It must have been a tremendous sight, watching Hannibal make his way from Spain to Rome in 218 BC. He travelled with an entourage of approximately 50,000 foot soldiers, 9,000 on horseback and 39 giant elephants. Together, they climbed steep slopes in France; along the narrowest passes, through howling winds, snow and rain, until they accomplished the impossible: crossing the Alps in 16 days. Even today, this would be both a tactical and logistical feat.
Last summer, the logistics experts at ŠKODA oversaw a comparably mammoth task: they had to transport the new press shop from Erfurt to Mladá Boleslav. 40 giant trucks set off from the capital of Thuringia to transport the 190-tonne cargo – the collective weight of Hannibal's 39 elephants – to the Elbe first of all. It was then loaded onto barges by crane to avoid disrupting the traffic between Germany and the Czech Republic, and transported leisurely to the port town of Mělník; into the air once again and loaded onto trucks, which took the cargo along highway 16 to Mladá Boleslav. Unlike Hannibal’s campaign, though, all the cargo arrived at the destination safely, in one piece, and on time.