Inside Logistics

Ontario region to study goods movement

Peel Region has launched a research collaboration

April 19, 2019

Brampton, Ontario – Ontario’s Peel Region has launched a research collaboration to address goods movement issues in the region and the greater Toronto and Hamilton area (GTHA).

The Smart Freight Centre has been established as a five-year collaborative network with the Region of Peel, McMaster University, University of Toronto, and York University. It will work to reduce community and environmental impacts of moving goods.

“The Smart Freight Centre demonstrates the innovative solutions generated when universities partner with government and industry to facilitate multisector collaboration,” said Rhonda Lenton, president and vice-chancellor, York University, at the launch of the centre.

“Through the leadership of innovative researchers we are proud to support efforts to build and improve transportation networks that will facilitate better access to goods and services for the communities we serve.”

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
  • 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.

“As a key contributor to the GTHA’s vibrant economy, we recognize the importance of improving the movement of goods in order to maintain the transportation network’s efficiencies and safety, while supporting the quality of life within our communities,” said Nando Iannicca, chair of the Region of Peel.

“The Smart Freight Centre has been established to make recommendations through evidence-based research to address shared concerns. I am confident that together, we can work to ensure that our goods movement industry is sustainable, safe, competitive, and innovative.”

Some of the projects to be conducted during the first year include an Off-Peak Delivery Pilot Study, Truck-Friendly Lane Measures and Strategies and an E-Commerce Strategy to investigate the impact of online shopping on logistics operations.

The Centre is seeking government and industry partners’ financial contributions in establishing the Centre. To learn more, visit

More than 1.4 million people and 173,000 businesses are located in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the Town of Caledon as part of the Region of Peel.