Transport carriers, plant can save money after upgrading operations, infrastructure

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Understanding a company’s requirements for transporting its products, at the lowest possible delivered cost, is an inexact science. Consideration must be given to the volumes to be shipped, distance to be shipped, service reliability, disruption coverage, etc. While it may seem simple to put a truck on the road or a railcar on a train, a lot of planning and analysis is required to arrive at the best value shipping options. Steel I-beams, powdered milk, plastic pellets, liquid fertilizer and other products require different handling, loading, unloading and storage requirements. The physical assets needed to support the different types of product, along with the different types of transport equipment used, often require highly customized solutions for a specific company.

Many companies continue to use the same modes of transportation, product handling methods and infrastructure that were put in place when the plant began operations. Most efforts at cost reductions are focused on getting the best rate possible from the trucking, barge and rail companies. What is not so obvious is there can be efficiency savings to the transport carriers and the plant if the internal plant operations and transportation assets are reviewed and upgraded.

Many times, the personnel at a site miss the forest for the trees. When you are responsible for getting everything shipped every day, and that takes eight to 10 hours per day, little time can be spent on rethinking and upgrading a facility. This is where our site logistics expertise has been very effective. We analyze, develop options and provide financially justifiable modifications to operations and infrastructure — we have provided 58 assessments that have delivered up to 60% savings in operational costs. These upgrades allow companies to negotiate for better rates with their truck, barge and rail carriers.