Entry Date:
July 30, 2009

Are There Solutions to Overcome the Problems of “Double Dandling” in the U.S. Wind Logistics Business

Principal Investigator Paul Sclavounos

U.S. wind market in 2008 was a $16b industry and is set for unprecedented growth over the next 20 years. The traditional logistics operations in wind cannot cope with the increasing complexity and scale of the supply chain, and as result, wind project developers frequently overspend their budgets in large part due to “double handling” of key components. Rather than moving each component once, the components need to be moved and stored somewhere until the padmount is ready for delivery, which incurs additional costs such as temporary storage area construction, secondary transportation and additional crane rental and labor costs. 

Research into wind logistics has concluded that double handling is an unavoidable problem in the US wind business and one that will get worse before it gets better as turbines get bigger, average wind farm size increases and get built in more remote places and the OEM supply chain remains fragmented. Out of this research has emerged a MIT start up venture (semi-finalist in the 2009 MIT $100k competition) which plans to develop storage sites at key hubs in the U.S. wind market and then offer just in time transportation to the exact wind turbine location. By doing firms can better control their wind project schedules and reduce their costs and minimize the impact of double handling. Over time we would add inspection services and warehousing facilities for spare parts and seek to develop services for the offshore wind sector.