GNCTR Shipping Info


Logistics Decisions would like to thank the GNCTR 2016 Committee for the honour of being selected once again as the “Recommended Shipper” for this year’s GNCTR 2016 in Ottawa. As the committee’s suggested transportation provider, Logistics Decisions will be responsible for the transportation of all Concrete Toboggans to and from this year’s GNCTR, from all universities in Canada and the USA.

Logistics Decisions has been shipping Concrete toboggans to GNCTR since 2003. Our President, Tim Quinlan, became a big fan, sponsor and supporter of GNCTR, since he saw his first race in 2003. To ensure that every detail is perfect, Tim personally plans every step of GNCTR Logistics, then travels to each GNCTR to oversee every step of his logistics plan, always searching for a new detail that might make your GNCTR even better. His 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.

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Message from Tim Quinlan, President of Logistics Decisions:

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. The GNCTR will be a blast and a welcome change for each of you. When you think about all your team’s creating, planning, building of your sled, your promotion, fundraising, WHILE studying your regular courses, the last thing you need to worry about is shipping. I’ll make sure you don’t. You deserve this. Enjoy!

Every GNCTR is unique. So is shipping your team’s sled: There are different dimensions, pickup locations, warehouses, new Tech Ex locations, varying rules at Race Hills… different Team Captains and new teammates. I may be the only thing at GNCTR every year that is not new. The good news is that everything your team captains learned at previous GNCTR’s isn’t lost info, because I learned it too.

My knowledge of shipping GNCTR sleds to mountain tops stem from a dozen years of success. Logistics Decisions knows your shipping in a way that national trucking companies can’t. To them you’re just a number. To me, you’re sled may be the one I ride down the hill after the last race.

I can’t wait to see you there.

PS: these are the step by step shipping specifically for GNCTR teams to provide your team with worry free transport of your Toboggan :

  1. Personal email and phone communication to each University’s shipping dock staff and team captains.
  2. Provide shipping rates from your University to and from the GNCTR’s chosen warehouse based on your team’s crate size and weight (Sample Rate Quote).
  3. Advise team captains about successful packaging methods, how to construct their crates, or what tools teams will need to open and reuse your crates at the 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. Arrange a deadline pick-up date to ensure timely arrival of their sleds. we deliver sleds early, budgeting a few days extra in case of floods, avalanches, human error, or in case a University Team needs an extra Toboggan production day.
  7. We send the shipper a completed bill of lading in advance, so he knows what truck is coming to pick up or deliver and when. See attached Bill of Lading. We CC team captains, and we inform the driver in writing with details about your crate or special shipping instructions, to eliminate errors and ensure a smooth pickup and delivery (Carrier Confirmation Form) with no unexpected extra costs.
  8. We ship your crate to the GNCTR hosting city, to Tech Ex, to local warehouse, and up to the hosting Race Hill and back, on time, even on a weekend.
  9. Provide safe indoor warehousing prior to the events
  10. 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.)
  11. Pre-alerting the warehouse as to the ETA’s of each unit, with advance notice of your crate’s delivery date.
  12. advise captains once delivery is made by sending an Automatic Delivery Notice.
  13. We invite your Questions and post the Answers on the FAQ page of our site to share with other teams.
  14. Make pickup and delivery appointments at each university so that the teams and university shipping staff are aware of when the sleds are picking up and delivering. That avoids unexpected costs and helps teams know when the trucks are expected.
  15. Your GNCTR committee’s website has a link directly to these answers and other shipping information on the logisticsdecisions.com site.

TL Quinlan
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
www.logisticsdecisions.com Twitter: @TquinlanTim Facebook Messenger: tim.quinlan.779


If you ask my accountant, each year I attend for “purely professional reasons”. The parties, the chanting, the beer and fun with 470 similar minded (though slightly younger) fellow race fans has NOTHING to do with my attendance.

I always pick up a few ideas by being at the trucks while we load and unload. GREAT IDEAS DON’T HAVE TO COME FROM ME THOUGH. if you have an idea that will help this year or in future years, bounce it off me. I’ll use it thankfully.

Based on input from teams over the years and my personal GNCTR experience shipping, warehousing and by travelling to GNCTR Host locations year after year to supervise the logistics, I’d share the following tips that may help your teams ship smoothly and keep within budget:

  • The bills of lading that I email every Team Captain must be taped securely onto each crate, copies on all 4 sides is ideal. Remember to bring the RETURN bills of lading and to securely attach them after the race for the trip back home.
  • Use the space inside the crate to carry boots, helmets, and so on instead of on the plane. Make sure all items are fastened down though to avoid damage.
  • Every university must spray paint their university name and city onto ALL 4 SIDES AND THE TOP OF THE CRATE.
  • Teams are advised to ALSO SPRAY PAINT “HEAVY END” OR “LIFT AT THIS END” onto the heaviest end. Like picking up an old TV from behind, it always falls forward. The heavy end has to be closest to the forklift. These markings should go on the TOP and SIDE of the heavy end of the crate.
  • Every university must label their actual sleds, not just their crate, even if it’s simply like a license plate on the tail or a sticker on 2 parts of the frame, identifying the university.
  • Universities who need my shipping services should understand that they can ship either a one way or a two way shipment. If you don’t wish to return your crate to your university, we can help scrap it if you wish rather than ship it back to your university after the race.


