May 17, 2020

CH Robinson drives efficiencies for global proppant supply chains

CH Robinson
3 min
CH Robinson drives efficiencies for global proppant supply chains
Now, more than ever, proppant manufacturers and oil and gas companies should pay close attention to their supply chains.Driving efficiencieswhile ensuri...

Now, more than ever, proppant manufacturers and oil and gas companies should pay close attention to their supply chains. Driving efficiencies while ensuring a continuous and ample supply of ceramic proppant, a product that is essential to many oil and gas fracking operations, is at a premium especially in the United States.

“Today’s game changer is going to be the oil and gas companies that can drive down their supply chain costs by improving efficiencies and adding visibility,” said Kent Stuart, director of oil and gas for C.H. Robinson. “The speed of fracking requires a nimble, global supply chain that can be up and running in a moment’s notice.”

With over 20 years of expertise in the oil and gas industry, C.H. Robinson understands the demands and complexities of shipping proppant, and can help companies improve their global supply chains with the right combination of expertise, processes, and innovative technology as explained in this whitepaper.

By analysing their current supply chains and offering integrated solutions that keep the rigs pumping and proppant in good supply, C.H. Robinson helps oil and gas companies rethink how their supply chains work now, and how a more streamlined supply chain can give them a clear edge over their competitors.

“Oil prices can change dramatically and without warning,” said Chris O’Brien, chief commercial officer at C.H. Robinson. “To survive market fluctuations, leading oil and gas companies need to take a more strategic look at their supply chains. Success in this industry will go to businesses that are proactive with their planning.”

Transportation costs can easily account for 40-70 percent of the value of the heavy, dense ceramic proppant, which can mean dramatic savings for companies who can manage their spending over time. With multiple currencies, languages, government regulations, service gaps, and surging demands, global ceramic proppant manufacturers have one of the most complex supply chains in the oil and gas industry. With supply chains stretching from China, Russia, or South America to remote oilfield locations in North America, proppant manufacturers must coordinate with an array of independent transportation suppliers, transportation providers, warehouses, and transloaders, often without visibility to their freight in transit.

C.H. Robinson is applying its global network, standardised processes, and proprietary Navisphere technology to add visibility and drive efficiencies into the ceramic proppant supply chain. By utilizing one of the largest ocean, air, and over the road carrier networks in the world, C.H. Robinson is helping these companies remove valuable time from the supply chain while creating global visibility and providing actionable business intelligence that drives continuous improvement.

Founded in 1905, C.H. Robinson is a global provider of multimodal logistics services, fresh produce sourcing, and information services to 46,000 customers through a network of more than 280 offices and over 11,000 employees around the world. The company works with 66,000 transportation providers worldwide. C.H. Robinson is a Fortune 500 company and had annual revenues of $13.5 billion in 2014.

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Jun 21, 2021

Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight

2 min
Elon Musk’s tunnelling firm plans underground freight tunnels with shipping containers moved on “battery-powered freight carriers”, according to reports

Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports. 

A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers. 

Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US. 

The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two. 


Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels

The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.

The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete. 

Tesla’s supply chain woes 

Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue. 

Elon Musk Tweet

Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely

Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany

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