Blog: Integration & Collaborative Working SECBE Awards 2019 finalist - Heathrow Airport

23 May 2019

Sponsored by Waterloo Air Products

Heathrow Airport - submitted by Wilson James

One of Wilson James's key contracts is operating the Colnbrook Logistics Centre (CLC) for Heathrow Airport as the Heathrow Logistics Integrator (HLI). The HLI provides fully integrated logistics services in support of Heathrow’s ongoing construction activities. The highly congested airport infrastructure, the proximity to moving aircraft and passengers, and significant security requirements need a single organisation to coordinate activity. As such, Wilson James partners closely with Heathrow to ensure the logistical management of the principle contractors on site, ensuring that their projects and programmes are met, without impacting on the complex airport operations.

Effective logistics has many positive impacts on a project by ensuring processes run efficiently, reducing resources, time and cost, and subsequently, improving environmental performance. At the HLI, this is achieved by reducing the number of vehicles on the road through consolidating deliveries, utilising reverse logistics from site and operating with electric vehicles.

Wilson James use data to drive decision making throughout the supply chain. Working closely with construction, sustainability and procurement teams alike, Wilson James is helping contractors to make better sustainable decisions and to work collaboratively.

Mandating particular services, such as the consolidation centre, is an effective way to monitor and manage projects, enabling the client to drive change. It is widely reported by industry experts and policy makers that consolidation for construction, especially in Central London and other congested areas, is best practice. However, the uptake of these services is limited due to the upfront cost to the supplier. At the airport, the client is paying up front for the service and therefore taking the onus off the supplier, whilst creating savings for both. This model is one that Wilson James believe should be adopted on other projects.

At Heathrow, the use of logistics professionals to provide integrated support to the Delivery Integrator’s (DIs) promotes collaboration across all projects, by providing an overview of each project and identifying cross overs and potential issues. In addition, the delivery and inventory management system used by all captures more than 1000 data points for each booking, providing a huge data set which can be used to identify trends individually and collaboratively. Although this is relatively unique to the Airport environment, where there are 30+ projects simultaneously working, a similar system would be beneficial where there are clusters of projects. Cross-project logistics and the use of big data to integrate and collaborate has the potential to have significant impacts on the outputs of a project, both in terms of productivity and impact.

This model of logistics integration, supplemented by good technological solutions has created a culture of collaboration across the project portfolio at Heathrow. Wilson James, as the holders of the data, are able to engage suppliers and drive the clients agenda through one-to-one support and group workshops.


  • Reducing vehicle movements
  • Facilitating collaboration
  • Driving change

For more details:

Visit Wilson James

The SECBE 2019 Integration & Collaborative Working Award is sponsored by Waterloo Air Products.

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