GNCTR Shipping Info

Welcome GNCTR teams once again!

Logistics Decisions would like to thank the GNCTR Committee for the honour of being selected, once again, as the “Recommended Shipper” for this year’s GNCTR events. Logistics Decisions will be responsible for the transportation of Concrete Toboggans from all universities in Canada and the USA to and from this year’s GNCTR.

Logistics Decisions has been shipping Concrete toboggans to GNCTR since 2003. Our President, Tim Quinlan, is an enthusiastic fan, sponsor and supporter of GNCTR each year. Tim and his son Adam Quinlan personally plan every step of GNCTR Logistics, then they travel to each GNCTR to ensure each step goes as planned. Physically witnessing all GNCTR events every year has given Logistics Decisions a level of understanding that competitors simply don’t have access to from their desks in distant head offices. Tim and Adam are always searching for innovative ideas to make the transportation at all GNCTR events smooth and seamless. Their commitment, dedication and personal on-site experience guarantee that teams will enjoy worry-free transportation to the top of each mountain and safely back home, year after year.

Hello again Captains and all team members:

Every autumn I get excited about our upcoming GNCTR. As a father of 2 Engineers, I know how hard Engineering students work. This year’s GNCTR promises to be “off the hook” and a welcome break for all of us. You deserve this. Enjoy!

There are 2 reasons that committees name Logistics Decisions as their RECOMMENDED GNCTR SHIPPER year after year, as opposed to our competition:

  1. We give a damn. SHIPPING for GNCTR IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT. GNCTR DOESN’T FIT INTO A BIG CARRIER’S “MOLD” and huge national carriers force shippers to fit into their mold and ship THEIR WAY. To them, your sled is just another 9-digit pro number on their screen. At Logistics Decisions, you’re on a first name basis with us 24/7. We met members of your team face to face at last year’s GNCTR. We pioneered specific GNCTR “fool-proof” steps that eliminate common shipping mistakes, so your sled delivers safely on time. Unlike big truck companies, we got your back. We give a damn.
  2. CONSTANT CHANGE: Every GNCTR is unique. So is shipping your team’s sled: There are different hosting universities, different crate dimensions, pickup locations, warehouses, new Tech Ex locations, varying rules at each Race Hill… and often new Team Captains and teammates. Last year’s captains might have graduated and moved on, but their experience from previous GNCTR’s IS NOT LOSTbecause I was there with them, year after year. I was at every TechEX, every Race Hill, every secret Texas Mickey meeting. I was there, every time. I know exactly what to do and what not to do. I’m there for each one of you. I may be the only thing at GNCTR every year that is not new.

NOBODY knows GNCTR like we do. We’ll look after you. I’ll make sure your sled arrives in perfect condition because, after all, yours might be the one providing my annual honorary ride down the race hill after the last race.

I can’t wait to see you there.


Logistics Decisions Inc.
2211 Brant Street Unit 20031 Burlington ON L7P 0A4
Phone:905-331-8900 Fax:905-854-5426 Toll Free:1-877-239-9669 Cell: 1-416-919-8900 Twitter: @TquinlanTim Facebook Messenger: tim.quinlan.779

At Logistics Decisions, our shipping methods were designed specifically for GNCTR. These are the extra steps Logistics Decisions pioneered, that no other carrier will do, each one created to ensure worry-free, reliable transport for GNCTR teams:

