Last edited 28 Nov 2019


Expediting is a project management activity which monitors the supply chain to ensure goods and items that have been ordered for a construction project arrive on time and meet the quality specified.

Construction projects – particularly large ones – can involve significant quantities of materials, labour and other services. A large contractor may have to manage thousands of employees and hundreds of tonnes of material and other products. Delays in the supply of products, materials or equipment can mean the project will not be completed to time or on budget. As well as the extra, unforeseen costs involved, such delays can destroy reputations and even result in job losses or claims.

Expediting is used to manage such risks and ensure the project is completed within the specified contract dates. It involves following-up purchases to ensure that items ordered are delivered on time and to the point required by the contractor.

Expeditors (or members of the procurement department) should:

  • Know what has been purchased or ordered.
  • Ensure Items ordered arrive as close as possible to the time when they are needed.
  • Ensure goods attain the required quality and are packaged correctly.
  • Be aware of the consequences if the goods do not arrive on time.
  • Have up-to-date knowledge of the progress on the site and of shipments and production schedules.
  • Meet with, or stay in contact with suppliers to verify the progress of items in production and checking quality, packing, conformity with standards and so on.

Expediting on a construction site can be undertaken by a person or persons in the contractorsprocurement department, by the project management team or by a specialist, independent third-party firm offering expediting services. Such specialist firms can:

While an independent external expeditor may increase the project costs, this could be insignificant when compared to the consequences of late delivery.

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