City may move to supporting the movement truckloads of food from road to rail transportation,

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all text the city

Transporting Food Products In and Out of Toronto

(September 29, 2016) Report from General Manager, Economic Development and Culture

Recommendations

The General Manager of Economic Development and Culture recommends that:

 

1. City Council direct the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture to support the current effort by the transportation industry and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to move more food transportation vehicles off the roads of the Greater Toronto Area and on to appropriate rail transportation.

 

2. City Council direct the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture to work with existing food and beverage associations in Ontario to address the issue of food transportation in the Greater Toronto Area.

Summary

This report responds to Agenda item ED13.3 of the June 22, 2016 Economic Development and Culture Committee meeting. Staff were requested to report back to the October 24, 2016 meeting of the Economic Development Committee on Toronto’s food industry and the possibility of supporting the formation of a food service association. This motion was a result of a presentation to committee by a food industry stakeholder that was concerned with the transportation challenges that the food industry faces in Toronto.

 

There are currently over 1 million truckloads of food and consumer packaged goods that move to, from and through the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) each year (Ministry of Transportation of Ontario Freight Studies 2006 and 2012). About one quarter of these trucks moving through the GTA neither originate nor end in the GTA but still add to the congestion of the city’s roads. Upon further investigation staff have discovered that a number of papers, organizations and work by the provincial government has been undertaken to address the issue of the transportation of food products within the City of Toronto. By supporting the movement of some of these truckloads of food from road to rail transportation, the City will assist its food manufacturers to lower transportation costs, help lower carbon emissions and make roads less congested.

 

Currently Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) is the leading association that represents small and medium sized food processors in Ontario. Through consultations with staff the association has agreed to set up a sub-committee to deal with transportation issues and address the logistical challenges that are facing the sector in its desire to lower food transportation costs and expedite delivery to and from the GTA. Therefore there is no need to form a new association to address this issue.
(September 29, 2016) Report from the General Manager, Economic Development and Culture on Transporting Food Products In and Out of Toronto

(http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2016/ed/bgrd/backgroundfile-97183.pdf)

Some text from the background  report
Toronto’s food and beverage cluster is of great importance to the region, and along with Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, is one of the largest food and beverage clusters on the continent.

In 2011, Toronto’s Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) food and beverage cluster had annual sales of about $17 billion (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food, 2011).
In the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), there are 1,149 food and beverage manufacturing establishments employing over 51,000 people (Canadian Business Patterns, Dec. 2013; and Labour Force Survey, 2013).
Small businesses engaged in food and beverage manufacturing continue to account for a larger share of total establishments in the food and beverage sector. In 2013, small businesses with less than 100 employees accounted for 90.2% (1,036) of total food and beverage establishments compared to 88.4% (880) in 2012 (Canadian Business Patterns, Dec. 2012-2013).
The majority of food and consumer products transported in the Greater Toronto Area are by truck. There are over 1 million truckloads of food and consumer packaged goods that move to, from and through the GTA each year (MTO Freight Studies 2006 and 2012). Approximately 25% of trucks hauling food/consumer packaged goods moving through the GTA neither originate nor end in the GTA but add to the congestion of the city’s roads. The elimination of this through-traffic would reduce Green House Gases (GHG) by at least 2 mega tonnes and eliminate 15,000 trucks per week in the GTA (MTO Freight Studies 2006 and 2012). It has also been noted that 70% of Canadian-owned trucks moving from Ontario to the USA and 50% of trucks moving from the U.S. to the GTA return empty (MTO 2006 and 2012).
There are 35 market areas in the USA that could be linked to the GTA by dedicated multimodal service if the service was available on a more regular schedule from Ontario and if these multimodal centres were supported by US Customs, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) at these rail hubs. This would also greatly reduce border traffic in the Buffalo/Ft. Erie and Windsor/Detroit corridors.
A study undertaken by the Guelph Junction Railway in 2007 showed that a large scale switch to multimodal would not impact the Ontario based trucking job numbers because full loads of food products would still have to be moved from the multimodal centres to the individual client locations but in smaller carriers. Road repairs would be reduced by $1.25 million per 100,000 trucks reduced. Insurance and accident costs would be reduced by $1.15 million to $5 million per 100,000 trucks. All of this would happen while the costs of long haul transportation for our food companies are reduced because rail transportation is much cheaper than road transportation.
Working together to improve food and beverage logistics, within the structure of an existing food and beverage association, would allow the proposed Canadian Food Logistics Committee, to assist with the growth and bottom line of our food and beverage processors and add to the list of reasons to grow, invest and stay in the Toronto region.
Staff have consulted with staff at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAFRA) and a number of large food processors in Toronto who provided information on their transportation issues. The main issue seems to be the sharing of information about where trucks and rail lines are going from Toronto carrying food products, primarily refrigerated and frozen items. Some are arriving empty and leaving full and some are arriving full and leaving empty. Both Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) and Food and Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), food industry associations,

were contacted and are willing to look at setting up sub-committees to delve more deeply into how shared technology for the industry can alleviate this issue.

One Comment

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  1. Raymond says:

    So, a study was done in 2007 (NINE YEARS ago) identifying the situation. Result. Nothing changed. Now, another study is proposed. Great work people. More studies, more reports, more BS. Same results.

    My prediction: Nothing will happen as a result of the new study.

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