How transport logistics work in the O&G market

  • 21/01/2020
  • 9 minutes

Transport logistics in the O&G (Oil and Gas) market are one of the most important aspects for those who work in the industry, do you agree? After all, it is through it that the success of many operations are defined.

However, what are the main difficulties faced by those who perform this activity in their daily lives? What points are analyzed before choosing a transport for a particular type of cargo?

To answer these and other questions, we interviewed Carlos Döhnert, who serves as general manager at Blue Water Shipping (BWS) — a company that provides global logistics services. Follow the contents to the end to learn more!

What are the main difficulties to be faced in transport logistics in the O&G market?

According to the expert, transport logistics in this market has large dimensions and this is one of the biggest causes of the difficulties faced by the industry. “The use of special equipment is necessary, as well as the planning to enable a fast and safe transport using the modal indicated for each case: road, sea, air or a combination of several of these alternatives” he comments.

Other constant challenges are linked to the use of data and the adherence of technological resources to each business model. The ability to simulate different routes and scenarios, plan tactically and make the most of the tools related to industry 4.0. After all, not all Oil & Gas companies can make a robust assessment of their chain, analyzing from end to end. With these advents, development tends to take even greater proportions.

In the oil industry, in particular, it is worth noting the openness and deregulation of previously unexplored markets. As a result, there was some disintegration of the activities of some companies that dominated the market until then. In addition to generating new opportunities through the growing need, this fact created the demand for an increasingly professional and optimized logistics service in all areas and processes.

According to Carlos, the operating stages of logistics in the O&G market can be divided as follows:

1. feasibility analysis;

2. choice of the appropriate modal;

3. planning;

4. operation.

What are the main precautions to be taken with cargo and logistics in general?

“The essential precautions to be taken with the cargo are linked to documentation verification (Commercial Invoices and Packing Lists, for example), packaging, pick-up and handling points, oversizing and sensitive parts (such as electrical and/or electronic equipment)”, Carlos explains.

It is worth noting that, when choosing a transport for the cargo — ship, train, truck etc. — not only must the integrity of the cargo be checked to prevent damage, but it is also necessary find ways to ensure the safety of everybody involved with the procedure and to carry out the phases with the shortest possible transit time.

For all the steps Carlos mentioned to be improved, companies with a certain degree of organizational maturity in the Oil & Gas industry often rely on a technology platform that can support decision making in their operations.

When extracting oil from the sea, for example, it is necessary to find ways to overcome all existing obstacles and take it to the platform with maximum efficiency. Then, several restrictions must be overcomed so that the product obtained can reach the refineries. Examples are the pipes that connect the ducts to the product outputs and which, through improvements, can make the process even safer and prevent waste.

What are the prospects for transport logistics in the O&G market?

When asked how he sees the future of logistics for this type of cargo, Carlos says that it “is directly linked to the design and manufacture of components, parts, pieces and tools that integrate the segment”. This is because the restrictions on transportation serve as a guide for manufacturers and engineers who take care of designing the modals used, such as cargo ships.

He also points out possible ways to make the coming years even more favorable: “the greater the logistical capacity to resolve weight and size constraints, the less time it will take to assemble the equipment at its final destination — which reduces the risks errors in assemblies”. This is because larger parts and pieces mean less need for handling and less time spent during assembly. Therefore, logistics must be constantly evolving in both the methods applied and the equipment used.

Given this context, it is appropriate to refer to the fourth edition of the Logistics Trend Radar report, published by the multinational DHL. The study considers the key trends in the future of logistics. According to the data gathered, it would be no exaggeration to say that from the thorough analysis of a large volume of data, it is likely that the entire industry chain will become more transparent. In practice, this would enable process optimization and overall cost reduction.

Also according to the survey data, cooperation between people and machines will be crucial for employees to be satisfied with their work, as well as reducing repetitive, bureaucratic or merely operational tasks. Other points that will have increasing prominence over the next decades are:

• use of drones;

• artificial intelligence;

• smart sensors;

• agile and noise free communication;

• risk-focused compliance programs;

• customer experience with the business, putting customers first;

• environmental responsibility, sustainability and reduction of CO₂ emissions.

Developments in the Oil and Gas market will also impact the logistics of the industry. Pre-salt, for example, emerges as a laboratory for testing new technologies. Of course, despite the gains in efficiency already achieved, new risks arise — strategies need to be devised to mitigate them. Transport logistics in the O&G market has been developing a lot. It is therefore essential to face the challenges and seize the opportunities it brings with it.

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