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The efficient movement of goods is vitally important for the economies of Peel Region, the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) and beyond. Congestion on roads and highways in these regions severely impacts efficient transportation of goods, with undesirable ripple effects, negatively impacting the movement of foods by rail and air as well. Congestion on roads and highways therefore also impacts shipments to and from intermodal terminals and the Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The Peel Goods Movement Task Force was established to foster collaboration, communication and action on goods movement issues. The Task Force is a partnership comprised of private and public sector stakeholders involved in the movement of goods in Peel.

For over 25 years, Musket Transport Ltd. has earned the trust of Ontario-based companies to move their products safely and expediently anywhere in North America. This experience has made the Musket team knowledgeable about goods movement issues and their very real impact.

Eager to play a role in addressing these issues to better serve its customers, representatives of CHET, Phil Fletcher, Operations Manager, and Musket Transport, Sophia Sniegowski Begidzhanov, Corporate Communications Officer, presented to the Peel Goods Movement Task Force on March 1, 2019. Prior to the presentation, at meetings with Sabbir Saiyed, Manager of Transportation System Planning for the Region of Peel, Sophia proposed Musket’s membership in the Task Force as well as the inclusion of truck training schools via Musket’s Private Career College, CHET.

During the presentation, Phil and Sophia provided an overview of both Musket and CHET and how both teams can provide a unique perspective to the Peel Goods Movement Task Force and the Smart Freight Centre, a five-year collaborative network with the Region of Peel, McMaster University, University of Toronto, and York University. The Smart Freight Centre is dedicated to working on important regional 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.

Nando Iannicca, Chair of the Region of Peel, explained that “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. 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.”

Following a successful presentation, both Musket Transport and CHET were admitted as members of the Task Force on March 4th, 2019. It is worth noting that CHET is the first driver training school to be granted membership.

Reflecting upon CHET’s membership, Gary Kocialek, Director of Transportation for the Region of Peel, expressed that, “Training truck drivers to be capable and safe aligns with Peel Region’s Vision Zero framework. No loss of life is acceptable on our roadways, and we are glad to see Musket Transport and CHET helping us towards this goal.”

On April 3rd, 2019, Sabbir Saiyed reached out to Musket, requesting that its heavy equipment be staged at the Smart Freight Centre Launch on April 18th, 2019. Musket was very proud to be considered for this opportunity. Musket team members worked with Harriet McLoughlin, Event Specialist for the Region of Peel, to organize the staging of its Volvo VNL 740 and Dump Truck outside the convention centre and its school van inside.

The Task Force’s mandate is impressive. Members work to:

  • Develop a common vision for goods movement in the Peel area
    • Provide a forum to bring together key public and private sector stakeholders to guide future improvements to the goods movement system, to facilitate the exchange of information and to develop common messages on issues affecting goods movement.
    • Monitor, review and provide input and feedback to regional, provincial and federal initiatives related to goods movement, and
    • Develop an action plan, and the required partnerships, for the implementation of short, medium and long-term improvements to the goods movement network in Peel.

To date, Task Force meetings have provided a forum for conversations about the challenges facing goods movement within and through Peel, provided members with a better understanding of the roles played by the private and public sectors, and laid the groundwork for the development of a plan for short-term actions to improve how goods are moved. Moving forward, the Task Force hopes to affect change, taking measurable short-term action steps while identifying and advocating for policies and actions needed to bring about lasting, system-wide changes.

“I want to say “Big Thank You” for your time and dedication in making the Smart Freight Centre Launch event a big success. The trucks and various equipment displayed were really nice and remarkable.  It garnered lots of attention and added a big value to the event,” Sabbir expressed.

Due to their ongoing participation in both the Task Force and Smart Freight Centre, Musket and CHET connected with Engineering students York University and recently held an equipment demonstration at CHET.

“We would like to thank Musket Transport Ltd. and CHET for providing us with the unique opportunity to learn about Tractor Trailers [and] their implications in a practical setting, [as well as for] allowing us to expose ourselves behind the wheel. As Smart Freight Center’s researchers, we believe it’s required to foresee the truck driver’s perspective, driving difficulty, and infrastructure gap identification to make necessary steps for next generation transportation improvements,” relayed a member of the ITE York University Student Chapter.

McMaster University also reached out to CHET to organize training sessions on their campus. On August 21st, CHET Instructor Richard C led the school’s first training session at the university. CHET Instructor Richard C educated the McMaster facility services staff on safe and responsible driving. The session was considered a success and they have requested that CHET return to host a defensive driving class.