BAX Global Airlifted Microsoft’s Xbox 360 in Secrecy With Complex Worldwide Logistics(PresseBox) (IRVINE, Calif, )
BAX Global, as Microsoft’s primary air transportation carrier, was enlisted into the planning process more than a year in advance for the video game and entertainment system product launch. Microsoft bypassed the request for proposal process to maintain the needed level of secrecy regarding the Xbox 360 launch. Drawing on past experience with the Xbox 1 launch, Microsoft was confident BAX Global would execute well.
“BAX participated in a big piece of our Xbox 1 launch,” noted Bill Best, senior logistics manager with Microsoft. “There were synergies related to that launch; it used some of the same resources and BAX was familiar with our high level of expectations,” he added.
Three primary world markets were targeted by Microsoft for the launch, each just a week apart during the 2005 holiday shopping season. The U.S. launch was November 22, followed on December 2 by the European debut, and the December 10 launch in Japan.
Between mid-October 2005 and early February 2006 BAX Global operated 87 charter flights on B747 airplanes for Microsoft, transporting Xbox 360 systems from Hong Kong to the U.S. and Europe.
Within the U.S., BAX Global operated 69 flights on B747 airplanes from Hong Kong to its dedicated hub in Toledo, Ohio, transporting Xbox 360 units into the U.S. market. In Europe, BAX Global operated 18 B747 Hong Kong to Cologne, Germany charter flights, moving Xbox 360 units into the European market. For Japan, a combination of commercial air capacity and ocean freight was used.
“It was a natural decision to reach out to BAX. They delivered a world class solution that was executed flawlessly,” said Best.
Microsoft needed significant airlift capacity to support the launch and worked with BAX a year ahead to lock in sufficient capacity. To develop the launch plan, the client and service provider ran through various scenarios and created mitigation and contingency plans.
“If bad weather reduced a plane’s payload, for example, we wanted to have a backup plan,” Best noted. The partners went through all possible impacts to success so they would know just what to do in case of unusual events.
“Our success so often depends on the customers letting us be successful,” said Julie Smith, global account director with BAX Global. “The supportive expertise of the Microsoft people brought BAX into the planning process very early. That was a key part of BAX’s operational success.”
BAX Global responded to a complex challenge made even more complex by the need for secrecy. BAX couldn’t divulge details such as product, destination, or client. BAX Global used best-in-class security measures, both in transit and at delivery. BAX’s ability to maintain secrecy allowed the launch to succeed from a logistics standpoint. There were zero shortages in deliveries and Microsoft continues to have zero shortages from BAX.
BAX Global continues to support distribution of the entertainment system worldwide as the Xbox 360 becomes available in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, and Colombia throughout 2006.
About Xbox and Xbox 360
Microsoft revolutionized the gaming industry with the November 2001 launch of Xbox ® (http://www.xbox.com), its first-generation video games and entertainment system, now sold in 26 countries around the world. During the 2005 holiday season Microsoft made its debut of its next-generation system, Xbox 360, in Europe, Japan and North America, followed by availability in Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan in 2006. Xbox 360 is the most powerful video game and entertainment system, delivering the best games, the next generation of the premier Xbox Live online gaming service and unique digital entertainment experiences that revolve around you.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, and solutions. The USD $40 billion company has headquarters in Redmond, Washington. Business units include Microsoft Platform Products & Services Division, Microsoft Business Division, and Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division. Microsoft’s 61,000 employees worldwide subscribe to its corporate mission—to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential. For more information, visit www.microsoft.com