Every year the North’s mining industry constructs what is arguably the world’s longest heavy haul ice road, which stretches 400 kilometres into Canada’s northern tundra. This region has no other highway service, and for 10 months of the year, the region is accessible only by air.
Made famous by the series Ice Road Truckers, the road is only open for approximately 8-10 weeks. The winter road is the lifeline for mine re-supply, and supplies various exploration properties, so moving goods in and out efficiently is a priority. The road is managed by the Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road Joint Venture Management Committee (TCWR JVMC), comprised of Dominion Diamond Corp., Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. and De Beers Canada.
Associated Environmental Consultants’ Information Management team was selected to develop a web-based dispatch system that manages shipments and traffic between 12 destinations along the winter road. Our new subsidary, NOR•EX Engineering, has supported the road for the past six years, providing services in ice engineering, quality assurance, optimization strategies, environmental management, and ice safety.
Dashboards provide real-time statistics and status updates to users
Across the 12 destinations, shipments are sent or received in convoys of four trucks every 20 minutes. In good weather conditions, upwards of 500 shipments move along the road at a time. An intuitive dashboard allows each destination to access real-time updates of their incoming shipments, while organizing and managing outgoing shipments.
Dashboards provide an interactive overview of the scheduling and status of the road. A popular feature amongst users is a road map summarizing a count of all shipments between or at destinations and the direction they are travelling. Users can click on the counts, and view, sort or filter the shipments as needed. Dashboard tiles are also available, providing more detailed progress, helping the JVMC to make informed decisions on convoy sizing, dispatch scheduling, and help manage traffic during weather delays.
As the ice road season draws to a close, over 8000 loads and 300,000 tonnes have travelled the road, meeting the targets, and successfully concluding the first season using the dispatch system.