker has opted for cargo flights using SAF. On land, greener solutions were used when practical, including emissions-free rail freight and electric trucks.

DB Schenker Australia and New Zealand Cluster CEO Craig Davison said maritime transportation was the preferred option where available for several reasons, including sustainability and practicality.

“There’s a balance of time, cost and the fuels that can be used,” he told DCN.

“Availability of space to put vehicles on an aircraft is limited to locations as well. Depending on the airline and depending on the aircraft there is a limit to the cargo and capacity that it can take. So, it’s trying to get that right balance; there’s no perfect mix.”

The electric nature of the vehicle also narrowed down the options in some instances, because electric (lithium-ion) batteries – even in a race car – must be treated cautiously in the supply chain.

Mr Davison said some air freight carriers won’t transport electric batteries at all.

“There are rules and regulations around how they’re transported and how they’re handled. And that’s part of the process with loading and unloading [the vehicle] as well, to make sure there are no issues.”


DB Schenker has a Fairs, Events, and Special Logistics division which specialises in projects of this kind.

The local branch of the company said transporting the GT4 e-Performance was an exciting challenge it was well prepared for. But sustainable logistics is only one part of that challenge. The company also needs to ensure the safe transportation of this high-value cargo.

The GT4 e-Performance is transported in a custom-designed container, with strong guidelines ensuring the cargo is transported and handled with utmost care. For example, four people are required to wheel the vehicle in and out of the container.

“As a comparison, when there’s a shortage of ro-ro and we end up putting vehicles into containers for customers, we might put two or three [cars] into a single container,” Mr Davison said, adding that this is typically a two-person operation.

He also highlighted the special fit-out and interior of the container. It is also equipped with tilt-tracking.

“It’s got additional padding and whatnot, but it’s also got to be seaworthy. You still get a little bit of salt air and so forth, so it seals it off and makes sure that you’ve got that protective layer on the inside.” The company also works with Porsche to overcome scheduling challenges, with DB Schenker needing to adapt quickly to changes in the program and route. A centralised team in Germany, known as the control tower, was available with 24/7 oversight of the project. It uses tracking technology to follow the car’s journey in real-time – a feature available to all DB Schenker customers.

“The routes that it’s been on have been pretty straightforward routes, so they’re not too complex; we’re able to look at the average sailing times and any complications,” Mr Davison said.

He noted it’s more than sustainability that connects DB Schenker with Porsche on this journey.

“It’s one German icon carrying another,” he said.

This article appeared in the May 2024 edition of DCN Magazine