Night Moves



The demand for “night move” off-hour freight deliveries continues to grow.   If you are a shipper, you may be wondering “how can I cost-effectively meet the demand of after hour pick-ups and deliveries?” 

Here’s some points to consider when assessing whether you should comply with requirements of night moves for your customers and/or company:

1. Why is the need for night move truck deliveries becoming more prevalent?

Market Demand:

  • Canadian retailers have required off-hour deliveries for many years. Loblaw, Walmart, Sobeys, Overwaitea and more, have recognized the operational efficiencies that comes with maximizing facility capacity (space and doors) and effective inventory replenishment when operating beyond traditional business hours.  If you are shipping to any of these retailers (and more), chances are you are in need of a night move solution.
  • The workforce in Canada is open for business outside of traditional business hours. Did you know, in Canada, approximately 30% of workers are employed in some form of shift work?  What opportunity does this potentially give you as a shipper or receiver to benefit from the advantages of night moves?
  • On-line e-commerce deliveries are growing and on-line retailers such as Staples, Walmart and Amazon are fiercely competing for marketshare offering enhanced delivery options such as after hour and same day delivery service. How can you not only meet but capitalize on these opportunities to satisfy or delight your customers or your customers’ customers?

Cities are Beginning to Mandate Off-Hour Deliveries (OHD):
Urban cities are seriously exploring and pursuing programs involving local deliveries/trucking operations within a downtown/central business district area or near a high volume freight/goods distribution traffic area (i.e. manufacturing area or port facility).  The objective is to prevent recurring traffic congestion and shorten delivery route times. 

Just over a year ago, New York City’s Off-Hour Delivery (OHD) successfully completed the execution of a late-night delivery truck program moving deliveries from daytime hours to a time window between 7:00 p.m. and 6 a.m.   The analysis concluded that during off-peak deliveries, delivery times dropped an average of 48 minutes, fuel costs were reduced and trucking companies dramatically reduced their monthly parking ticket costs.  Economic savings of $100-$200 million a year results are expected by the decreased traffic congestion, reduced fuel consumption, improved on-time delivery performance for businesses, streamlined supply chains for participating retailers such as Whole Foods, CVS and Foot Locker and overall lowered inventory costs as businesses don’t have to keep as much stock on hand. 

Washington, DC and Orland, FL are now initiating NYC’s OHD program.  And other major US cities are showing keen interest. 

Toronto is also exploring a similar program and approached last year’s PanAm Games as a pilot with the intent to test after hour deliveries. 

Nestle Canada successfully implemented off-peak deliveries in the Greater Toronto Area, resulting in productivity improvements. 

How are you positioned for complying with potential future legislation if your city mandates after hour deliveries? 

2. How are carriers responding?

Progressive carriers embrace night moves as they:

  • recognize they can perform an increased number of deliveries per run;
  • are being responsive to their customers’ evolving needs;
  • environmental protection opportunities to decrease their carbon footprint by decreased fuel consumption and possibly lowered truck emissions due to decreased idling and shorter travel times;
  • optimize vehicle utilization (truck and trailer);
  • provides a competitive advantage over other carriers.

3. How does the ASL team approach night moves?

ASL has been performing night move freight deliveries for many years.  It was first initiated in response to customers’ demands and we are now at a stage where we want to aggressively grow the service offering as we view it as a strong value-add to our customers and also recognize it optimizes our equipment. 

For more information and references:

  1. Working Non-Traditional Hours – Transport Canada (
  2. Should Cities Embrace Nighttime Truck Delivery? – Citified by Malcom Burnley
  3. Greening the Goods, Opportunities for low-carbon goods movement in Toronto
  4. Implementing Off-peak Deliveries in the Greater Toronto Area: Costs, Benefits, Challenges
  5. McPhee et al.: Off-Peak Deliveries in the Greater Toronto Area (Nestle)

ASL – contact and ask for more information about night moves.

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