February 7 - Speaking with HLPFI Peter Bouwhuis provided some details about Xellz - a new company that offers freight and logistics management solutions to the shipper side of the project logistics industry.

Bouwhuis, president and ceo of the new venture, believes that the shipper side of the industry is undergoing a rapid change with an ever-greater focus on minimising costs and reducing inefficiencies across every element of a project.

He said the traditional methods by which engineering, procurement and construction contractors (EPC) and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) collate information for their capital projects, prior to launching a request for quotation (RFQ) to the logistics industry, is inefficient.

Bouwhuis offers the following example: "What EPC companies do first in any project is gather information internally, design and plan the project as well as they can. Then they design a RFQ, which they take to the project freight forwarders."

Bouwhuis said that once bids have been received, negotiated and subsequently approved, in the vast majority of cases the RFQ and its expected outcome is likely to have changed dramatically.

"I have been on both sides of the industry and many times the RFQ is incorrect because projects change all the time," said Bouwhuis, adding that this inefficiency serves only to waste time and money.

Bouwhuis said Xellz would gather all the necessary internal information required for an RFQ with its customer, working with engineers to evaluate and optimise designs for shipping and with company management to create a more accurate and appropriate plan. Xellz itself does not enter into the RFQ round but instead evaluates the carrier RFQ responses together with the customer for the best option.

Bouwhuis is confident that customers can save in excess of 25 percent on their project logistics costs by working with Xellz. "It is not just about rates", he explained, "it is about identifying what is the cost of the project and the potential cost savings."

Currently, Xellz is pooling the resources of 25 logistics organisations, both asset and non-asset holding, that share the view that the industry needs to change. "People are aware that change is coming and want to be a part of it."

The company has designed an IT system that allows Xellz offices to work on RFQ proposals and project execution concurrently, while providing full transparency for its customers.

Bouwhuis promises that the young company will undergo rapid expansion in the coming months and will open ten offices across the globe in 2017. These will be strategically positioned to serve customers in the oil and gas, energy, mining, aerospace and in industrial manufacturing sectors. Bouwhuis states that Xellz has been well received by its potential customers and the company is already working on seven pilot projects. 

By the end of 2018 Xellz aims have 30 to 40 offices and by the end of 2020 the target is to have 80-plus offices employing some 500 staff. In addition to its local operating offices, Xellz intends to open Xellz Air Charter, Xellz Ocean Charter, Xellz Insurances & Loss Control Management, Xellz Engineering & Trangineering, Xellz Offshore Brokerage and Xellz Airport Solutions.