  • Build your crate so that a fork lift can lift it from all 4 sides, not just 2 so you can unload easier in every situation.
  • A dolly or casters. You will need wheels under your crate to move from Truck to Convention Tech Ex Floor. Don’t depend on borrowing someone else’s dolly and the driver needs to keep theirs for unloading other jobs they have following ours.
  • Put things you don’t want to travel with like helmets, boots, winter race wear inside the crate. Nothing must be loose, so tie it down
  • Carry tools with you to use to open and close crate after the Tech-Ex and the Race… any other tools can be fastened down inside the crate in a tool box.
  • Spray paint your university name on the outside of all 4 sides
  • Put sticker, or sticky label directly onto your sled itself, just in case you have a crate problem.
  • Staple/Tape the Bill of Lading (BOL) that we send you to all 4 sides inside plastic 8x11 sheets


Once Shipping Rates are approved by team captains, Logistics Decisions will email Captains an invoice early, in case teams need to approach their universities for funds. Here are our payment methods:

  1. Team Captains pay the invoice by personal VISA, on the date of pickup. MasterCard or other credit cards are not accepted.
  2. We recently began accepting email bank transfers from Team Captains
  3. Personal cheques or cheques from the university are accepted. They have to be received by December 31st before pickup. Some teams present their invoice to the University who prepare and mail Logistics Decisions a cheque. Universities are sometimes sluggish, especially around Christmas, so often the cheque deadline is missed and captains have to pay on the phone with VISA, then get reimbursed by their university.

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 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.

List of Provinces and Territories and Taxes

Budgeting your TRUCKING COSTS to GNCTR and back

For budgeting purposes, each team should contact Logistics Decisions and Tim Quinlan (tquinlan@logisticsdecisions.ca) will provide a rate for your team, based on the dimensions and trucking costs from each university and back if required. When submitting registration info, please indicate your anticipated crate size on the final registration form. If your anticipated crate size turns out to be larger than you planned, Logistics Decisions will adjust your shipping costs accordingly.

Ship to Warehouse Address:
GNCTR’s warehouse location will be announced before mid-December.

Map (See GNCTR Website)


I enjoyed the Tech Ex Presentations and loved the creative use of the crates in the amazing Tech Ex Displays. Don’t ruin that creativity by limiting crate size. Instead of one gigantic crate that might be hard to load and unload, consider 2 smaller, more manageable crates instead for the same cost, but less hassles.

Just remember, make them strong so they won’t come apart and make them a size that won’t delay the unloading of other teams or that will cost the committee extra unnecessary costs. Trucks are 8’ High and 8’ wide. Tailgates to help lower to a snowy race hill parking lot are only 8x4’ and useless with crates that are bigger than 8x4’. Unless the Race Hill or a local sponsor volunteers a heavy duty fork lift and operator, getting the crates on and off a truck may cause delays if teams can’t lift crates manually. If we know in advance, we can arrange equipment to help though. So tell us early.

In previous years, we’ve recommended toboggan crate sizes to be 8'x4'x up to 8’H (96"x48"x96"H) measured to the outside of the crate and a weight of up to 1800 lbs, including the weight of the crate itself. This makes crates significantly easier to handle while loading into and out of trucks. It also makes them easy to store once they arrive in at the GNCTR Hosting destination.

Crate dimensions are not cast in stone. Teams can ship any crate dimensions they choose, as long as they are easily maneuverable and structurally strong. Crates that are larger simply cost more to ship. Over the years, we have had some Oversize crates that impacted the time it takes other teams on the same truck to unload. Extra unloading time can cost the committee extra money to pay waiting drivers. Bigger crates take more truck space. Twice as much floor space inside a truck means another crate can’t fit into that truck now, which may require the committee to pay for extra trucks for Tech Ex or Race Hill deliveries. The committee policy each year has been to claw back these extra unexpected costs from the teams that created the cost.


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.

Teams are encouraged to reference the crate construction schematic below. Please note that this is just a guideline for construction and GNCTR Organizing Committees or Logistics Decisions will not be held responsible for the construction of sled crates or their durability during transportation. Further questions should be directed to Tim Quinlan, or to the GNCTR Logistics Manager


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