Data center construction sites come with a unique set of data center logistics complexities for every project. This can make controlling costs and staying within the original data center project budget a significant challenge. “When we work with data center hyperscalers and the manufacturers delivering equipment and materials to sites, we hear one of their biggest challenges is the unpredictable and escalating costs that were never built into the original budget” says David Hoppens. David is one of several data center logistics experts at Momentum Transportation, an award-winning Landstar agent. David’s team helps companies operating in the rapidly growing data center industry achieve better, more predictable performance in their operations.
Is controlling your data center logistics costs during construction projects is top-of-mind for you? Here are three key ways you can make a big impact:
#1: Track Costs
First, make sure you have a proven way to track costs overall. Are you using a cost tracking tool that tracks your original freight bid to the actual amount charged when the shipment is complete and the invoice comes in? Are there variances or unexpected increases in the invoice from the original bid? Does the invoice contain line items that break out all the cost contributors such as fuel, permits, accessorials, and so on – and were those items specified in the original bid? If there were unexpected accessorial expenses or unplanned shipments, was there a process in place for you to approve these expenses in real time? A comprehensive system and process for tracking all of these transportation costs should be your starting point. You can’t improve something you can’t track and measure.
#2: Get Competitive Rates
Second, with a baseline of cost visibility established through your cost tracking tools and processes established in #1, you’ll now be in a better position to determine whether or not you’re getting competitive rates across all shipment types and lanes. Utilizing your cost tracker data, you’ll now be able to analyze what you have paid historically for a Point-A-to-Point-B move across all previous projects. Keep in mind, however, that major contributors to a competitive transportation freight rate extend well beyond just the origin and destination. Other contributors can include:
- Transportation equipment type required, especially for heavy haul transportation and other specialized delivery shipments
- Driver availability: perhaps the most critical element of all is having a driver and supporting team (ie. such as escorts) that are highly skilled in operating large, over-dimensional equipment safely over the road
- The route of travel is another key given each state specifies rules restricting road use and travel times based on shipment dimensions and weight
- The capacity market environment which is impacted by the overall health of the economy and specific factors such as equipment demand from wind energy which currently receives government tax incentives
At Momentum Transportation, a Landstar Agent, we specialize in not only the transportation services at competitive rates for data center logistics, but also the overall project management necessary to make the shipment process a success start-to-finish.
#3: Mission-Critical Coordination
Finally, a third way you can control costs in your data center logistics operations is through real-time mission-critical stakeholder coordination. All too often, shipments arrive too soon or too late, and that causes a cascading effect on construction crew and crane down time, plus truck layover charges. The lack of daily coordination creates continual last-minute scheduling adjustments and a general ‘hurry-up-and-wait’ environment. While that’s going on, the clock is ticking and that translates into rapidly escalating costs. With the right planning and end-to-end project management that includes daily collaboration with all stakeholders in your data center construction operation, unplanned delays and the associated costs can be dramatically reduced, saving you time and money.
Are you ready to get on the road to controlling costs and staying within budget for your data center operation? Contact one of Momentum’s knowledgeable data center logistics experts today for a no-obligation consultation. We’ll tell you where your cost savings opportunities lie. When you work with us, we’ll help you track your costs, get competitive transportation rates and keep all key stakeholders connected. Get started today at www.landstar-agent.com.
About this blog’s contributors
An expert team of data center logistics experts at Momentum Transportation, an award-winning Landstar Agent, contributed to this blog post. Meet the team:
David brings over 30 years of transportation and supply chain services experience to Momentum Transportation. His sales, marketing and business unit leadership at companies including CSX Transportation, Pacer International and U.S. Xpress, make him the ideal person to lead sales and marketing. He has served as President and Chairman of the Transportation Marketing and Sales Association. He holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Florida.
JIM SOUTH, Director Heavy & Specialized Operations
Jim has over 30 years of transportation experience, starting his career as a dry van and platform equipment driver. After completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from St. Xavier, he went to work for Landstar in various operation and regional roles. His comprehensive experience provides him with the insight to find solutions to customer’s challenging and complex needs. Jim is responsible for managing the operations and project management teams in our rapidly growing heavy haul and specialized freight sector.
Dave brings over 25 years of transportation and supply chain experience to Momentum Transportation. He spent 8 years serving in the armed forces as an Army Logistics and Supply Chain Expert and 15 years as a Regional/National Account Manager for ATS Specialized and Mercer Transportation. Dave currently oversees the pricing and contracting of mission critical accounts and works with project stakeholders across the country. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Augusta State University.
Becky came to Momentum Transportation 10 years ago with a background in sales and marketing. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of North Florida. Becky has held various positions within the company, allowing her to grow her expertise in domestic (truckload, LTL, heavy and specialized) and international (ocean and air) logistics. She is currently focused on further developing our mission critical business segment.