Cement Distribution


Noteworthty Everything About Cement


The distribution of cement to the end user from the manufacturer is a major cost factor in the landed cost of cement at the user end. Approximately 30 – 35% of the cost of cement can be attributed to the cost of distribution, which begins at the gates of the cement facility. It is obvious that the movement of cement in bulk is less expensive than movement in small and jumbo bags, since the cost of bagging and debagging is eliminated. However, it is not always possible to move in bulk due to a variety of factors, ranging from geography to the culture of the country of manufacture and the country of use.

Factors affecting cement distribution

In most cases, due to the lack of any concerted and detailed analysis of the cement logistics situation, manufacturers tend to use a combination of distribution methods, which include bulk and bags via road, rail, inland transport and by sea. The most inexpensive method of moving cement is in bulk by water. The optimum solution is always a combination of methods. In today’s technologically advanced world, it is possible to use the power of information technology to arrive at such optimum solutions using mathematical modelling and algorithms.

Approaches towards a solution

Barge/ship movement of bulk cement is the lowest cost option in any scenario with a silo-to-silo flow process. The barging option is straightforward to the logistics engineer. However, when one factors in the myriad laws and regulations of governments that control coastal and inland waterway shipping, there could be hidden costs. The only way to eliminate or reduce these hidden costs is for the cement lobby to force their viewpoints on the governments. This unfortunately does not happen, primarily because of vested interests.