Sharing the expert resources of CV International and Capes Shipping Agencies, our customers receive a unique and diverse set of operational expertise, setting us apart from the field, and making our team a One-Stop-Shop for your specialized project cargo transports.
So, what is Project Cargo?
“Project Cargo” generally describes the handling and transportation of dimensionally challenging, heavy, complex pieces of equipment, which often includes engineering, extensive planning, and specialized transport equipment. Industries with Project Cargo demands are those with major capital projects, large scale construction, and heavy maintenance schedules. Project Cargo is often associated with industrial Wind and Solar projects, the upstream through downstream Oil and Gas sector, Mining, and Minerals, and many other large-scale, infrastructure and capital project-oriented companies.
Typically, there will be multiple shipments of super-load category equipment, barging options, rail, and other specialized transports, all terminating at a project site or staging area. Planning, timing, and close communication with project management is critical. Normally accompanying the large loads are smaller loads, and or containers of critical equipment needed as part of the over project scope. While we think about Project Cargo as the “big stuff” in the logistics industry, it is also all about planning, attention to detail, risk mitigation, and flawless execution.
What Drives the demand for Project Cargo?
Simply stated, global, economic demand for the consumption of goods and services, supported by large-scale infrastructure, is the main driver of additional project development. As we grow the world’s economies, the demand for new refineries, precious metals, traditional and renewable energy sources, power plants, and general infrastructure, grows as well. Projections for the compounded annual growth rate for Project Logistics is greater than four percent within a current five-year period. As emerging markets increase in infrastructure projects, EPCs are challenged to manage complex cargo to areas of the world that may not have the ports, roads, and existing infrastructure to support the “normal” transport of such goods. The global expansion not only drives demand for project cargo, but the demand for project cargo specialists. It is essential for the outcome of these projects that transportation experts be involved early in the planning.
What goes into the planning and execution of Project Cargo?
Planning needs to start very early in the process. Unlike many commodities that ship via normal modes, the cost of transporting project cargo can be a pricey part of the project budget. Project cargo transportation modes and costs need to be defined during the engineering process and well before sourcing. Dimensional differences in mere inches can radically change the method, mode, and cost of transport, as well as increase risks to the project.
Pre-planning and working with project cargo experts help the project team account for domestic and international regulations, limitations of load and discharge points, available modes, and equipment, even availability of specialized labor. Early project planning can identify important aspects of the equipment design as it pertains to ease of transport, routing, weight restrictions, existing infrastructure challenges, specialized equipment, and permitting.
Once to the point of execution, the customers, suppliers, engineering, and other parties are all engaged and working off the same deliberated plan. This is when experienced project management takes the lead. Maintaining timelines and milestones are critical steps of successful project cargo transports. There are a lot of moving parts and dependencies that must be connected for the succeeding objectives to be met. A crane sitting idle on a job site waiting for a late arrival will drive cost overruns into the project. Missing a cut-off time, or worse a vessel departure, can cause catastrophic effects on the project. Project managers are aware of the need to be hands-on and detail-oriented, ensuring the transit times and delivery obligations throughout the project are met. Plan what is going to be done, ensure all stakeholders are on-board with the process, and execute accordingly. Project execution is where the rubber meets the road and where strong, experienced, project management ensure the greatest opportunity for success.
Project Cargo Check List
1) Ensure you partner early in the planning process.
2) Engage transport engineering, lift experts, and equipment specialists.
3) Develop a deep and exhaustive understanding of route needs, availability, and full cycle challenges.
4) Manage pricing but do not let pricing manage the project.
5) Ensure contingency planning is part of the project plan.
6) Execute with safety, precision, and over-communication.
7) Document and perform an after actions review of the project.
8) Take some picture, your marketing people will appreciate it!