“Project cargo” is a term used to broadly describe the national or international transportation of large, heavy, high value, or complex pieces of equipment. The materials can be sourced globally, or from one individual location. The oil and gas, wind power, mining, engineering, and construction industries are heavily involved in this level of transportation. Project cargo requires a detailed engineering process in order to stay within the projected budget, and be completed on time.
It can consist of multiple or single shipments, and can both cover a wide range of freight volume and cargo value. It can mean single or multiple pieces of equipment being transported from point A to point B, or various destinations over a period of time. It can move by land, sea, or air, and can involve trucks, rail, cranes, ships, barges and/or planes.
Project cargo is all about attention to detail. Pre-planning is the crucial step that leads to efficient operations. Maintaining efficiency in such complex cargo operations eliminate risks and reduce costs.
Many companies today seek the most efficient transportation methods as they embark on large and expensive project cargo operations. As globalization kicked in, the demand for large infrastructure projects increased worldwide, to fulfill the need of industries that supports refineries, power plants, mining operations, and wind farms.
We saw a major boom in manufacturing industries on almost every continent, and an increase in large infrastructure projects and building sites all around the globe. Now, the world experiences an era where massive structures, large-engineered-over-dimensional cargoes are being shipped from multiple origins to multiple international destinations.
As complex project cargo materials are procured, and transported internationally, it is crucial for companies (that engineer, construct and supply for infrastructure projects) to have transportation expertise on their side, too. Working with a transportation expert can add an immense amount of value at every single stage. The project cargo needs to be pre-planned, perhaps even before financing, cargo design, and sourcing begins. The overall success of the project is directly related to how successfully the raw and finished project cargo is delivered.
WHAT INDUSTRIES ARE MOSTLY INVOLVED IN PROJECT CARGO TRANSPORTATION?
Project cargo transportation is used within many industries, yet over the past few decades, the transportation needs of specific industries continue to grow at a faster rate. Global tribune projects for Wind Farms are expected to grow in Asia, North America, and Europe. Nuclear Plants in China, India, South America, and the Middle East are also powering the growth. Demand for mining industry-related equipment is increasing, due to increasing demand for metal commodities. Natural gas consumption worldwide is projected to increase almost 50% by 2035. The United States’ vast shale gas resources are also one of the most promising factors to count in as we look in to the demand for project cargo transportation.
PREPLANNING AND EXECUTION
Successful project transportation practices requires a smart planning process from the preliminary stages. This can have direct effect on avoiding extra costs for transportation, duties, and taxes. It requires expertise to provide a detailed projection of cost. Some cargoes can be highly valuable. At this stage, choosing a provider with a proven record of success in the transportation of project cargo is a must.
Countries have different regulations when it comes to customs compliance, documentation, taxation, duties, exemptions, licenses, and many other considerations. An analysis from a project cargo expert can help companies with all the regulative aspects, and the budgeting process. A project cargo expert can advise on dimensional and weight restrictions, can study the routing options based on the designed size of the cargo, and can work on the best suitable option for final delivery.
A TO-DO LIST IN PROJECT CARGO TRANSPORTATION:
1) Pre-planning is key – initial transportation advice to move over-dimensional or over-weight cargo can save shippers and costs, provide certainty, and reduce unexpected events. When pre-planning, allow sufficient lead time to coordinate transportation details.
2) Choose a quality transportation provider:
a) With a quality engineering team
b) With the financial strength to assume a certain amount of risk and liability
c) With a proven track record, on-hand experience, and country knowledge
d) Stresses proactive communication that keeps the quick response time to changes/issues
e) With broad knowledge of equipment, local haulers, and manufacturers of equipment and materials, and fast
f) Accuracy and honesty in pricing
g) Impeccable execution
3) Work on a contingency plan(s) – Unexpected events can cause the initial transportation plan not to work out properly, and during these scenarios an alternative plan should be put in place to minimize and resolve issues.
4) Work on constant improvement – There is always room for improvement in project cargo transportation. Tracking the results of finished project cargo moves, and developing potential improvement areas, can help future shipments to produce better outcomes.