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Transport &Technology

More than half (51 per cent) of UK construction firms say transport-related delays are frequently impacting upon projects, research has revealed.

Of those, 9 per cent say all projects are affected and a further 42 per cent say they are regularly affected. The study, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) on behalf of TomTom Telematics, also found just three per cent of respondents have never been affected by delays.

These logistical problems have had a significant effect on companies’ operations. Delays to the completion date of projects were cited as the most common outcome by 78 per cent of respondents, followed by reduced profitability (41 per cent), damage to reputation (36 per cent) and financial penalties for failing to meet deadlines (21 per cent).

“Construction firms are required by their customers to satisfy demanding service level agreements (SLAs), so there is often little room for error when it comes to the completion of projects,” said Jeremy Gould, VP Sales Europe at TomTom Telematics.

“That means efficient logistics are crucial to profitability and continued success. Companies have to make every effort to mitigate the effect of issues such as vehicle breakdowns and traffic congestion in order to ensure projects comply with SLAs.”

The research also revealed that 82 per cent of firms believe a successful transport logistics strategy is important to the outcome of a project.

In terms of the type of logistical issues faced by companies, vehicles failing to arrive on site when required was identified as the most common, cited by 67 per cent of respondents. They were closely followed by traffic-related delays (44 per cent), a lack of accurate information about schedules and progress (41 per cent) and vehicles arriving on site when not required (40 per cent).

Gould added: “Access to the appropriate data is crucial for construction firms to address these issues as it provides the required visibility into daily operations. Fleet management technology, for example, can improve routing and scheduling by combining live vehicle GPS data with traffic information, ensuring delays can be better anticipated and managed.”

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