Smart Freight Centre’s off-peak delivery pilot in the news

Today’s Trucking reported on the “Main Street Recovery Act” proposed by the Honourable Prabmeet Sarkaria, Ontario’s Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, which would, according to their article “permanently allow 24/7 deliveries to businesses including retail stores, restaurants, and distribution facilities.” The article points to the “Region of Peel Off-Peak Delivery Pilot Project” results in support of the proposed legislation. Off-peak delivery is the delivery of goods during the evening and overnight hours.

The Region of Peel Off-Peak Delivery Pilot Project, conducted by the Smart Freight Centre between March and August 2019, found that off-peak deliveries have the potential to alleviate congestion during peak periods and increase utilization of existing transportation infrastructure capacity. They can also offer greater efficiency to delivery firms by potentially reducing costs for the shippers and the receivers.

Three firms participated in the 2019 off-peak delivery pilot in the Region of Peel: LCBO, Loblaw Incorporated and Walmart Canada, involving deliveries to 14 pilot retail stores. The analysis shows that during the six-month pilot, from March to August 2019, 30.1% of deliveries to pilot retail stores were made in off-peak hours (7:00pm to 7:00am). The average speed of the trips that were made in off-peak hours during the six-month pilot is 18.1% faster than those that happened in day-time hours. Having higher speed in off-peak hours leads to lower emission factors. The total greenhouse gas emissions/km decreased by 10.6%, and emissions factors for air quality pollutants, including CO, NOx, PM10 and PM2.5 reduced by 10.8% to 15.0%.

The Smart Freight Centre is working towards establishing a larger off-peak delivery pilot project – to expand the Region of Peel pilot to encompass other municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, and to expand the number of firms involved in the program.

2019 Off-Peak Delivery Pilot background

The project was initiated in January 2017, by the Smart Freight Centre and the Region of Peel in collaboration with MRK Innovations and Partners in Project Green. The University of Toronto Transportation and Air Quality Research Group assisted with emissions analysis. The project received funding from The Atmospheric Fund, Region of Peel, Metrolinx and the University of Toronto. Deloitte Canada acted as an advisor on the project.

The desired outcomes of the pilot were: to reduce traffic congestion on corridors with high truck traffic volumes; to provide firms and municipalities with a strategy to mitigate congestion, and improve goods movement efficiency; and to take lessons from the pilot to inform the scalability of off-peak delivery in Peel Region and in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area in the long term.