Turnaround and Capital Project costs reach well into the millions and even billions of dollars in today’s market, and plant owners must expertly control expenses. When evaluating the full scope of a project, transportation can seem like a relatively small expense — but costs associated with transportation can accumulate quickly. While a plant owner might scrutinize shift hours on an invoice, exorbitant transportation costs can go relatively unnoticed, with no clear point of reference. But when you opt for a single, centralized transportation provider, you can negotiate pricing upfront with only one party — transportation simply becomes a line item on your spreadsheet, allowing you to forecast more accurately and track costs more effectively.
The efficiencies of centralized workforce transportation inevitably reduce your transportation costs in tangible and intangible ways. Your workforce will need fewer vehicles to accomplish the same objective. With a smaller fleet, fuel and maintenance costs go down. Professionals driving your fleet earn at a lower rate than the average craft time worker, and those cumulative savings are passed on to you. On top of the tangible cost savings, the intangible value of centralized transportation lies primarily in its greater efficiency.
With faster transport between parking lots, tents and assigned units, workers increase time spent on the job; skilled workers who would normally serve as “designated drivers” will accomplish more, staying focused on their craft without interruption.
For example, Onpoint was able to assist a valued client in Baytown, Texas by offering a centralized approach to transportation. We provided 25 buses to support a client’s large surge in hiring, which resulted from a push to finish a $6 billion project. Our drivers were able to transport approximately 1,500 craft-level workers each day for 16 months. We supported the project with no injuries or motor vehicle accidents, receiving high professionalism and safety marks from the client. The convenience of consolidating their transportation needs into one point of contact greatly impacted the success of their project.
Similarly, one of our clients in Port Arthur commissioned 23 buses to take more than 100 vehicles off-site — that meant 23 craft-level employees were able to stay on their tools, working. Otherwise, they would have had to leave their work area, retrieve a bus and drive it. Typically, contractors would have to transport their workforce via pickup trucks, vans, or rental buses — putting untrained drivers behind the wheel and assuming an unnecessary safety risk.
As with almost every business decision, cost is where the rubber meets the road. The savings and efficiencies of single-source, centralized workforce transportation are reflected in productivity and management clarity, simultaneously reducing your total transportation cost.
In the simpler days of smaller turnarounds, decentralized workforce transportation worked well, considering less manpower was needed to complete the job. Additionally, on-site parking was a realistic expectation. Today’s turnaround objectives and workforce requirements have scaled up dramatically. Plant owners demand higher levels of sophistication in all facets of their projects, including planning, engineering, procurement and risk management. A sophisticated approach to workforce transportation is of equal importance.