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Shipper's Guide to the Project Logistics 


The cargo handling large requires a special touch. Learn how to find a project logistics provider with the expertise to do the job properly. 


The worldwide recession took its toll on the logistics sector, causing many providers seek new market opportunities. A segment gained market share are the logistics of projects. This specialization, whichrequires experience in handling and moving cargo large or dangerous, from its origin to its final destination, is an important and growing facet of the logistics sector. 


"Logistics is often viewed storage, transport and handling of products at lower cost," says Adrian Hawkins, vice president of global 3PL projects Kuehne + Nagel, Inc. "The logistics of projects, however, goes againstthat old mindset of putting savings in the first place. Logistics projects can take years of planning for projects of billions of dollars, and carriers can not take shortcuts logistical or monetary. " 


Finding a partner 
However, carriers must pay special attention when selecting a 3PL to handle the logistics of projects. Any vendor can claim to be able to undertake special projects, but specialistsare a unique business model with core competencies in global cargo transportation. 
"Shippers do not normally have an internal division of adequate logistics to coordinate and plan all aspects of project logistics. They go to 3PLs to manage the essential job requirements and develop a reasonable plan and budget, and then run the efficiently plan, "said Susan Saint Germain, executive director ofTransProject projects, based in Houston, the logistics division of large projects of TransGroup Worldwide Logistics, a 3PL based in Seattle. 


Start searching 
When looking for a logistics service provider of project, limit your search to companies with financial stability, provide adequate insurance and management experience in charge of several projects. The most effective way to find acompetent partner is to ask for references, search the Internet for successful projects and contact with organizations like Project Professionals Group, composed of qualified freight forwarders and approved. Then, interview the three leading candidates to discuss the philosophy of the company and project details, and ask for references of their clients. 


"Flooding the market with numerousrequests for information without investigating the freight in advance often results in higher rates," says Saint-Germain. That's because providers think you just looking for the cheapest solution, not quality, so do not take information seriously. 
When interviewing the suppliers, note that most of the real freight projects tend to be small specialized companies that operate in local markets. 'Most of the project logistics providers working in specialized niches, and some work even in niches of niches, "said Gary Dale Cearley, executive director of Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN), group of independent companies specialized in the projectsmajor international heavy and large. 


"Most large companies and recognized cargo does not fit this mold," he notes."Although somedepartments operate projects in some global markets and attract business based solely on their names, are not necessarily the best available. To find a real project company, find local specialists." 
Also worth considering in-house staff of the provider. "Some companies may not have a department dedicated to freight projects, but they could have hired specialists with 20 years experience in projects," saysCearley. 

No surprises 
All parties involved in a movement of logistics projects need to be comfortable with their role. It is essential for success involve the logistics provider in the project as soon as possible, 30 to 45 days before the estimated date of shipment. 
"Before starting work, make sure you understand all the processes required to move the load," explains Ross Bacarella,...
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