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What Is Project Logistics? A Simple Guide

Published on 07th February 2022

Haven't you, at least once, wondered what this fuss is about project logistics?

 

And yes, project logistics is more complicated than it sounds. But don't worry. We've broken it down into modules for you!

 

So, what exactly is project logistics?

 

The logistics management associated with a particular project is known as project logistics. This includes the planning, execution, and supervision of transport. Project logistics is about safe and sound cargo transportation to the construction site for a specific construction project. 

 

But project logistics isn't used for every construction project. So, let's see when and where a project manager can deploy project logistics. 

 

When and Where to use Project Logistics

 

Project logistics is most suitable for large-scale projects requiring heavy equipment shipment to a faraway destination. And, when cargo is either immensely massive or has disproportionate dimensions, project logistics is a logistics manager's best solution. 

 

A heavy project cargo shipment has to deal with varying terrains and mediums such as oceans, inland waterways, hilly regions, air routes, rail routes, etc. Therefore, a logistics provider will have to assign an appropriate carrier to perform the job well. For instance, carrier vessels would be apt for transporting heavy equipment in an inland waterway, whereas an aircraft is more suitable for quick intercontinental delivery. 

 

It is customary for project logistics experts to conduct feasibility studies before undertaking a complex project. Also, it is necessary for a logistics company to pay a customs brokerage and get customs clearance from the importing country's government. Therefore, the expertise of the project management team is decisive in getting past the hurdles on the route. 

 

This is where project logistics services of third-party logistics (3PL) companies come into play. A third-party logistics company provides logistics services. Depending on the contract, they could undertake a segment of the logistics process or even a complex project entirely. In the latter scenario, they take care of all the logistics activities, from transportation to warehousing to inventory management. 

 

Characteristics of Project Logistics

 

Project logistics is predominantly inbound and is usually associated with a complex project. Now, let's check out the key attributes of project logistics. The following are the characteristics of project logistics:

 

Converging: It refers to the convergence of materials to a construction site. They're then assembled at the construction site.

 

Temporary: Project supply chains are usually temporary, producing one-off construction projects.

 

Made-to-order: Projects require made-to-order supply chains, with every project creating a new facility. 

 

Materials, Components, and Equipment

 

Let's now see the materials, components, and equipment required for a project facility.

 

  • Bulks
  • Commodities
  • Modular Plant Units
  • Process Equipment
  • One-off, High-value Items
  • Construction Equipment

 

Bulks include generic materials that require only basic specifications, no pre-delivery checking, and limited quality control. Some examples are brick, cement, sand, stone, and wood. Safety equipment like hard hats, gloves, goggles, and smart boots are also included in bulk materials.

 

Commodities are generic goods specified according to the need at the site. Commodities require active quality control as a slight variation may deem them ill-qualified for construction.

 

Modular Plant Units are prefabricated process units that are then delivered to the construction site. 

 

Process Equipment refers to equipment that requires detailed specifications, apposite vendor selection, site visits, and quality control. Process equipment includes heat exchangers, columns, tanks, and process vessels.

 

One-off, High-value Items are generally large, high-value, and long-lead items built to stringent specifications with constant quality control. Large distillation units, unique process reactors, and custom compressors are examples of one-off, high-value items.

 

Construction Equipment is, as the name suggests, equipment used in construction. Construction equipment includes but is not limited to cranes, graders, loaders, bulldozers, excavators, and forklifts.

 

Features of Project Logistics

 

We've characterized project logistics and seen the materials needed for a process plant. Now, let's see some features of project logistics at the site.

 

  • Canteen Facilities
  • Communication Infrastructure
  • Computing Infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Medical Support
  • Personnel Supply
  • Personnel Transport
  • Psychological Support
  • Waste Management

 

Canteen Facilities are essential to provide personnel with water and nutritious food to maintain their health and strength.

 

Communication Infrastructure facilitates communication within the site as well as with important people outside, such as family and friends.

 

Computing Infrastructure is an essential component of project logistics management as it is vital for executing a project.

 

Housing personnel near the construction site is crucial as construction sites are usually remote.

 

Medical Support is critical to any project site. However careful and methodical the work may be, it is always prudent to be ready with medical care in case of unforeseen events.

 

Personnel Supply refers to the availability of an adequate number of personnel for various jobs, such as engineering, labor, welding, etc.

 

Personnel Transport is important as the employees would be required to move from one work location to another.

 

Psychological Support is of paramount significance to those who face personal or work-related problems. In high-pressure environments like construction sites, psychological support is invaluable for the well-being of personnel.

 

Waste Management is an irreplaceable element of a construction site that typically generates a large quantity of waste, some of which are hazardous and toxic.

 

Benefits of Project Logistics

 

  • It saves a lot of time!
  • Can transport massive, wider, longer, and taller cargos that are extremely difficult to move around.
  • Less expensive than traditional transport for select cargos of disproportionate dimensions.
  • Improved safety as special consideration is given to projects.
  • The project owner can sleep peacefully as the logistics team takes care of the risks and responsibilities. 

 

Conclusion

 

Project logistics is one of the best solutions for transporting massive equipment across long distances to a final destination. And freight transportations like these are common in industrial projects.  

 

It is advisable to learn more about all the service aspects before hiring a logistics provider. Also, ensure that the project logistics team can carry out the logistics operations in advance. 

 

Having a global network is essential for a logistics provider. The supplies can be sourced from entirely different locations such as the United States, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, South Africa, etc. So, hiring a logistics provider with vast global connections will go a long way in enhancing business growth.

 

To conclude, project logistics is vital to every large and complex project. And, before embarking on a project, it should be given enough time and attention.

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