Project and Logistics Management Strategies


Develop full suite of Key Performance Indicators for ports/terminals/services/supply chains as follows

  • Overall wealth position Balance Sheet, efficiencies, Shareholder and market ‘value-added’.
  • Financial resource management.
  • Quality Port Management metrics.
  • Efficiency per Asset, unit of supply, employee, service etc.
  • Efficiency and/or cost per tonne of throughput.
  • Metrics in relation to non-financial compliance.
  • Metrics utilised to enhance and improve outsourced services.

Case study two - Iron ore mining project:

Assess client export needs at inception of an A$ 150M project and provide advice as to development strategy as well as participate in project control group.

Provide advice in relation to approvals, port access terminal interface arrangements and Government policy. Provide industry network introductions and intelligence to progress transport logistics and wider project arrangements.

Facilitate infrastructure and superstructure, plant and equipment deliberations and formulate service contract decisions with client as project evolves.

Services have included advice in relation to contracts of affreightment, project management, modal choices, liaison with transport infrastructure, superstructure and services providers as well as participation in the investment due diligence process.

Case study four - Port services comparisons:

This project positioned the client to be able to justify, in commercial/operational/risk management terms, why certain port services should remain within its remit [whether contracted of provided in-house] subsequent to a major port expansion and development of an adjunct port precinct.

Baseline costs were established and then compared with other applications - to scale and to scope - across Australia to examine ownership, controls and commerciality in relation to twelve core port functions/services.  The areas examined were Harbormaster, navigation aids, hydrographic services, pilotage, metocean, under-keel clearance, pilot transfers, towage, vessel traffic and scheduling, mooring, maritime security and emergency response.

Five instructive and commercially supported recommendations were able to be made in relation to stakeholder [port user] management, lead times for services and equipment, "business rules", industrial relations and justification of 'ownership' or control of the process.

Case study eight - Logistics and services options for container operator:

PALMS provides regional WA port and logistics advice to a prominent land and sea container and shipping services provider. Analysis has been related to port access - primarily port services, trade facilitation expectations, terms and pricing of services, productivity and service agreements generally.  

Further engagement has been examination of the issues relating to comparative options over a range of regional ports providing a 'baseline' set of assumptions from which the client may consider various logistics, export and shipping options within their regional setting as well as their interface with international shipping 'strings'.

A 'baseline' Competitive Profile Matrix and general observations as to the relative merits of the options were provided with recommendations following examination of issues in relation to; environmental compliance, vessel suitability, stevedoring services, port access, sea distance, land distance, parallel existing options, customer service delivery, cost/price/commerciality, differential pricing, infrastructure and user group influence.

These works have positioned the client to maximize benefit within their own service and equipment realm as well as within that of their own 'first party' clients logistics service expectations. 

Case study eleven - Strategic planning and policy interface advice:

Iron Ore Junior - port access issues - PALMS maintained a 'Four quadrant strategy' ensuring that the (case study ten) client remained in a leading competitive port access position despite definitive weakening of its own resources due to port and Government prevarication. This measured and strengthened competitive position held the client ‘ahead’ in strategic terms until such time as market forces had restored, competitors and their alliances had weakened and the original project had been funded.

Case study twelve – Port access matters and capacity utilisation advice:

Legal firm - port access and demurrage claims matter - PALMS advised as to expert matters relating to practical and regulatory port access terms as well as vessel queuing and port/terminal interfaces to enable a credible claim to be pursued successfully.

Case study fourteen – Comparative port capability and stevedoring services:

Developed competitive Profile Matrix (first-stage) for an operator examining the complex elements of choice between three ports for export services. The works focused on twelve ‘key mission-critical’ elements that set the ports apart competitively and related them for the client to assess individually and holistically to interface with their own supply chain decisions.

Case study twenty-three – Contract of Sale for Iron Ore:

Develop “best-practice” Contract of Sale for iron ore in collaboration with PALMS industry associates/peers eschewing customary “free-on-board” terms historically utilised in that trade sector. Attend negotiations, assist/facilitate final drafting in China and secure execution of the contract; valued circa A$10B.

Case study twenty-four - Contract of Affreightment for Iron Ore:

Develop “best-practice” Contract of Affreightment for iron ore in collaboration with PALMS industry associates/peers effecting cost-and-freight terms, harmonizes with the Contract of Sale to avoid dispute. Attend negotiations, assist/facilitate final drafting in Australia with client enabling them to secure execution of the Contract of Sale referred to in case study twenty-three.

Case study twenty-eight – Western Australian containerised regional port export node development:

These works examined, and proved-up, the feasibility of harmonizing and existing container service from a southern WA regional port with another near-capital city regional port with a view to inducing cargo into the ‘passing’ supply chain as a cheaper alternative to being ‘captive’ to the neighboring WA capital city port.

The service strings examined utilised an existing cellular container carrier and integrated a “conbulker” to provide diverse capacity. The prospect facilitated an alternative ‘least-cost-pathway’ for freight ‘captive’ to the capital city port. Reduced indivisibility of joint supply in the existing capacity on route to the southern WA port and delivered an eleven-day frequency of sailing with round voyages on each vessel set at 24 days on ‘econospeed’.

The value-proposition, beyond alternative pathway and improvement of indivisibility, was provision of ‘buffer’ capacity to ameliorate seasonality, improved frequency of sailings over the WA regional ports, provision of southbound repositioning of containers, significant cost reduction as well as integration of solid bulk capacity within the supply chain.

The Master Process Flows for the tasks were compared, including landside freight costs comparison with justification for a ‘hybrid’ task being established; this being more cost effective than the existing hybrid task over the adjacent capital city port. This initiative was not commissioned due to competing interests with vessel capacity within the clients ‘fleet’ as well as uncertainty in relation to long-term plans, and capacity available, in one of the regional ports included.

Case study thirty-one – Scoping “world-class solid bulk exporting facility for WA Regional port:

Undertake complete scoping study for “export of mineral concentrates in solid bulk over a sensitive WA regional port. The justification being a modal shift from containerised to solid bulk transportation with concomitant cost savings but with improved environmental conditions.

This work included a strong concept proposal and options background given the critical social, political, environmental and commercial sensitivities relating to the matter. The works surfaced “global best practice” for the handling of mineral concentrate (sulphides) in solid bulk and then turned to augmentation of an alternate berth within the existing precincts of the port to facilitate the initiative. The latter following the concept of port infrastructure, superstructure and services development all ‘matching’ with “minimum intervention through a range of existing infrastructure”.

Major components of the works were selection of the ‘design vessel’, interface with the concentrate product characteristics, berth configuration and modifications, proposed ship loader and ‘cascade’ chutes, enclosed conveyors and galleries and a ‘world-class-facility’ negatively pressured storage and receivals shed.

Tonnage throughput and concomitant commercial parameters were also examined with breakeven tonnages and Net Present Value limits expressed; in addition to inclusion of a “Freight Advantage Contribution” charge leveraging contribution to capital against the background of savings when changing mode from containers to solid bulk. Approvals and stakeholder consultation were articulated as were elements of Governance, including shareholder engagement and wide-scope risk management considerations.

Case study thirty-three – Expert legal opinion:

Provide subject matter expert advice to legal firm pursuing damages in relation to port access, port/terminal capacity representations, demurrage and wider damages claims. Advice set against the background of Quality Port Management, supply chain management, port and terminal management and scheduling processes.