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Benefits of Strategic Freight Movement in Saskatchewan


Provincial transportation ministries hold the responsibility for the safe and efficient movement of goods within their provincial boundaries. The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure adheres to those responsibilities through its development of strategic freight movement initiatives and its participation in inter-modal transportation. Inter-modal facilities (IMFs) enhance the movement of goods through efficient methods of transferring shipping containers between trains and commercial trucks. In Saskatchewan, there is an economic advantage for rail to cooperate with the trucking industry instead of competing. IMFs facilitate this relationship and capture the benefits of both long-haul freight by rail and short-haul truck delivery. The reduction of barriers to transfer and transport containers is key. The Ministry delivers a unique program, which allows shippers and carriers to transport containers in truck configurations that exceed regulated weights and dimensions. The presence of corridors with height restrictions can impede the movement of container freight; however, Saskatchewan’s strategic approach encourages the designation of barrier-free high-clearance corridors. Designated routes reduce operating costs for commercial carriers, which leads to a reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It is critical that IMFs provide exporters and importers with strategic links to markets in Canada and around the world. In Saskatchewan, locations of IMFs are best suited within urban limits but outside of the cities’ core area. The locations chosen, along with the associated infrastructure requirements, ensure adequate access to the facility, reduce urban congestion, and improve traffic flow resulting in an increased level of safety for all roadway users. Saskatchewan approach to freight movement recognizes all sides of the sustainability triangle. The operation of the IMFs combined with the efficient movement of goods on the provincial highway network complement the improving economic conditions in the province.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
David Smith
Sharla Hordenchuk
Transportation planning