Before construction can commence on any given worksite, site managers must first develop a construction logistics plan. In a nutshell, construction logistics plans are largely concerned with the management of all the logistical aspects of your construction project. As construction sites consist of many different moving parts, such as transporting materials and construction equipment from suppliers, setting up site facilities, and managing your workforce, construction logistics plans can often end up being fairly lengthy documents.
So how can you be certain that your construction logistics plan covers all necessary bases? Below, we’ll be outlining all the key elements that must be considered when drawing up a construction logistics plan. Use this guide to help streamline the process of writing up your next construction logistics plan.
1. Safety, security, and upholding industry standards
Your construction site is a worksite and as such, you need to ensure that it holds up to all industry standards and regulations. Alongside supporting worker safety, you’ll find that prioritising compliance can also provide structure that may help develop your project timeline and site plans.
Employers are also encouraged to secure small business insurance to further bolster the safety and security of your worksite. A suitable business insurance plan for tradesmen should ideally include cover against injuries, alongside cover for equipment in the event that you experience a theft or any incidents that lead to equipment damage.
Investing in site security can also help reduce risks of you or your workforce falling victim to theft. You can go the high-tech route by including mountable 4G security cameras on-site for remote site monitoring, or opt for some sturdy padlocks for your fencing in order to keep your site perimeter nice and secure.
2. Outline project scope and schedule
Ideally, you should have a rough understanding of the scope of your project from the get-go. This scope can be produced by examining past projects of a similar scope in order to create an estimated timeline for completion.
Your project schedule should also take into account construction noise laws and the recommended time period for conducting building works during weekdays and weekends. This window can change depending on council or state laws, so it’s well worth seeking out additional information with industry bodies and local councils to make sure that your construction project timeline stays compliant with industry regulations surrounding noise.
If you schedule any works to occur outside of this window and subsequently receive excess noise complaints, you may be penalized in the form of a fine from your local council.
3. Include assessed site plans
Including detailed copies of your site plans are absolutely essential for any construction logistics plan. The reason for this is that your site plans will provide the contextual information required for your clients, workforce, and all other parties involved to accurately gauge proposed traffic flow, materials storage, and other elements of your physical worksite.
All members of your crew should develop a strong understanding of the layout of your construction site prior to even stepping foot on the site itself. Being able to acquaint themselves with the site before any work commences, can naturally help ensure safety on-site.
Site plans should also provide an accurate outline of any underground gas or water pipelines that run through your construction site. The last thing that you want to deal with when commencing a construction project is being forced to pause works due to water or gas leaks.
4. Sourcing materials suppliers
Sourcing your construction materials is literally foundational to commencing on your build project. For this reason, communications with materials suppliers will perhaps be one of the earliest steps you’ll be taking from ideation to execution of your construction project.
The quality and availability of your construction materials also has the potential to make or break any build project. As such, construction business managers simply cannot afford to skimp on this particular expense.
Naturally, taking time to research shortlisted suppliers and to gather quotes from multiple sources can help you get the best deal on the most high quality construction materials. A registered supplier should also provide plenty of information on the materials they offer, as well as allowing flexibility with regards to bulk materials purchasing as well as materials transportation.
5. Provide equipment use and maintenance timeline
Alongside sourcing materials suppliers, your construction logistics plan should also outline how you’re aiming to source all required heavy equipment (like cranes, rollers, and cement mixers) for your construction site. Construction business managers have the option to either purchase equipment outright themselves, take out an equipment loan to secure equipment, or even lease equipment at a lower cost. The method you select should be included in your project budget to ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed.
Your construction logistics plan should also include an equipment usage and maintenance timeline. Developing this timeline will help keep all your equipment in good working condition, alongside ensuring that equipment isn’t transported on-site erroneously or well before it’s needed. Organising the transportation of equipment to adhere to a rough schedule of when that equipment is likely to be required, can help free up space, which can in turn, help boost safety by allowing site workers to navigate your worksite more efficiently.
6. Consider commercial vehicle routing
It’s safe to say that dozens of vehicles and machinery will be entering and exiting your site across the length of your project’s timeline. That’s why it’s imperative that you map out just how all commercial and private vehicles will be able to access the site.
There are a few considerations you’ll need to make here, including the proximity of allocated parking spaces to your site, the size and accessibility of road access points, and whether these access points are suitable for all or select-sized vehicles and machinery, and preparing roadways or ground for temporary access points, amongst other things.
You should also be sure to consider organizing the relationship between your site traffic flows and pedestrian access points. It’s preferable for your site to have separate access points for pedestrians, just to reduce the risk of vehicles or machinery entering as site workers may be exiting, and vice versa.
7. Organize crew relief areas and site office facilities
Even if your construction site is a touch on the smaller side, it’s essential that you allocate space for a crew relief area and site office facilities. Crew relief areas should ideally provide shade or shelter, access to clean drinking water, as well as first aid facilities. Some construction site managers may also choose to provide basic kitchen amenities in their site office space, so that site workers can feel free to bring lunch into work rather than buying lunch.
All construction sites are also required to provide toilet facilities by worker health and safety standards. Generally speaking, on-site toilets should be fitted with toilet paper, rubbish and sanitary bins, and hand washing facilities at a minimum. Consumable items like soap and toilet paper must be replenished regularly, and facilities should be kept clean and tidy at all times.
8. Allocation of time for workforce training
Regardless of whether your site workers have worked on one site or fifty sites in the past, all construction sites are considered new worksites, which means that you need to conduct induction training at the beginning of any new construction project. Allocating time for workforce training can help your site workers familiarize themselves with the layout of your site and the scope of your construction project prior to project commencement.
Workforce training sessions can also help site managers identify which workers will be using which machinery. As outlining the usage of machinery and equipment in your construction logistics plan must also include identifying who will be using these tools, it’s common for site supervisors to also indicate that workers have been provided with induction training prior to using any allocated equipment. A failure to provide induction training can leave you liable in the unfortunate event of an accident or injury on-site.
Alongside these 8 elements we’ve outlined above, it’s also important to keep in mind that construction logistics plans are always subject to change. Nothing is ever properly finalized, even after you and your team have broken ground. Because of this, you should aim for your construction logistics plan to leave plenty of room for amendments, because it’s highly likely that you will need to make some necessary changes, whether it be on behalf of your client, your supplier, your workforce, or any of the other dozens of variables at play both on- and off-site.