Construction Logistics in a City Development Setting

Abstract: With the current urbanization trend, there is an increased need for city development, i.e. to build apartment buildings, hospitals, schools and infrastructure in cities and urban areas to meet the rising demands. At the same time, land is increasingly seen as a finite resource. This has led to the regeneration of decommissioned industrial-use land for development purposes. This means that multiple individual construction projects are being built in the same or nearby areas during the same time-period. However, the end products of construction projects are produced at their place of consumption, which means that large quantities of materials and resources need to be delivered to, and removed from, each construction site. This leads to new transport flows being created in connection to city development. These transport flows need to be coordinated to ensure efficient construction productivity and reduce the transports’ environmental and social impact on the urban transport system. At the same time, it is important to ensure that construction sites can be managed from a logistics perspective without impairing efficiency due to the challenges of building in urban environments.One way of managing logistics to and from construction projects in city development is through so-called construction logistics setups (CLS). However, the implementation of CLS’s affect many different stakeholders and the interorganizational relationships between them. The implementation of CLS’s therefore faces three challenges; management of transport to and from construction sites, management of logistics at construction sites, and managing the interorganizational relationships amongst construction project stakeholders. The development of CLS’s is often undertaken by mimicking previous setups as there is currently no guiding procedure for developing and implementing CLS’s. To reduce the ad hoc approach to developing and implementing CLS’s, the purpose of this dissertation is to propose a framework for developing construction logistics setups. The purpose is fulfilled with the aid of the following four research questions:RQ1:   Taking the perspectives of different stakeholders’, why are CLS’s implemented?RQ2:   What type of CLS services are offered?RQ3:   How can performance effects of CLS’s be measured?RQ4:   How do CLS’s affect the identified challenges of managing the transports to and from construction sites, managing logistics at construction sites, and managing the interorganizational relationships amongst construction project stakeholders?To answer the research questions, three main methodologies have been used; literature reviews to inform the background of the studies and develop analytical frameworks, and case study and Delphi research for the empirical studies. In fulfilling the research purpose, the findings of this dissertation suggests that when developing a CLS, three activities need to be considered; 1. setting the scope of the CLS, 2. deciding on the structure of the CLS, and 3. managing the interorganizational relationships of the CLS. These activities are the foundation of the developed framework. The contents of the activities were derived through the research questions.When answering RQ1, it was found that contractors implement CLS’s to ensure construction productivity, developers implement CLS’s to reduce disturbances to businesses and residents nearby, and municipalities implement CLS’s to reduce disturbances to third-parties and to reduce the impact from construction logistics on the urban transport system. These stakeholder drivers for implementing CLS’s will impact the scope of the CLS. Furthermore, the scope of the CLS was found to be dependent on both the contextual considerations of the CLS in terms of physical context at site and in terms of what is being built, as well as the organizational context in terms of what stakeholders are part of the project, where in the hierarchy the CLS is located, and what level of mandate the CLS has. The scope will also set the terms for how transports are managed through the CLS. If for instance there is limited space at site, this can imply that time-planned deliveries are favoured. In answering RQ2, it was found that as a consequence of what transport management approach is chosen, the structure of the CLS will differ. This dissertation shows that asset-based setups are similar to traditional logistics outsourcing and TPL in which physical distribution services are offered. Non-asset based services on the other hand act more as supply chain orchestrators similar to fourth-party logistics service providers. In these cases, supplied services are aimed more at ensuring that the right services and capabilities can be procured for the CLS. One value-adding service that was found crucial to include in CLS’s is a joint booking and planning system. Having this type of support systems will allow the CLS to coordinate the different stakeholders connected to the CLS. Related to the structure of the CLS, RQ3 suggest that performance needs to be monitored for deliveries, on-site logistics, and the coordination of logistics activities on and off site. The performance monitoring needs to be developed from a logistics point-of-view, taking into consideration the different stakeholders’ perspectives. Finally, in answering RQ4, it was found that a CLS can affect the identified challenges positively. In essence, a CLS aims at managing construction logistics and if developed and implemented from this notion, transports to and from site as well as on-site logistics management can become more efficient. Additionally, the dissertation shows that CLS’s can help in managing the interorganizational relationships within the construction project(s). However, this builds on the notion of having well-developed and communicated service offerings and regulations, e.g. through business and governance models. It was also found that the activities of the framework are interrelated and dependent on one another, suggesting that developing construction logistics setups is an iterative process. The proposed framework should thus be seen as a guideline for how to develop the setup, allowing for adaptations of the setup to the context for which it is developed.

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