Every year, traffic congestion in the GTHA costs the economy billions of dollars. Congestion costs businesses money, and affects their competitiveness and ability to provide goods and services to customers on time. The ability to move goods to, from and through the region is critical to our ability to compete in a global economy. Currently, most of the freight movements in the GTHA are local, and 89 per cent of all freight movements are by truck. While improvements are being made with respect to emissions of many pollutants by individual trucks, overall emissions rise as truck movements increase. Greenhouse gas emissions from heavy trucks are the fastest growing of all vehicle classes. We need to develop a strategy to improve the movement of goods within the GTHA and to adjacent areas. This will require a multi-pronged approach and will need a strong partnership with users and players in the goods movement industry.


PackstationOne of the challenges of residential deliveries is coordinating shipments with customer availability. One solution used in several western European countries is the “Packstation” or “Locker Box”. Customers choose their preferred drop-off point. As soon as the package arrives, a message is sent to the customer by e-mail or text message with a code to retrieve the package. Vehicle travel is minimized because people can walk to the boxes or combine their pick-up with other trips.



A comprehensive strategy for goods movement.

9.1 Develop a comprehensive strategy for goods movement within the GTHA, and between the GTHA and other regions, that identifies opportunities and actions to improve efficiency, increase capacity, enhance the region’s competitiveness, and reduce emissions of GHGs and other pollutants. Establish a roundtable to steer the development of the strategy with representatives from the goods movement industry, including shippers, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Trucking Association, Southern Ontario Gateway Council, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railways, logistics companies, freight forwarders, manufacturers and exporters, the agricultural community, environmental groups, municipalities, port authorities and the province. Components of this strategy will include:

  • mapping goods movement flows by mode, and identifying bottlenecks in the system;
  • accomplishing goods movement using the most environmentally sustainable modes and technologies, and considering modal shifts to arrive at an optimal balance;
  • identifying innovative approaches for urban freight movements such as urban logistics centres, centralized lock boxes for end-consumer deliveries, and shared urban freight and delivery centres (e.g., for construction sites);
  • identifying innovative approaches for regional freight movements such as logistics villages (e.g., next to inter-modal hubs), siting, loading and routing optimization, realtime fleet management systems, and off-peak truck delivery;
  • identifying infrastructure needs such as new east-west freight rail capacity, new intermodal facilities, priority measures for truck-based goods movement, and strategic bypasses to get goods around rail and highway bottlenecks;
  • a freight corridor optimization strategy that optimizes the use of existing rail infrastructure and the allocation of rail between freight and passenger trains;
  • an analysis of constraints and opportunities for marine transport of goods;
  • opportunities to promote active transportation-based and other low-impact goods movement in urban areas;
  • land use policies for areas around transportation facilities such as inter-modal facilities, rail yards, airports, dockyards and major highway interchanges that are compatible with, and supportive of the primary goods movement function of these facilities;
  • improving efficiencies of all modes;
  • documenting and sharing best practices; and
  • identifying opportunities for coordination with the Continental Gateway Strategy.

Link to Goods Movement site

The Big Move logo

Read the Updates
(PDF, file size: 0.5 MB)

PDF and interactive links Final RTP Video Presentation Final RTP Video Presentation