The term ‘Logistics’ is about so much more than simply ‘arranging’ a few things. When it comes to any project, no matter the size, your logistics choices will mean the difference between success, disaster, or a very delayed deadline.
The construction industry relies heavily on superior logistics. Unlike businesses that need to transport goods from Point A to Point B, construction enterprises have to manage the constant delivery and removal of heavy goods.
In addition, it often involves hiring heavy equipment to do specific jobs and if your timing is out, you could end up with an expensive digger sitting idle for days. With the right logistics partner, you can save a lot of time and money by ensuring everything happens when and how it should–and also knowing where to build in some flexibility.
Transport and storage of supplies
Depending on the scope of the project, there may be a need to bring in various supplies and store them until they are needed. To do this effectively you need a partner who will:
- Arrange the collection and delivery of goods to an appropriate storage facility.
- Manage when and how these goods are transported to the construction site. This requires working closely with project managers.
If these logistics are not managed correctly, you could end up with goods delivered to the site before you're ready for them, which leads to trying to find temporary storage or other last-minute solutions that could end up costing a lot more than you bargained on.
The same applies to late delivery: you cannot afford to have a construction site come to a halt because your material deliveries were poorly planned.
Planning for abnormal loads
Transporting an abnormal load is not as simple as just getting a large truck and setting off into the sunset. Depending on what you are transporting (see this article for a good example), there is a lot of planning that goes into moving an abnormal load. For example:
- Acquiring a truck that is rated to carry this specific load.
- Ensuring all documentation is in order.
- Knowing which roads and routes can accommodate this specific load (bridges en-route that must be avoided etc)
- Planning the loading and unloading procedure in advance–if you overlook this and no preparations have been made at the delivery site, you could be in a world of trouble.
Scheduling the heavy equipment
Whether you own your own earth-moving vehicles or are leasing them, you need to know exactly how they should be scheduled. This includes:
- Knowing when each machine will be needed on-site.
- Knowing when you need to be flexible and have machines waiting on-site.
- Knowing the difference between flexibility and idle time so that you don’t waste money having leased equipment on-site when it's not needed.
Keeping track of material removals
Most construction sites produce a lot of rubble and materials that need to be removed on a regular basis in order to keep the site organised and to comply with safety regulations.
You need a logistics partner that understands the nature of your business and will be able to provide the equipment needed to remove rubble when needed. This sounds simple, but keep in mind:
- Many of these large vehicles need to be booked in advance.
- In some cases, the disposal of large amounts of rubble also needs to be arranged in advance.
- You need to factor in time for the loading and unloading process.
The above points are just a few highlights that show why expert logistics management is crucial to any construction project. One mistake can have a snowball effect and throw out your entire deadline.
You want to ensure you’re working with people who understand what is needed and will even preempt requirements for your specific project. It’s the only way to ensure success.
As the Industrial Projects partner for many blue-chip companies, Barloworld Logistics safely transports your cargo around the world, at the right time, right place, and at the right time.