A new report by Toronto Region Board of Trade says gridlock in the GTA results in higher fuel and trucking costs, and production shutdowns. The delays end up costing $500 million to $650 million per year in higher prices for goods nationally.
The highway delays also cost GTA households about $125 per year, according to the study, which included Toronto, Waterloo, Hamilton, Oshawa and Guelph Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs).
“Congestions remains the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor’s most pressing economic and lifestyle challenge, but it’s also costing our businesses and residents millions each year in higher prices,” according to the board, which is scheduled to release the report Monday morning.
One million tonnes — $3 billion worth of goods — are trucked through the region every day, but gridlock is slowing down deliveries, resulting in expensive fixes, the costs of which are being passed on to consumers.
Raw materials like steel and produce aren’t arriving in time at manufacturers, and manufactured goods aren’t getting to ports, airports and rail terminals in time. Goods can’t reliably be moved into the U.S. or abroad, which affects trade with other countries, according to the report.
Moving goods across the so-called last-mile, is increasingly problematic and the lack of unloading areas in the city drives up the cost of parking tickets for couriers and trucking companies, according to the report.
Highway 401 around Toronto Pearson was identified as the area’s most congested highway.
“Auto and auto parts manufacturers, medical device manufacturers and logistics firms – they all tell us that an inability to move their goods to market or receive products from suppliers in a timely fashion makes their businesses less competitive,” Jan De Silva, president and chief executive officer, Toronto Region Board of Trade, told the Toronto Star.
“For example, a vehicle’s components can cross the border up to seven times before it is complete. We can’t have auto parts stuck in traffic on our region’s highways if we are going to be part of this internationally significant supply chain.”