Off-peak delivery (OPD) policy can provide significant relief to congestion in major urban centres. OPD is a travel demand management policy that encourages businesses to make deliveries in off-peak hours. OPD policy offers benefits such as improvement in peak hour traffic flow, improvement in the operational efficiency for motor carriers, and reduced environmental impacts. OPD pilots implemented in New York City, London, and Sao Paulo have shown promising results and benefits for urban transportation.
The Smart Freight Centre, University of Toronto and the Region of Peel conducted an OPD pilot from March to August, 2019 to assess the benefits of this policy for the Region. The pilot involved the participation of LCBO, Loblaws and Walmart Canada. These companies shifted approximately 1600 deliveries to 14 retail stores in Peel to off-peak hours between 7PM and 7AM. The University of Toronto analyzed the performance of the three participating companies during the pilot, using performance measures of average travel speed, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and average delivery time reductions. The Region of Peel engaged with local municipalities in Peel to provide by-law exemptions and to track any noise complaints. The three participating companies provided data, modified their operations, and provided useful feedback on their operations. It is an excellent example of an academic, industry, government partnership towards improving the efficiency and sustainability of urban freight movement.
The results of the pilot can be found in Pilot Off-Peak Delivery Program in the Region of Peel – Final Report.