Transparency is a subject EPC’s, manufacturers and project owners are talking about lately and not without good reason. Withholding information from customers, not disclosing price and rate structures and poor communication is all too common within logistics service companies. But now with project logistic management companies like XELLZ, transparency can become best practice with the help of a new model and smart technology.
The concept of shippers and project logistics service providers working together to manage costs and openly share information and data was almost unheard of a few years ago. XELLZ believes that increased transparency between these parties could be the catalyst for change that project logistics needs to transition into a “smart” sector.
What defines Project Cargo and Project Logistics
If project cargo is typically oversized or out-of gauge freight that cannot fit in a container, then project logistics is a term that covers all aspects from A-Z of what needs to happen with that cargo, from the perspective of the shipper.
Project cargo consists of integral parts and pieces for large-scale project puzzles involving developments in infrastructure, oil & gas,mining, energy, aerospace, manufacturing, and construction.
Without question, project logistics requires strict management over the two key criteria it is stringently measured upon: budget and schedule. Over the years this has been a manual and slow process leaving plenty of room for error.
Pioneering New Model
Peter Bouwhuis, President and CEO of XELLZ, observed back in 2017 that the shipper side of the industry was undergoing a rapid change with more focus on minimizing costs and reducing project inefficiencies.
Bouwhuis says the traditional methods by which EPC’s and manufacturers collated information for their capital projects, prior to launching a request for quotation (RFQ) to the logistics industry, was simply inefficient.
“I have been on both sides of the industry and often when it’s time to get going the RFQ is no longer applicable because the project scope has changed,” said Bouwhuis, adding that “this inefficiency serves only to waste time and money.”
A new working model was required. Knowing that traditional approaches couldn’t overcome the obstacles faced by project logistics service providers, XELLZ developed their new model offering a complete solution by streamlining projects ‘end to end’ for EPC’s, project owners, and manufacturers.
The XELLZ team began by requesting that clients involve them at the very early stages of a project pre-plan. By doing so, the team could use their technology, know-how and industry expertise to set the right processes in place from the offset and tweak designs if necessary.
“A piece three inches too wide can cost a project €900,000. Without fail, any disruption in a project costs time and money and we are determined to eliminate this for our customers.” Bouwhuis explains.
Together with their client’s logistics, supply chain and project teams, XELLZ experts use their system technology to build the ideal project logistics setup, ensuring 100 percent transparency as well as total cost and operational control for the shipper. This leads to a minimum of 25 percent cost savings on the overall project logistics spend.
XELLZ believe in operating a lean model. By making use of their project logistics management technology, efficient processes and stringent vetting of carriers, the project logistics of any project or shipment is seamless, making this the most operational and cost-efficient model in the industry.
They also see they have an obligation to carry out their work in an open environment with complete transparency whereby no costs, issues, or responsibilities are hidden from the customer.
Does this spell the end for Freight Forwarders?
“In the traditional sense, yes. Freight forwarding as we know it will change because of new technology. XELLZ are going one step further, or one step back if you like, by starting at the beginning of the project and becoming a trusted partner throughout the entire process’’ says Bouwhuis.
This is an area where some freight forwarders are also delving into. Perhaps they also now see that transparency could be the future of project logistics.
Being involved from the get-go, XELLZ quickly identified a need for a smarter way to manage projects and / or heavy lift and project freight shipments, from the shipper’s perspective. The team set about developing a smart technology platform and app that allowed project managers to work on RFQ proposals and project execution concurrently, while providing the shipper with 100 percent transparency over the project lifetime. It wasn’t long before ProjeXsmart was born.
ProjeXsmart is a platform where all project documentation, communication, data, pricing and scheduling is stored and shared. Photographs and videos can also be uploaded to the platform. The platform virtually controls the project, manages the team tasks, sends notifications for upcoming tasks and identifies potential delays for the project as well as keeping everything on a tight schedule and on budget.
“The online platform is our backbone where we are able to manage any task in the project and keep you alerted automatically so that nothing is left to chance. This technology generates transparency and gives clarity to all parties involved.” says Amanda Labee, Assistant Vice-President XELLZ.
Transparency is not just about the project plans or how project cargo freight is transported. Transparency is about the whole chain of events and the entire pricing and rate structure.
XELLZ has a policy that is conducive to complete open communication before, during, and after the project. Starting with the pre-planning where all technical and possible solutions are shared, all pricing and cost options and models are communicated, and negotiations with (sub)-contractors are carried out in the open with the customer toensure the best and optimum cost solution is chosen.
Using ProjeXsmart, XELLZ says they can lower the total cost of project logistics by over 25 percent as well as offering 100 percent transparency across the entire project lifetime.
Team of Xellers
XELLZ believe that the best people will be drawn to the opportunity to work on the most difficult challenges, and solving these challenges requires the best people. Together with their years of experience and startup mindset, team XELLZ are tackling new challenges and transitioning project logistics into a smart sector the “XELLZ way” with transparency, trust and technology.
Headquartered near Amsterdam, XELLZ provides worldwide project logistics management from their offices in the Netherlands, the U.S., Ireland, Nigeria and Germany.
The XELLZ team is currently busy with four upcoming ‘Energy Transition’ projects in Germany and the US, the largest of their kind in these countries. XELLZ is also making headlines with their early involvement in offshore wind farms off the coast of Ireland, where 24shore (a division of XELLZ) has secured over 300.000m2 of land at the port of Rosslare. XELLZ Ireland Ltd. is in discussions with energy companies like DP Energy, Innogy, TenneT, and others interested in the installation of these offshore wind farms. 24shore will also build an industrial estate near the port for SME’s to work during the construction and maintenance & repair phases.