Driving improvements in transport and logistics

  • Joint venture brings expertise from the haulage sector
  • Long-term plan is to offer services to other industries in addition to construction
  • New vehicle tracking and planning systems are already having an impact

Approaching six months since its launch, Explore Transport Ltd is already improving the effectiveness of deliveries to and from Laing O’Rourke construction sites.

The 50-50 joint venture (JV) with WS Transportation – a company with strong connections to the Eddie Stobart haulage business – took over the existing assets of Select Logistics in September.

Laing O’Rourke’s logistics director, Jurrien Heynen, explains the reasoning behind the JV. “The idea is to bring together Laing O’Rourke’s construction expertise with Stobart’s expertise of managing drivers and vehicle fleets to create the safest and best transport operation with the best-trained people in the construction industry.”

Investment in new equipment and systems to drive improvements will not only improve transportation for Laing O’Rourke businesses, says Jurrien. The longer-term plan is to grow our fleet of trucks and trailers to offer our services “right across the construction industry and even to other industries”.

Getting the foundations in place

Formerly a director at Eddie Stobart, David Cox is now the managing director at Explore Transport. He says: “The first six months is phase one of our business strategy and is about getting all the foundations in place.”  That has included driver training and equipment specification, establishing new asset maintenance systems and joining up our depots together into one national network.

David adds: “We’re also bedding in the operating and efficiency systems – planning, real-time tracking and key performance indicator (KPI) monitoring.” The recruitment of more office staff and drivers is now underway and Explore Transport is on track to meet its goal of doubling its fleet size during 2016.

Explore Transport is also expanding its network of depots, which will now include a new consolidation centre in Dagenham on the outskirts of London. This new logistics site will become the base for a new fleet of specialised trucks and drivers dedicated to serving London. It will also provide a temporary home for products from our manufacturing facilities around the UK, where they can be stored en route to the delivery site. This will give our projects in the capital the flexibility to ‘call in’ deliveries as and when they are needed and therefore maximise efficiency on site.

Road Runner

David confirms Explore Transport’s bespoke Road Runner system is now “99% up and running” and will be used for tracking all vehicles and planning loads. “We can then also use it to monitor real-time KPIs like delivery on time, revenue per truck and empty mileage. Our developers are currently creating an ETA screen similar to a train arrivals board so that every site will get full visibility of their deliveries for the day.”

Jurrien adds: “One can already see the benefits of being able to track the deliveries in real-time and therefore ensure deliveries are arriving when expected and reducing the waiting time on project sites.”

And the developments at Explore Transport Ltd don’t stop there. To underline that safety is our number one priority, our trucks now feature the latest in-cab technology and remotely monitored camera systems to help with driver awareness, measures which have helped make the fleet compliant with Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety standards.