More than 600 users per month are logging in to a new web and mobile application developed by the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) to optimize truck routes to and from Port of Montreal terminals and, ultimately, reduce the port’s environmental footprint.
The MPA Trucking PORTal is a tool that has been created for truck drivers who visit the Port of Montreal and their dispatchers. It posts, in real time, traffic-related wait times on port territory so that truckers can make informed choices about their travels on the port, better plan their route to container terminals, avoid congestion and save time.
“We have just marked the one-year anniversary of the launch of this clean-transportation initiative which is both improving truck fluidity and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on port territory and in the surrounding area related to trucking,” said Sylvie Vachon, President and CEO of the MPA. “We are proud to be among the first port authorities in the world to offer our road transport partners an advanced real-time information system on truck traffic.”
The Trucking PORTal tool uses a data-capture system that provides a snapshot of all trucks entering the port at its common-entry truck portal, moving along the port road and into and out of container terminals, and exiting the port, as well as traffic flows and congestion points, measuring the total truck processing time within port
territory. The information is sent to drivers by means of a mobile application that they download on their
mobile device (from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store), or directly on their computer (from www.portmtltrucks.com).
From October 2016, when the third and final phase of the project was launched, the MPA has recorded an average of close to 3,500 sessions per month where a user is actively engaged with the website or app. The average length of a session is close to one hour. On average, about 10.5 percent of the Trucking PORTal users each month are new users.
Influencing trucker behaviour through business analytics in order to optimize routes, reduce truck idling and smooth out hourly peaks is helping the port reach its goal of reducing truck-related GHGs. It allows the port to measure air-quality improvements for neighbouring communities, provide a common basis for discussing performance with container terminals, and centralize access control. Moreover, increased truck fluidity means enhanced supply chain competitiveness.
The port has worked with entities including the City of Montreal and the Quebec Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification, on the initiative. Transport Canada contributed $1.375 million toward the project through the Government of Canada’s program of initiatives to reduce GHG and air pollutant emissions.
Some 2,500 trucks enter the Port of Montreal each day to pick up or deliver goods. The modal split of containers carried by truck through the port has increased steadily over the past 10 years. Today, 55 per cent of containers in the port move by truck, compared to 45 per cent by rail.