  1. Advance email and phone communication to each university’s shipping dock staff and team captains.
  2. Comprehensive shipping Rate Quote from your university to and from the hosting GNCTR destination, based on your team’s crate size and weight (Sample Rate Quote).
  3. We advise team captains about successful packaging methods, how to construct their crates, or what tools teams will need to open /close your crates at events and for the return trip back home afterward.
  4. We contact your university shippers to understand the details at your pick-up location, to avoid costly surprises at pickup (No Surprise Checklist).
  5. We communicate with team captains before pickup, so teams can make plans to help load or arrange loading equipment if required at your university.
  6. We arrange a deadline pick-up date to ensure timely arrival of their sleds, budgeting a few days extra in case of floods, avalanches, human error, or in case a team needs an extra production day.
  7. We send university shipping departments and captains a completed bill of lading in advance, so they know what truck is coming to pick up or deliver and when. See attached Bill of Lading.
  8. We provide drivers in writing all details with your crate and your specific shipping instructions, to ensure a smooth pickup and delivery (Carrier Confirmation Form) with no unexpected extra costs.
  9. We ship your crate to the GNCTR hosting city, to Tech Ex, to a local warehouse, up to the top of the snowy Mountaintop Race Hill on a Saturday and back to your university, always on time.
  10. We provide safe indoor warehousing prior to the events so your crates can arrive well in advance, at no cost to teams. This provides a 1 week safety net that insulates your team from unexpected delays, like weather or any other problems.
  11. We check on your crate daily and fix any problems along the way, and report to captains of any delays (such as floods, avalanches, rail derailments, etc.)
  12. Pre-alerting the warehouse as to the ETA’s of each sled, in advance of your crate’s delivery date.
  13. We update all captains once delivery is made by sending an Automatic Delivery Notice.
  14. We invite your questions and post answers on the FAQ page to share solutions with all teams.
  15. We make pickup and delivery appointments at your university so captains and university shipping staff know when we’re picking up and delivering. This helps teams prepare and avoid extra cost or delays.
  16. Your GNCTR committee’s website is linked directly to the Q&A and Shipping Info on our site.
  1. The bills of lading that I email every Team Captain must be taped securely onto each crate, copies on all 4 sides inside plastic 8×11 sheet are ideal.
  2. Remember to bring the RETURN bills of ladings with you for the trip back home. Remove and replace the old BOL’s WITH THE RETURN BOLS after the race.
  3. Every university must spray paint their university name and city onto ALL 4 SIDES AND THE TOP OF THE CRATE.
  4. Teams are advised to ALSO SPRAY PAINT “HEAVY END” onto the heaviest end. Like picking up an old TV from behind, it always falls forward. The heavy end must be closest to the forklift. These markings should go on the TOP and SIDE of the heavy end of the crate.
  5. Every university should label their actual sleds, not just their crate, like a sticky label directly onto your sled itself, identifying the university, in case your sled gets separated from your crate
  6. Build your crate base so that a fork lift can lift it from all 4 sides, not just 2, so you can unload easier in every situation.
  7. DO NOT ATTACH WHEELS or casters under your crate. They cause safety problems on trucks. The TechEX host may have dollies or the committee may rent them. No wheels under crates anymore.
  8. Put things you don’t want to travel with like helmets, boots, winter racewear inside the crate. Nothing must be loose, so tie it down.
  9. Carry tools with you to use to open and close crate after the Tech-Ex and the Race… other tools/dollies can be fastened down inside the crate in a tool box.

For special GNCTR Shipping Rates, please email us at: Tell us what you expect will be the outside LxWxH in inches, the approximate weight of your crate and if there are any shipping address changes.

Once Team Captains approve our RATE QUOTE, they need to tell us if they are shipping with Logistics Decisions (or not), by November 15, so we can reserve enough trucks and warehouse space for all sleds. We will email Captains an invoice in early December.

Your payment is due by December 31st. Here are our payment methods:

  1. Email transfer to
  2. VISA (we do not accept MasterCard)
  3. Personal cheques or cheques from the university are accepted if received by December 31st before pickup.

When you budget for your freight cost, remember to include tax. Tax is based on the province’s tax % where the freight delivers. For example: a 2-way trip from Alberta U’s to Western in London, taxes are charged Ontario’s 13% HST on their shipping to London, but the same crate delivering home to Alberta is only charged Alberta’s 5% GST on the returning freight. I included a guide below.

For a list of Provinces and Territories’ Taxes go to

The GNCTR warehouse location will be available for Team Captains by the first week of January.

GNCTR MAPS to TechEx and Race Hill venues will be available on GNCTR’s website by the first week of January.

I love the creative use of space inside crates and how you pack those amazing Tech Ex Displays into one crate. Don’t ruin that creativity by limiting your crate’s size. HOWEVER, DON’T CREATE DELAYS FOR OTHER TEAMS and UNEXPECTED WAITING TIME COSTS FOR COMMITTEE’S TRUCKS BECAUSE YOUR CRATE IS HUGE AND IS HARD TO LOAD OR UNLOAD. Instead of one gigantic crate, PLEASE consider 2 smaller, more manageable crates instead for the same cost, to avoid costly delays for others.

