Use of a Construction Consolidation Centre (CCC) is a key Planned Measure for consideration within a Construction Logistics Plan (CLP) and recognised as a pivotal strategy to ensure that plans are successful in their purpose to reduce the impact of construction freight.
The London Mayor’s Transport Strategy firmly supports the methodology, stating that the sustainable future of London construction relies on CCCs operating at strategic locations around the City, in suitable proximity to offer reliable Just-In-Time site deliveries.
The concept and fundamental function of a CCC is to receive and breakdown large consignments from various supply chains, hold in short-term storage and deliver consolidated loads to site according to the daily resource requirements of collective building trades.
Material handling, inventory tracking and storage management are all vital operations of a CCC, which all support the most important function – delivery management. To ensure that no trip is wasted, and the use of every vehicle is maximised, it is essential to:
- Select the right vehicle specific to the needs of each site and each delivery
- Optimise every load for the best vehicle utilisation
- Reliably time deliveries in accordance with the site booking system
- Bring return loads back to the Centre whenever possible
- Maintain continuous and collaborative communication with site teams and supply chains
It is not typically feasible for vehicles delivering direct from supply chains to conform with this methodology. Their purpose is to distribute stock from suppliers’ stores as soon as possible – and in the volumes, scheduling and routing that best suits their own logistics strategy. This rarely matches the daily needs or conditions of a construction site.
There are understandable concerns in the construction industry that CCCs are rigid and uncompromising, offering only strict terms of storage before applying penalties – like the escalating demurrage or quay rent charged at container ports.
CSB Logistics has the experience of running effective CCC operations for over 30 years, enabling us to provide the precise delivery control our clients require while remaining agile to the daily demands of construction and adaptable to the unforeseen circumstances that all projects experience.
The use of a CCC is by far the most versatile strategy for reducing the impacts of construction freight – not only providing the obvious benefits of consolidation but also the capability to enable other Planned Measures that may not otherwise be viable or easily implemented:
- Reverse Logistics – Use backloads from site to return reusable or recyclable items to the CCC, such as pallets, packaging, empty stillages, hire equipment etc., for onward re-distribution back to supply chains
- Off-site Waste Management – Use backloads to bring segregated waste bins to the Centre for larger skip batching prior to collection by a Waste Transfer Station
- Re-use of materials – Return surplus materials
- Re-Timing – Restrict deliveries to off-peak hours during the day and enable potential for night-time deliveries.
A CCC also facilitates the control and effectiveness of other Planned Measures such as:
- Safety and environmental standards – such as FORS / CLOCS / DVS
- Adherence to designated vehicle routes
- Delivery scheduling – using a DMS
- Vehicle holding areas
- Collaboration with other local sites