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Moving to an offsite approach has significant impacts on offsite logistics. Less deliveries to site means safer, more sustainable construction.

Offsite Logistics - right part, right place, right time

Lifting a 20-ton volumetric apartment 24 storeys or moving a fully constructed air traffic control tower into position represent significant logistical challenges at the extreme end of how an offsite approach can affect construction logistics – but whatever approach you adopt you’ll need to consider the logistics implications.

Logistics is a specialised part of the supply chain management process with specific processes and responsibilities.  We can learn much from other industries – think Amazon, the major supermarkets or indeed how just-in-time has transformed the car manufacturing sector.

It is estimated that typically 10% of a site worker’s time is spent waiting for materials.  However, carrying too many materials also carries costs.  Poor logistics can also reduce a project’s image, reduce work quality (due to frequent interruptions), and increase a project’s duration. Health and safety hazards are also increased by storing and moving excess materials on site.

Our challenge is to weigh these opportunities and risks and design and implement a logistics process that will optimise the onsite assembly process.

Offsite manufactured plant room

An offsite approach means less, not more deliveries

This may be counter intuitive, but as we move to an offsite approach with components being assembled in to sub-assemblies or fully volumetric units, we reduce the number of deliveries to site, but increase the size and value of the parts being transported.

Think for example of an offsite plant room, containing 100’s of parts, but delivered to site as a completed unit. Or in residential environment a utility or bathroom pod.

Construction logistics focuses on the physical transportation and storage of goods, including fleet management, warehousing and carrier coordination.  With offsite we need an understanding of how to handle these larger components and how site constraints and the route to site from the factory or logistics hub can affect the choice of offsite solution.  This has implications for timing as, logistics specialists and knowledge need to be available at the early design stages of the project.

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Delivering larger, more complex modules

NG Bailey capture the challenges that offsite logistics can present with a case study of a plant room in Penrith

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Penrith Final – A case study

NG Bailey show the stages involved in the logistics chain of Offsite Construction.

Latest Logistics Resources

Free-to-access training, workshops, e-learning and videos for you to explore.

Onsite Assembly
Project Management
Onsite Assembly
“The most efficient way to construct a project is to deliver on a vehicle, unload it and erect it directly from the vehicle and into the project. The fewer times we handle a component the more efficient the building process.”
Alan Clucas, Director, Explore Manufacturing

Offsite logistics case studies

View video case studies from our partners and members

Key offsite topics

Design for Man and Assembly
Design for Manufacture & Assembly

DfMA is about embedding efficiency throughout a product’s life-cycle, including…

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Offsite Manufacture
Offsite Manufacture

Bringing factory thinking to the construction process, to industrialise the…

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Onsite Assembly

The onsite assembly process is the management and culmination of…

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Design for Maintenance

Implementation of decisions taken at the design stage through the…

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