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Improving Transport Efficiency in the Construction Supply Chain
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Communications and Transport Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0290-2273
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Construction is responsible for a large part of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions worldwide (39%) and environmental concerns in construction are growing. Construction is transport intensive since the final construction products like buildings are built directly at the site of use and all resources need to be transported to and from the construction site. The environmental impact of construction transport is significant and requires attention since 90% of the transport within construction is road transport. However, historically both regulatory bodies and the construction companies have overlooked construction transport causing transport to remain unnoticed as a separate activity. Construction transport efficiency (CTE) is low, but CTE can be improved using solutions such as logistics services, digital tools, and information sharing which in turn add value to the involved actors and reduce CO2 emissions. However, there is a need to better understand how to improve CTE.

The purpose of the thesis is "to investigate how to improve construction transport efficiency by using logistics services, digital tools and information sharing to add value for the involved actors".

Three research questions (RQs) have been developed to achieve the purpose of the thesis:

RQ1a: What activities constitute construction transport?

RQ1b: What are the challenges in improving construction transport efficiency?

RQ2: How can logistics services, digital tools and information sharing improve construction transport efficiency?

RQ3: How does improving construction transport efficiency add value for the involved actors?To answer the RQs, a case study has been used as a primary research approach to develop an in-depth and detailed understanding of construction transport. The thesis comprises five studies over the period of five years. Data has been collected mainly through observations, interviews, and company’s internal statistical data. Furthermore, construction transport flows have been studied from different actor’s perspective such as transporter, main contractor, material supplier, and waste collector.

The thesis highlights the lack of efficiency within construction transport by identifying value adding, non-value adding, and necessary but non-value adding activities. The underlying reasons for the low CTE are lack of planning, poor communication, and lack of standard operating procedures (SOPs). Lack of planning leads to poor routing, empty travelling, and an increased number of transport. Likewise, poor communication results in outdated plans, last-minute changes, delayed deliveries whereas lack of SOPs results in non-standardized processes, lack of proper loading and unloading zones and improper material handling leading to damages. Due to poor transport planning, poor communication and lack of SOPs, construction transport uses more resources (such as time, fuel, vehicle, energy, and effort) than needed, adding less value to the involved actors (i.e. transporter, main contractor, material supplier and waste collector) as well as impacting the environment negatively.

The thesis emphasizes the value of logistics services (such as material management, on-site vendor management inventory (VMI), waste management) for the involved actors in terms of improving CTE and how CTE can be improved using logistics services, digital tools and information sharing. Given the critical importance of delivery reliability within construction transport, the thesis provides value by detailing the time taken by each activity within construction transport flow via value stream mapping approach. Moreover, the thesis broadly adds knowledge to Logistics and Construction Management research areas whereby focusing specifically on construction transport—so far unnoticed as a distinct activity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2024. , p. 80
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 2396
Keywords [en]
Construction transport efficiency, Actors perspective (transporter, main contractor, material supplier and waste collector), Logistics services, Digitalization, Information sharing, Sustainability
National Category
Construction Management Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-203935DOI: 10.3384/9789180757010ISBN: 9789180757003 (print)ISBN: 9789180757010 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-203935DiVA, id: diva2:1862735
Public defence
2024-09-06, K2, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Norrköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-05-30 Created: 2024-05-30 Last updated: 2024-06-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. The Potential of Improving Construction Transport Time Efficiency - A Freight Forwarder Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Potential of Improving Construction Transport Time Efficiency - A Freight Forwarder Perspective
2022 (English)In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 14, no 17, article id 10491Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Construction transport, in general, is not carried out efficiently, resulting in unnecessary costs and CO2 emissions. Although it has been found that there is a great potential to improve construction transport, little research has been conducted within this field. The purpose of this study is to contribute to the construction transport time efficiency by identifying non-value-adding activities and their causes from a freight forwarder perspective. A single case study was conducted and two flows, a goods delivery flow and a waste material flow, were mapped and analyzed with the help of value stream mapping (VSM). We ran two workshops to discuss the findings of the VSM. The results from this study show that there is large potential for improving construction transport time efficiency as over 40% of the time was used for non-value-adding activities. Although transport suffers from similar non-value-adding activities undertaken in other industries, this study identifies the transport activities with respect to construction transport. The findings further highlight areas of potential improvements, such as improved information sharing, planning, and coordination among all stakeholders. This knowledge can be used by the freight forwarder and the main contractor to improve construction transport time efficiency. The limitation of this study is that it is based on a single case of a freight forwarder. It does not provide a full picture of construction transport efficiency but rather a starting point for future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI, 2022
Keywords
transport efficiency; construction transport activities; value stream mapping
National Category
Environmental Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-188614 (URN)10.3390/su141710491 (DOI)000851867300001 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|Trafikverket (Swedish Transport Administration) [2019.2.2.5]

Available from: 2022-09-20 Created: 2022-09-20 Last updated: 2024-05-30
2. Clarifying the Interface Between Construction Supply Chain and Site: A Key to Improved Delivery Efficiency
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Clarifying the Interface Between Construction Supply Chain and Site: A Key to Improved Delivery Efficiency
2023 (English)In: Advances in Production Management Systems: Production Management Systems for Responsible Manufacturing, Service, and Logistics Futures / [ed] Erlend Alfnes, Anita Romsdal, Jan Ola Strandhagen, Gregor von Cieminski, David Romero, Cham: Springer, 2023, p. 140-153Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the paper is to capture non-value adding activities of the order-to-delivery process at the interface between construction site and the supply chain to identify efficiency improvement potentials. The paper is based on a case study of a Swedish construction site. The unit of observation has been the activities taking place at the interface between construction supply chain and construction site. i.e. deliveries and on-site material handling. Data is collected through observations in the unloading zone of the construction site, unstructured interviews, and a workshop with site management. The findings of the paper show that there exists fuzziness in the interface of construction supply chain and construction site causing the observed non-value adding activities such as waiting, excessive material handling, unnecessary vehicle movements etc. The root causes of the fuzziness are poor planning, lack of communication between site management and transporter/material supplier, and lack of standard operating procedures for unloading. The paper provides knowledge of the importance of managing interface between construction supply chain and site to remove non-value adding activities. Additionally, the paper provides a clear view of the different actors’ roles in the non-value adding activities and give suggestions of how to improve efficiency of construction deliveries. The paper is based on a single case study and further studies are needed to provide deeper insights into the phenomenon.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Springer, 2023
Series
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1868-4238, E-ISSN 1868-422X ; 691
Keywords
Construction Supply Chain, Logistics Planning and Control, Non-Value Adding Activities
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-203929 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-43670-3_10 (DOI)9783031436697 (ISBN)9783031436703 (ISBN)
Conference
IFIP WG 5.7 International Conference, APMS 2023 Trondheim, Norway, September 17–21, 2023
Available from: 2024-05-30 Created: 2024-05-30 Last updated: 2024-06-10Bibliographically approved

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23456785 of 11
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