Krige Schabort is a six-time Paralympian, an Ironman triathlon record-breaker, a 5-time Falmouth Road Race wheelchair division champion, and the winner of numerous marathon world championships medals. He’s won an Espy and is widely recognized as an elite athlete.
As president of Able Sport, Schabort is also a DB Schenker customer who relies on the global logistics provider to ship his company’s products to athletes around the world. An extremely accomplished individual both on and off the race course, Schabort lost his legs in 1987 during the South African Border War when a bomb exploded just six feet away from him.
Now, he’s putting advanced racing equipment into the hands of disabled racers who need those products to be able to compete in and win races. Located worldwide, his customer base includes individuals, organizations, and countries like Argentina and China, both of which have current orders in the pipeline for multiple sets of racing chairs and wheels.
A Quick Pivot
Having previously owned a wheelchair manufacturing firm, Schabort shifted gears in 2017 and started making equipment for athletes with disabilities. Today, Able Sport makes racing chairs, wheels, and the travel boxes used to ship that equipment to and from races.
“My customers want their equipment on time and in good shape,” says Schabort. “I always try my best to live up to those expectations.” When Able Sport’s previous logistics provider was unable to get a shipment to a customer in Israel within a workable budget, Schabort knew it was time to align with a new logistics partner.
“That shipment to Israel was just too expensive,” says Schabort. “We couldn’t make it work.”
The customer stepped in to help, and pointed Schabort to DB Schenker as a viable alternative.
“DB Schenker called me, organized a pickup date, and got the shipment to my customer on time and within budget,” he recalls.
With that problem behind him, Schabort realized the new logistics provider would be a great partner for all of Able Sport’s export and import shipments. “At that point, I started moving all of my business over to DB Schenker,” says Schabort.
Initially that meant managing only exports of racing wheelchairs, which are manufactured by Top End. “We’re Top End’s biggest sellers of racing wheelchairs,” he adds, “and we ship their equipment all over the world.” Over time, Schabort has shifted all of his company’s import and export logistics over to DB Schenker.
In another example of how Able Sport’s previous provider was unable to meet its needs, the company packed and shipped two wheelchairs for transport to two different customer in France. By the time the shipments arrived at their destinations, they’d been mixed up and sent to the wrong recipients.
Schabort had to step in and work quickly to fix the problem. “Those are the kinds of mistakes that I’m not at all concerned about now,” he says, “with DB Schenker handling the end-to-end process.”
A Win-Win Situation
Schabort especially likes the high levels of customer service and prompt attention that DB Schenker provides. “I just leave it to DB Schenker,” says Schabort. “They handle all of my importing and customs clearance, which I thankfully don’t ever have to worry about.”
He also likes the prompt attention paid to his email requests—a “plus” that allows him to go about his busy day without worrying about having to retrace his steps and follow up later. “I send them a request for quote via email, I get an immediate reply and then a prompt response to my request,” says Schabort, who didn’t get that level of attention from his previous logistics company.
Because many of Able Sport’s shipments are large and bulky (e.g., including boxes up to 70 inches in length), freight costs were also a constant concern. That issue was solved when Able Sport began working with DB Schenker. “Compared to the service I was using previously, DB Schenker’s pricing and service are both better,” says Schabort. “It’s been a win-win situation for us.”
A Winning Approach
In 2020, Able Sport began making and selling its own line of travel cases and carbon fiber racing wheels. Right now, he’s developed a line of training rollers (which athletes use to train indoors) and specialized gloves used for training and racing.
“It looks as if COVID is going to keep us indoors for a bit longer,” says Schabort, “so we came up with some products that support more indoor, Zoom-based training and racing.”
Eager to launch a few more products by the end of the year and ready to resume his typical travel schedule, Schabort says he’ll be resting easy, knowing that DB Schenker is handling the logistics and transportation for Able Sport’s inbound and outbound shipments.