22 Aug Quebec Road conditions and their impact on transport companies
Whether due to its immense territory, harsh climate or low population density, Quebec’s road network maintenance and development are complex challenges.
The transport sector is without a shadow of a doubt deeply impacted by the road conditions in Quebec. Let’s take a closer look at how road network deterioration affects merchandise transport companies on a daily basis.
Causes of Rapid Quebec Road Deterioration
More than 50% of Quebec’s road network is in poor condition and needs repair. This dizzying statistic is mainly caused by the winter climate. Of the three most populous Canadian provinces, Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, the latter region has the longest freeze period.
This factor weighs heavily, as during thaw periods, roads are more sensitive to transport vehicle passage. This is why there are strict load limits imposed on transport companies during these periods. Water infiltration in the pavement, coupled with intense cold, can also cause road damage, such as potholes, since water expands as it solidifies, causing the pavement to swell. Once the ice and water are absorbed by the ground, this bump will become hollow and create a pothole.
The spread of abrasives and salt, despite their usefulness in certain weather conditions, also accelerates road network degradation. The salt, in particular, harms the steel reinforcements of the concrete structures by accelerating corrosion. This corrosion reduces impermeability and allows water to penetrate more easily. The water and moisture will then crack and even burst the concrete during periods of frost.
Poor Road conditions: the additional costs for freight transport companies
Motorists and truckers are therefore the ones that have to deal with increasingly precarious road conditions. Moreover, transport companies are significantly impacted by this deterioration.
Their productivity is reduced by a combination of factors, including increased travel time. With poor road conditions, truck drivers must take more precautions and spend more time reaching their destination. The numerous holes and bumps also speed up truck depreciation. The cost of maintaining vehicle equipment and fleets is constantly increasing.
Additionally, heavy truck tires are also affected and are more prone to being punctured and wearing down prematurely. This means that heavy transporters must invest a lot more capital to get to their destination in time with their goods in perfect condition.
Road Construction: Other Problems on the Horizon
In an attempt to improve the situation, the Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ) has set in motion countless road construction projects throughout the province. However, these projects, despite their laudable road repair goals, also contribute their fair share of inconveniences to the transport industry. Indeed, slowdowns and traffic jams are inevitable in areas under construction, increasing fuel consumption and travel time. Detours are sometimes inevitable, forcing itinerary changes and increasing the distances to be traveled. As customers are increasingly demanding in terms of delivery time, it becomes a real headache for the trucking industry.
An entire industry therefore suffers from the worrying state of the Quebec road network. Due to the resulting problems, the industry also pays a large portion of the bill when repairs are carried out with no alternative route.
Merchandise transport companies must therefore adapt and offer their customers superior quality services despite poor road conditions. For this reason, companies like Transport Econo Nord have implemented strategies to optimize their routes and to maintain their vehicles. This allows us to continuously guarantee on-time delivery of your cargo. To find out more about our services, our rates, or any other information, contact our experts!