Design for Logistics to Reduce Data Center Costs

Controlling logistics cost at your data center construction job site begins with design best practices

Increasingly larger and heavier components being delivered to data center construction sites has created escalating data center logistics challenges. “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 increasing costs and safety risks associated with shipping and receiving extremely large and heavy over dimensional shipments” 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, improve performance in their logistics operations.

Is controlling your data center logistics costs during mission critical construction projects top-of-mind for you?  Here are three key ways you can make a big impact utilizing design for logistics best practices:

#1:  EDUCATE HOW DESIGN FOR LOGISTICS CREATES VALUE

First, educate your key data center stakeholders from equipment and facility design, to procurement, transportation, and construction contractors, as to the three important design for logistics deliverables:

  1. Safety Safety is job one. Designing generator enclosures, cooling units, electrical switchgear and other large structures that will be delivered to data center construction sites, with less height, length, and weight, will significantly reduce safety risk during transport and installation.
  2. Cost Reduction Thoughtful design planning and execution allows for use of smaller and lighter trucks and trailers, with fewer in-transit escorts and travel restrictions, which will reduce transportation costs 30-50% or more.
  3. Capacity Specialized over dimensional trailers become significantly more scarce and harder to schedule for super loads that have continued to grow in dimensions and weight, which increases the risk of costly construction site delays.

#2:  CREATE HOLISTIC COLLABORATION

Second, facilitate a collaborative discussion between your design/engineering, procurement, logistics operations Teams and your carrier partner plus general contractor, to review the height, width, length and weight limits and benchmarks which will allow for safer and lower cost transportation of over dimensional shipments.  Keep in mind that the ability to reduce cost and increase safety is heavily influenced by state regulations and in-transit requirements, plus tradeoffs with onsite construction time and complexity.  Key issues to be considered include:

  • The impact of dimension and weight reductions on component manufacturing cost, onsite construction and installation time and cost, versus transportation safety and cost savings gains will need to be collaboratively compared and quantified.
  • The expected route of travel from manufacturing vendor to data center construction site is another key variable given each state specifies differing rules restricting road use, travel times and need for police escorts and bridges inspectors based on shipment dimensions and weight.
  • Custom packaging, tarping and lifting lugs are additional key collaboration points given it is these items that frequently cause the engineering drawing dimensions to be exceeded, resulting in permitting and transit delays, plus increasing the risk for cargo damage.

#3:  IMPLEMENT DESIGN CHANGE AND MEASURE RESULTS

Third, finalize and implement the agreed upon shipment size reduction design change.  Even minor adjustments can create big savings!  Momentum Transportation provides customizable customer portals and reporting that will allow you to measure and track line haul, permitting and escort savings driven by your design for logistics initiative.  Example design for logistics savings and capacity advantages include:

  • On a recent project to a data center construction site, a 6% reduction in shipment length, and a 3% reduction to shipment height would have reduced the line haul cost by 47%, and the permit & escort cost by 58%, resulting in $800k in overall project transportation savings.
  • With the modest dimension reductions cited above, RGN extendable trailers, with a fleet numbering 10,000+ nationwide, can carry most data center construction super loads. RGN’s provide more reliable and available capacity versus Perimeter trailers, which are currently required for most super load shipments and number only a small fraction of the RGN fleet.

Are you ready to get on the road to controlling costs and improving safety within your data center operation?  Contact one of Momentum Transportation’s knowledgeable data center logistics experts today for a no-obligation consultation.  When you work with us, we will help you reduce costs through design for logistics, and then stay on budget and on time leveraging our mission critical project management expertise.  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 HOPPENS, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

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 BAUMANN, Senior Key Account Manager

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 SCOTT, Key Account Manager

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.