1. Reviewing and understanding your assets list.
First, we break down your assets list into two areas:
You won’t ship tooling and machinery together because they have different declared values and they have different tariff assignments to them. In fact, we’ve seen some situations where the customers determine it’s easier to scrap tooling because the documentation and effort necessary to support getting it relocated wasn’t worth the headache of simply purchasing new tooling from our vendor.
Once we’ve broken down the assets list into these two areas, we identify what you plan to move (e.g. you ship certain components/tooling yourselves as if you’re shipping parts) and what we need to move. From there, we can begin to determine the utilities needed to support the equipment once it gets to wherever it’s going and to make sure that—on both of our ends—everybody’s aware of what needs to happen.
2. Figuring out the packaging plan.
The “packaging plan” is exactly how what it sounds like—it’s the strategy for how we’ll prep and package your equipment for transport/shipping. The biggest factor determining the “how” is whether you’re keeping your plant in the US or you’re going overseas (or vice versa). The strategy we use for moving large components across the US will be different from what we do if we’re moving to other countries, such as China, Japan, or South American countries.
Why does this matter? Well, consider this: if you’re moving your plant overseas, we’ll need to package your equipment so that it can withstand ocean transport and weather exposure. Not only that, but we’ll need to consider how we’re going to break down your equipment (i.e. break bulk or small enough components that fit into sea containers). If it has to be break bulk, then we’ll need to carefully consider transportation options to and from the ports at both ends.
As you can see, every decision leads to another decision we need to make. No two relocations are the same for this reason.
3. Determining logistics for staging and shipping.
Once the packaging plan is in place, we turn to logistics. One thing that’s easy for our customers to understand is shipping and transport, meaning the actual means we use to get your equipment from point A to point B (the planes, trains, automobiles scenarios, if you will).
But something that surprises customers is the other important piece of logistics, meaning the on-site logistics and staging area where we break down your equipment and prepare it for shipping (e.g. crating it, putting it in sea containers, etc.).
On-site logistics is often a delicate dance. Some facilities decide to break down and move all at once. This is the ideal situation and the most cost-effective one for you since we can do everything in one shot and maximize/leverage trucking, shipping, labor, etc. But plenty of other plants need to do the relocation in increments, meaning we’ll remove certain equipment in a specific sequence spread out over time. How we approach setting up a staging area will be dependent upon how we’re breaking down and when we’re packaging equipment.
Again, the logistics we identify will be unique to your particular plant relocation—no two logistics plans ever look the same.
4. Developing a schedule.
As we go through the three steps above, a preliminary schedule naturally begins to take shape. And, of course, we’re mindful of your internal timelines and goals as well.
The key to creating a successful schedule is realistic expectations. Sure, you probably wanted your plant moved yesterday, but you know this is a process—and an involved one. An aggressive plant relocation timeline might sound great (and even look great on paper), but if it ends up failing in the end, then that’s a problem, one that can have a big effect on your bottom line.
One of the biggest benefits we bring to the table is the fact we’ve been successfully relocating plants for decades. Our project managers have an innate sense of what can realistically work—and what can’t. And here’s the thing: we’re going to be honest with you about it.
Once we go through the steps above, we’re going to carefully consider your timeline, all available options, and costs involved. Then, we’ll narrow it down to a schedule that’s cost effective and realistic.
The steps outlined above provide a solid overview of our process, but it’s still just an overview. Successfully relocating a plant or factory involves many moving parts (literally and figuratively). We can’t stress enough the importance of having a good plant relocation specialist with you from start to finish.
Are you interested in having AME involved in your plant relocation? Go here to request a quote.