Simulation of vehicle movements for planning construction logistics centres

Fei Ying (Corresponding author), Michael O'Sullivan, Ivo J.B.F. Adan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Materials supply is one of the important elements in construction operation and a major factor affecting the quality of construction projects. Many industries look to manage materials effectively by attempting to integrate logistics processes into logistics chains of suppliers and customers. Logistics processes, being crucial for successful completion of construction projects, but in fact, auxiliary, are often entrusted to external professionals specialised in logistic services, such as logistics centres. However, this tendency is yet to be developed in construction. The purpose of this paper is to develop a simulation framework for the examination of potential improvements of logistics performance using logistics centres. Design/methodology/approach: A case study approach was adopted with computer simulation using Flexsim. Data of vehicle movements were collected during construction on-site from the start of construction to “hand-over” to the building owner. Findings: The ideal location of a logistics centre is identified using vehicle movements data collected on the site. The potential improvements of the planned centre are then evaluated by simulating various scenarios of vehicle movements. The enclosed results from the simulations indicate that using a logistics centre will reduce waste for the construction project considered. Originality/value: The paper emphasises that creating a logistics centre for a project can improve construction logistics performance, by consolidating and optimizing both off-site and on-site logistics, especially when the site condition is prohibitive (small footprint with limited loading bay area). Establishing logistics centres may help find ways of making the overall construction project more effective by improving the management of materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-624
Number of pages17
JournalConstruction Innovation
Issue number4
Early online dateFeb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2021


  • Construction industry
  • Integration
  • Logistics management
  • New Zealand
  • Simulation
  • Supply chain management


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