Student analyzes truck clustering to determine transportation efficiencies

VANCOUVER, B.C. – A University of Windsor student has analyzed GPS pings on the movement of 22,000 trucks in an effort to bring freight optimization to the supply chain.

Ayat Hussein said her effort to advance knowledge of freight transportation used the GPS data, which was acquired from Transport Canada and lent to the Cross-border Institute at the university, revealed the highest truck activity based on commodity by region.

In the Calgary, Alta., area, mining, agriculture, and construction were prevalent, while Vancouver, B.C., also saw high volumes in agriculture.

Toronto, Ont., and Montreal, Que., were where the highest truck volumes for all the top measured commodities – agriculture, communication, finance, manufacturing, mining, and construction – were seen.

The study measured clustering of trucking trip ends around North America based on a total of 12 commodities.

The goal of the study is to help the industry define profit margins, as Hussein said transportation costs have doubled in recent years. It claims that mapping transportation network flows can assist in identifying the segments of the transportation infrastructure with the highest levels of truck traffic, which can then be used as a tool to increase efficiencies.

The study also concludes that distribution centers and demand points must be analyzed to ensure optimized performance.

Future work for the study includes determining optimal locations for potential logistic hubs by performing a network analyst for location allocation.

Hussein presented her research during the Canadian Transportation Research Forum in Vancouver, B.C. May 27.

Derek Clouthier

A university graduate with a degree in English, I have worked in the media and trucking industries as a writer, editor, and now as western bureau chief of Today's Trucking and I have several years of management experience in journalism, as well as hospitality, but am first and foremost a writer, both professionally and in my personal life, having completed two fiction novels.

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