Keep on Truckin’

So I heard a guy on the radio, or somewhere (I can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was the radio) talking about all the big tractor-trailers on the 401 (or maybe it was the 417 in Ottawa) congesting traffic. His solution was to “put all the cargo back on the rail lines, where it belongs.” And I agree wholeheartedly.

Except I understand the reality of the situation. In our current “on demand” culture, companies don’t want products to be shipped to them when they ask, but to arrive when they’re needed. The big tractor-trailers have become rolling warehouses: manufacturers don’t produce unless they know there’s a buyer, so they can put their product right into the trucks, rather than store it. And the receivers time the order so the trucks can unload basically right onto the assembly line. This allows loading and unloading one truck one time at each end. Unless you’re going to find some way to get the rail cars up to the loading dock doors, you’re stuck with a traffic-congesting, yet very efficient, process.

I’m definitely of the opinion that we need to focus on either more mass transportation (e.g., trains, buses, subways) to alleviate traffic problems, or we need fuel-efficient, non-polluting flying cars. Hmm … I think one of those is easier than the other …