The world has seen dramatic changes in the last decade through the digitization of almost every aspect of our lives. These transformations have shaped the way we do business and created efficiencies in that we now consider to be the norm.
The trucking industry has seen significant digital transformation in recent years with the increasing adoption of Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) as a replacement for paper logs. Initially adopted to help regulate driver hours of service, the ELD platform is now being leveraged to achieve new kinds of supply chain productivity benefits.
An important initiative on this front has been Transport Canada’s Regulatory Sandbox Project, which facilitates the advancement of environmental digital solutions within the transport sector. The goals of the Regulatory Sandbox Project are to update Canada’s regulations to maintain competitiveness, encourage innovation and improve safety.
“We saw a unique opportunity to innovate in this space,” said Amit Bhargava, Co-founder of Calgary-based technology scale-up company EnviroApps Inc.
“One of the areas we wanted to tackle was the development of electronic shipping documents. Not only is it more efficient for companies, but it also increases safety in many different respects.”
Regulations in Canada currently require a physical paper shipping document to follow the transportation of dangerous goods. These shipping documents include information on the dangerous goods being transported and provide first responders the information they need in the event of an incident. However, paper documents can be lost, destroyed or inaccessible in an emergency, which can cause delays in response.
“Our flagship product, ez2Track has a proven track-record and robust workflow for tracking hazardous waste on a cloud-based platform,” continued Bhargava.
“We felt we could adapt this technology to meet the requirements of the transportation sector. To prove our concept, we reached out to partner with Trimac Transportation and Tourmaline Oil, two companies well-known for their commitment to safety and innovation.”
“The pilot project allows us to develop and test the use of electronic shipping documents for dangerous goods shipments in Northwest Alberta with Trimac Energy Services hauling crude oil from the Tourmaline site to the delivery point.”
The benefits identified from the pilot are documents that have greater legibility and are easier to update, as well as more accessible to emergency responders and are aligned with international regulations. Another benefit is that electronic TDG documents integrate with existing digital business processes.
Trimac Transportation is celebrating 75 years of operation, after starting from humble beginnings in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, in 1945. Since that time Trimac has become one of the premier bulk carriers in North America, hauling a variety of commodities including Western Canada crude through Trimac Energy Services.
“Our business has been built upon the motto of service with safety,” said Ken Trickey, Director of Innovation at Trimac.
“We were early adopters of electronic in-cab devices in our fleet, which we have leveraged to improve every aspect of our business. The ez2Track system integrates well with our existing technology, provides a wealth of benefits from an efficiency perspective, and throughout COVID-19 has eliminated unwanted points of contact, keeping our drivers safe and healthy.”
“Overall, we are very impressed how ez2Track became the single source of truth and eliminated any ambiguity of information. It integrates seamlessly with our in-cab devices and makes our workflow that much more efficient.”
Tourmaline Oil Corp., a Canadian senior crude oil and natural gas exploration and production company, uses Trimac to transport some of its product.
“When EnviroApps approached us to participate in the Regulatory Sandbox Project, we saw the potential benefits,” said Dean Soucy, Manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Regulatory at Tourmaline.
“The ez2Track system has the potential to pave the way for more benefits and better performance of electronic shipping documents. We anticipate increased efficiencies, accuracy and timeliness of documentation, and the ability to provide accurate information to first responders in a timely manner. The safe shipment of commodities is the upmost priority for all stakeholders in this project, and this project will enhance both the effectiveness of the safety shipment and the delivery of these commodities,” said Soucy.
EnviroApps has been working closely with Tourmaline, Trimac and Transport Canada over the past few months to develop a fit-for-purpose solution that is equivalent to, or better than paper documents, and is also accessible to emergency responders in less than five minutes.
With the Equivalency Certificate being issued today by Transport Canada, this collaborative group is the first to achieve equivalency for road transportation of dangerous goods in Canada.
“This example of multi-industry collaboration highlights the benefits that can be realized by an entire sector when the industry, stakeholders and government work together towards a common objective.”
“Often companies embark on innovation that can overwhelm them,” explains Bhargava. “A multi-year digitalization project without seeing any benefits until completion can fatigue stakeholders and lose motivation. The key to any successful digitalization strategy is to design bite-sized projects where everyone can see the benefits quickly. That helps build momentum and stakeholder buy-in, creating a somewhat self-funded program with a return on investment.”
EnviroApps has developed a regulatory compliance solution that provides a quick and high return on investment through tracking of hazardous waste, dangerous goods and water use and helping companies lower their current compliance costs by more than 50%.
The Regulatory Sandbox Project does not change existing regulations, its success will determine whether Transport Canada will propose any regulatory changes. Once the project is complete, Transport Canada will publish a final report that will include recommendations. For more information and how to participate in the Transport Canada Regulatory Sandbox Project, please visit the project website at:
For more information:
Ken Trickey, Director Innovation
Tourmaline Oil Corp.
Dean Soucy, Manager, Health, Safety, Environment & Regulatory