Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersTHE CASE FOR MUNICIPAL FREIGHT AUDITS



One of the two definitions found in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary of the word “audit” is: “A detailed examination or analysis, especially to assess strengths and weaknesses”. Typically an “Audit” is a methodical examination, review of, or an assessment of the compliance with, a set of established rules, standards, conditions or situations often associated with financial issues. In this case we will apply the formal definition above to Freight Movement. To add to our difficulty in presenting the need for an audit of how well freight can move on a road system, rules, standards or accepted guidelines currently do not exist upon which to base an “Audit”. Nor is there a definition of a “Freight Audit” in current use in the freight industry or for the use of its Municipal planning partners. There are no guidelines for Planners and Engineers, who play a major role in creating and establishing the various Master Transportation Plans governing Goods Movement in, through and between Municipal jurisdictions. Within the context of a draft document being prepared for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario on developing “Freight Supportive Land Use Planning Guidelines”, it became all too obvious that there was a great need to come up with criteria to address challenges associated with the efficient transportation of goods using the road infrastructure system, hence this paper. Information in this paper is largely drawn from work prepared for the Ministry of Transportation on the subject matter. The steady growth of truck traffic over the past decades has been associated with major delays to all modes of traffic at peak travel times, despite the fact that trucks attempt to avoid traditional rush hour periods. Truck growth between 1995 and 2000 has exceeded auto growth along Central Ontario’s highway corridors (45% versus 35%) I I . The tendency to use longer trailers is increasing as the incidence of “Cubing” out before “Weighing” out also increases. This has arisen due to the production and delivery needs of lighter, high value, time sensitive goods creating the situation where trucks reach their temporal payload well before their axle and registered weight capacity has been reached. This has resulted in the 53’ trailer becoming the standard whereas 20 years ago the standard trailer length was 40’ or 45’ long. The maximum length of a tractor/trailer combination traveling on Ontario roads, without obtaining a special permit, is 25 metres (82 feet); it can have a height not exceeding 4.15 metres (13.6 feet) and a width not exceeding 2.6 metres (8.5 feet) II.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Ford, W. J.
Gorys, J
Transportation planning