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Utrecht finds answer to construction logistic transport

Author: CIVITAS Support
Posted on: Friday, June 17, 2011 - 14:48
Utrecht , MIMOSA

Utrecht’s freight management plan faces its biggest challenge yet with the impending arrival of an extra 250 trucks each day over the next three years carrying construction materials to the new railway station. Determined not to let this ruin the success achieved in reducing traffic in recent years, Utrecht Council have found a solution. It comes in the form of a Construction Logistic Centre Utrecht (a material bundling centre) run by the Council in partnership with the transport company Hoek. Under CIVITAS MIMOSA, lengthy stakeholder liaison with commercial partners revealed a number of challenges and opportunities to make this plan a reality.

Essentially, the CLCU will allow for various suppliers and transport companies to drop off building materials in one site on the outskirts of the city 24/7. Materials are combined and only completely full trucks deliver to the building site on a suitable pre-agreed time often at night. All communication between truck drivers and building sites will be co-ordinated by the CLCU. Less trips means less construction traffic waiting times, less need for fuel consumption and less storage space required on construction site; all resulting in increased cost effectiveness for suppliers. Freeing up construction traffic at peak times will also improve traffic safety for cyclists, increasing accessibility in the centre and the flow of other traffic thus improving air quality. Public-Private Partnership Feedback showed that the standard approach to construction logistics is fragmented with each contractor, sub-contractor and supplier interested in taking responsibility for its own deliveries. To make the centre both financially and logistically viable, as well as credible with suppliers, the City of Utrecht and the transport company Hoek will run the Construction Logistics Centre. The costs of running the site will be financed by suppliers who have tendered for the job of building the railway station. Savings made in wasted fuel consumption and time inefficiencies will offset this cost. Building the Case and Business Ambassadors CIVITAS MIMOSA team members also noted supplier scepticism about the increased costs involved with the CLCU.  The reality of high transport costs and travel times only hits, when construction starts. Other options being considered is the concept of securing supplier commitment at tender stage. Stakeholder liaison in the form of ‘inspirational workshops’ and other communication resources again proved vital in explaining the upfront costs building the case clearly for cheap and fast construction for suppliers. Leading bodies such as the local Chamber of Commerce played a leading role in making this a reality. Looking to the future, Utrecht Council is keen to evaluate both the cost and resource benefit analysis to see if this idea can be replicated in other situations.

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