Re: 'Ten Percent Shift' would help create sustainable economy, Community Comment, April 18
We can magnify the 10 per cent effect of buying locally by demanding the transportation of goods be done as efficiently as possible.
Millions of sea containers that arrive by ship at Deltaport are unloaded and reloaded into 53-foot containers that are more economical to transport by train or truck. The goods in those containers are transloaded several times at regional distribution centres across Canada en route to retailers.
And, if the loading is not done efficiently, using as much of the container space as possible, the inefficiencies compound just like interest so the end result might be a doubling of cost, energy consumption, traffic congestion and GHG emissions.
We have demonstrated in a technology validation study supported by the National Research Council that optimizing a single loading process can reduce the number of trips required to move goods by 10 to 35 per cent over existing loading practices.
Imagine the effects of those reductions on the number of trucks on our highways, on the amount of diesel particulates generated and floating in our air (and lungs), on the demand for new infrastructure, roads and storage yards that eat away at agricultural land. Imagine the effect on the cost of the goods we are consuming.
It is a quiet, behind-thescenes solution that would be effective no matter what fuel is being used or distance the goods are being transported. Getting the most goods into the space that is available just makes sense.
Warren Wolfe, PhD