“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.
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, flexible access to specialized capacity
- 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.