The expanding scope and development of Construction Logistics is one of the industry’s biggest areas of debate, and in recent years a lot of focus has been placed on Consolidation Centres.
The concept and purpose of consolidation may be new to construction but is in fact a fundamental logistics process. A ‘Consolidation Centres’ operates much like any regional distribution centres, but is specifically located and geared to service the needs of an urban area with tight logistical constraints. A CC for construction would focus on developing added-value processes specific to individual project requirements.
Freight Quality Partnerships are promoting the CC model for retail use in town centres, but there is also a major drive for the construction industry to adopt the methodology for inner-city projects.
CSB has always provided consolidation as a process in freight forwarding, and we have naturally incorporated the service into our Logistics Centres. While we recognise the value of the process when appropriate, we consider that the concept of dedicated consolidation centres may not be a sustainable business model. CSB’s Construction Logistics Centres provide a variety of solutions to a very broad customer base, over a wide spread of projects.
Our CLCs receive consignments unable to meet JIT demand, or on long-haul vehicles unsuitable for site access and onsite handling operations. We deliver optimised and/or consolidated loads to site on a JIT basis, resulting in more efficient and sustainable logistics. While optimising site productivity, our operations are helping to reduce the impact of construction freight on local traffic congestion, and related NOx/CO2 emissions.
We are actively seeking partnerships with like-minded Site Logistics companies to ensure our services are best utilised, and lead in the development of fully integrated PROJECT LOGISTICS. For construction logistics the functions of a consolidation operation include:
- Receiving bulk deliveries of site supplies and equipment
- Checking quantity and quality of deliveries – expediting remedial procedures
- Processing of materials as received and notifying Trade Contractors
- Remove and recycle/reuse/dispose of packaging that is redundant or non-protective
- Breakdown materials into amounts required for daily work
- Pack together all daily materials and equipment required for specific works
- Just-In-Time (JIT) deliver consolidated supplies required for daily production
- Receive and consolidate courier/‘white van’ deliveries and distribute to site
- Use backloads to facilitate waste management
- Use backloads to remove returnable materials, pallets, stillages etc.
CSB assisted TfL with a wider-use study of Construction Consolidation Centres:
We are continuing this work with TfL’s Freight Unit and local Freight Quality Partnerships, developing Construction Logistics Plans for major projects:
While a rigid CC model may be right for certain projects, CSB believes in maintaining a lean and innovative approach to Project Logistics. We offer a flexible range of supply control solutions, applying what is appropriate to each supply chain to optimise material flow. Where good supply logistics are already established we work to enhance those operations, and as an SME we promote the benefits of utilising local supply chains.