The cheapest size of crate, and easiest to load on and off any type of truck, any dock and any door opening at TechEX is 8x4x6’High, measured to the outside of the crate and a weight of up to 1800 lbs, including the weight of the crate itself.

Shipping is cheapest @ 8x4x6’H because 2 will fit beside each other inside a trailer. Last year, some teams tried to reinforce their crates at the last minute, by screwing extra 2×4’s on the exterior of the crate, but the 2×4’s made crates too wide and they had to load end to end, requiring more truck space, possibly an extra truck. So make sure your dimensions are to the outside, and reinforce only inside the crate, never outside, if it adds extra width.

Width: If YOUR TEAM’S CRATE is JUST ONE FOOT WIDER, at 8x5x6’ High, IN AN 8′ WIDE TRAILER, your crate won’t fit beside another crate that’s 8x4x6’H in the trailer, so instead of taking up 4′ of trailer, your 8x5x6’H requires double the space and it would cost your team double what an 8x4x6’H costs to ship, because of your extra width of 1’. If you need an extra foot, use the height, not the width.

Length: if a crate is too long, it takes the space of what could’ve been another crate, so length costs more as well. Also, trucks are 8’ wide. Any crate 9’ or longer can’t load sideways, and the length is really difficult to load into a trailer if a forklift’s forks are only 4’ long.

Height: is also important, don’t build higher than 6’, unless cleared with me first. Why? Trucks can load 8’ High crates, but the doors leading from the TechEx dock to the Hall may only be 6’ High, blocking entry of crates over 6’ high from getting inside to the TechEx Hall.

Tailgates on the rear of some trucks help lower freight to the ground, but they are only 8×4’ and useless with crates that are bigger than 8×4’. Larger crates are hard to unload.

If we know dimensions in advance, we can advise you or arrange equipment to help unload if required. So tell us your dimensions early. Logistics Decisions can plan for any event, but your crate dimensions and approximate weight has to be known by us well in advance so we know how many trucks, how to unload them, what if any other equipment is required and how much warehouse storage space we’ll need to rent.

Here are a few suggestions regarding crate construction:

  1. Last Minute extra 2×4’s ATTACHED OUTSIDE YOUR CRATE really screwed us up in the trucks. We could no longer put 2 side by side and needed 60’ trucks instead and the warehouse in Toronto was forced to load them the wrong way to fit them all on, resulting in a very long unloading time before TechEX. Those 2×4’s MUST BE INSIDE, NOT OUTSIDE YOUR CRATE. SEE PICS
  2. 2 WOOD SCREWS AT THE BOTTOM OF AN END JUST ISN’T ENOUGH: see pic. It just popped right open at the corner. Use bolts or lots of thick screws in pre-drilled holes in hardwood.
  3. Wheels underneath your crate is a bad idea. Their brakes aren’t strong enough and relying on the driver’s straps is too risky. The hosting committee will have to source dollies instead for TechEX.
  4. Don’t build a 12’ long crate when you can build 2 crates at 6’ long each. You can easily manage 2 smaller crates. Forklifts are not built to handle larger than 8×4’ crates. Build 2, not one huge monstrous crate. More manageable and same cost.
  5. The Crate that SAIT built.

The first crate below is made by professionals, shipping the same product in exactly the same crate every day. The next 3 are SAIT’s crate in 2016.

SAIT’s is better. It features:

  • smooth safe outside edges,
  • hinges for easy access,
  • marked where the heavy end is, so if won’t fall off the loader,
  • the University name is spray painted on all sides,
  • the bill of lading was firmly attached on all sides too
  • a ring on the front base in case we need to pull it out of a truck and
  • the bottom can easily be picked up with a forklift from all 4 sides for easy loading no matter what type of truck or dock.

The problem with the 2 crates above, are the extra 2×4’s added to the exterior at the last minute. Those 4 extra inches in width could’ve caused a big problem, that we narrowly avoided.

The last crate above only had 2 little drywall screws to hold the whole base of the wall to the frame. Of course it came apart in Toronto, first time we picked it up. You need serious screws or bolts to travel thousands of mile in a truck and be picked up and loaded and unloaded at up to 11 different docks and 11 different trucks along the way.

Click on SAIT CRATE DESIGN Tech Display.pdf to reference SAIT’S CRATE construction schematic, a guideline for construction.