Bolloré Logistics creates new global standard operating procedures for risk analysis of out-sized, remote-location heavy industry projects.
Heavy industries have placed great emphasis on operational risk management over the years, focusing particularly on safeguarding employees from harm. But freight forwarders providing transport and logistics services to large industrial projects must go further to also protect and preserve the considerable material and financial stakes involved.
The challenges in doing that are numerous and complex. Construction of dams, mines, pipelines, offshore platforms, energy plants and other large industrial installations frequently require enormous, expensive and -- in some cases -- uniquely manufactured components. Transporting such gigantic material to remote locations poses considerable physical challenges that are further complicated by rudimentary or ill-adapted infrastructure crossing populated areas.
“You must protect the clients’ financial and industrial interests, but also human and environmental imperatives,” explains Patrice Dubois, Health, Safety and Environment Manager at Bolloré Logistics’ HSE department in Paris. “You need to carefully plan route, lifting and equipment details in advance and prepare use of alternate roads if primary itineraries can no longer be used. That requires a lot of on-the-ground scouting, and considerable collaboration and coordination with the client.”
To take that risk analysis and planning to an even higher level, Bolloré Logistics created a new global structure assembling its deep experience and insight into a single, synergy-generating network. That allows units in different countries and regions to share strengths with others, and forge a stronger unified approach to large project transport management.
It also facilitated the creation of uniform documentation for separate but inter-linked transport and lifting planning. As part of that global approach, a fixed chain of management and responsibility for preparation and execution of projects is also applied at the local level, where planning and reaction to changing variables is essential.
“The integrated structure allows us to capitalize on strengths across the network, and harmonize best practices,” says Audrey Becque, the Bolloré Logistics HSE Coordinator involved in standardizing transport and lifting documentation. “And at the local level, you have a Project Manager directing the project, overseeing risk analysis, designating partners, and following the project through to completion and review.”
Pooling talents also permits Bolloré units in regions like Asia and Africa – which are generating many large industrial ventures, often in difficult or remote locations -- to share their successful participation in projects with the global network.
One example of that expertise being successfully optimized came in Senegal this year, where Bolloré Logistics organized the transport of seven 320-ton engines and five, eight meter-high alternators for Matelec’s new Tobene electrical plant. That required dismantling nine low-slung bridges and raising obstacles like power lines so 30-meter convoys could transport the 600 TEUs of cargo 94 kilometers inland – protected by accompanying traffic control – over a seven-week time frame allotted.
“You need to know exactly what transport and lifting equipment will be required, but to also have visited and noted every curve, every bridge, every possible obstacle you have or may encounter along the way,” Becque says. “You also have to know who the best partners are to participate in the project so it’s safe and successful.”
That knowledge, insight and experience unified within Bolloré Logistics’ risk management structure makes the group the natural choice for clients preparing giant industrial projects.
“We may not own the ships, planes, trucks or cranes used, but we do have the experience and capabilities to get their exceptional freight anywhere it’s needed – both safely and on time,” Dubois adds. “This effort allows us to both merge several similar processes together and mobilize our experts on all continents to share best practices. And we’ll continue that development across the global among all our operations.”