The Smart Freight Centre has just been established as a five-year collaborative network with the Region of Peel, McMaster University, University of Toronto, and York University. It will work on regionally significant goods movement issues and projects in Peel Region and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to reduce community and environmental impacts of moving goods.
Goods movement extends beyond municipal boundaries in the GTHA – the region requires a safe and efficient network in order to move goods and deliver services to communities and businesses. The Smart Freight Centre’s goal is to break down silos in addressing shared concerns, including those listed below, and to propose practical solutions and strategies aimed at improving quality of life and promoting ongoing economic vibrancy across the GTHA:
- Customers’ growing expectations of shorter delivery times and the growth of e-commerce programs
- The increasing concern of the effects of congestion
- Decreasing labour force availability and growing industry expectations
- Emissions from the transportation sector
- Automation, technological changes and robotics, and
- Strategies to address population and employment growth pressures.
The Region of Peel is investing seed funding of $240,000 annually for the first five years of the start-up phase to establish the Smart Freight Centre. McMaster University, the University of Toronto, and York University will match these funds with cash and in-kind contributions and will create three physical locations to conduct research, with one at each partner University.
Some of the projects to be conducted during the first year include an off-peak delivery pilot study, truck-friendly lane strategies and an e-commerce strategy to investigate the impact of online shopping on logistics operations.
Photo: Member of Parliament, Brampton West, Kamal Khera launched the Smart Freight Centre, a collaborative network that will help improve the movement of goods across the GTHA.