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Delivering physically large products of various shapes to construction sites across the country is a challenging proposition, which has its own unique characteristics and constraints. The products are often referred to as “Uglies” due to their large dimensions and difficult handling characteristics, usually requiring cranes for loading and offloading. Working as part of a team comprising the construction product supplier, its third party transport provider and a partner consultancy, Model Logic employed its routing tools to provide a logical and objective costing framework within which the true costs of the operation could be evaluated. The model allowed a fair costing of the distribution operation between the factory and end user construction sites and intermediate building merchants’ distribution centres.

The project involved a ground up understanding of all key tasks, the demarcation of activities between the parties involved, the load building constraints and the roles of national traffic management and planning. Load building was particularly complex due to the often incompatible “out of gauge” products and the variety of trailer types.

The transport model and supporting analysis provided a useful means of communicating and understanding of a complex problem and created a jointly agreeable platform for negotiation and a framework for the future.