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Course Description

Transportation Systems provides a complete operational understanding of all available transportation modes, intermodalism, and the vital supporting services, agencies, and implementation factors involved in freight management. Learners gain the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions, managing the transportation of raw materials and goods to or from international destinations as well as across Canada's complex geography—choosing the safest and most cost-effective and time-appropriate mode or combinations of modes.

Providing the deepest coverage of this specialized field of any course available to industry, Transportation Systems provides the best foundation of knowledge for anyone who buys, sells or manages the flow of goods and product—or is impacted by transportation logistics.

Take Logistics Processes next as the complement to this course. Then add other specialized logistics courses to deepen your understanding.

Transportation Systems helps professionals streamline decision-making to minimize errors that can lead to longer transit times, increased costs of transit, unnecessary inventory carrying cost, fines for non-compliance, and increased handling and damage.

Module topics include:

  • Canadian Transportation Systems
  • Transportation by Water
  • Rail Transportation
  • Road Transportation
  • Air Transportation
  • Pipeline Transportation
  • Small Package Transportation
  • Intermediary Transportation Agencies
  • Intermodalism
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods

Course grads will be able to:

  • Understand and capitalize on the comparative efficiencies of various modes of transportation (rail, road, air, water and pipeline) and the procedures and documentation required for each.

  • Streamline the process of getting product to market, optimizing the secondary transportation services that compliment intra-modal and inter-modal supply chain operations.  

  • Optimize the use of specialized intermediaries (freight forwarders, transportation brokers, customs brokers), knowing when to use them, how to evaluate their cost and quality and learn ways to minimize the time spent coordinating their services.

  • Apply operational insight to negotiate more effectively and confidently with all stakeholder groups.

  • Reduce or avoid personal and corporate exposure to fines, seizure of goods, environmental damage and criminal charges by recognizing relevant safety standards and transportation legislation, including the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.

Over 80% of course grads say they apply learning from Transportation Systems in their daily work


Course Work and Final Exam:

Course work for Transportation Systems includes:

  • Multiple Choice Quizzes (20%)
  • Group Discussion Assignments (10%)
  • Business Case Study Assignments (30%)
  • An Online Final Exam (40%)

On average, students tell us that this course requires a commitment of 4-8 hours a week to complete the readings and assignments, participate in discussions, and prepare for the final examination.

Multiple Choice Quizzes – 20% of course mark

Students complete 10 short quizzes throughout the course of the semester. There is one quiz for each chapter in the Transportation Systems textbook, and each quiz includes 10 multiple choice questions. You'll automatically receive your grade for each quiz immediately after you submit your responses, so you can see which questions you got correct, learn the correct answer for any questions you got wrong, and assess your learning as you go.

There's a weekly due date for each quiz and it is recommended that you cover all the learning materials and activities each week before completing the quiz.  

Group Discussion Assignments – 10% of course mark

Students will participate in weekly online group discussions. Each week, you will be presented with discussion questions. These online discussions engage students in reflection, dialogue and debate, challenge you to apply the course material in real world business scenarios.

To receive full participation credit you must complete the following 2 steps before the weekly due date:

  1. Provide a high quality response to the posted question(s). Your responses must be substantive in nature by providing full explanations, details and citations where appropriate. While there is no set requirement for length of response, one word responses will not meet the criteria for quality participation.
  2. Read and respond to at least one of your colleagues responses. Build on responses by asking related questions, relating your experiences and making an oppositional statement supported by personal experience or related research.

Business Case Study Assignments – 30% of course mark

Students will receive a business case and throughout the course submit three critical responses from the viewpoint of working for a subject company. Each response should be approximately 1,000 words and contain a brief introduction, your analysis and recommendation, and finally a conclusion. This organization and the details of the case are fictitious but have been designed to mimic industry and supplement the learnings by demonstrating the student's ability to think critically about situations and apply the course learnings. In each of the three submissions, students will be required to submit a response, most often in the form of a recommendation, supported by the course learnings.

Final Exam – 40% of course mark

The final exam for Transportation Systems is held online, is 2.5 hours long, and is open-book. The exam is made up of two sections:

  • Essay-style questions
    These questions are based on a case study that is circulated to all learners one week prior to the exam date, and involves applying the knowledge learned throughout the course to that scenario.
  • Multiple choice questions
    This section of the exam tests learners on the course materials in general, and is not based on the case study specifically.

The final exam period runs over the course of several days at the end of the semester. You can choose any (continuous) 2.5 hour window of time to begin & complete your exam during the exam period. Once exam period dates have been set for each semester, they will become available on the Key Dates page. The exam requires access to a computer with a reliable internet connection. In order to reduce the chances of technical issues, learners should use the Firefox web browser.

Learning Assessment and Grades

Grades are reported as Honours, Pass, or Fail. To obtain a Pass, learners must earn a minimum grade of 50%. To achieve Honours, learners must earn a total grade of 80% or higher.  
The final grade is assessed based on both term work and the final examination, as follows:

  • Multiple Choice Quizzes (20%)
  • Group Discussion Assignments (10%)
  • Business Case Study Assignments (30%)
  • An Online Final Exam (40%)

Approximately one month after the final exam, you will receive your course results from CITT.

Language Options

Although the learning materials and course site are in English, a francophone facilitator is available and learners have the option of completing the formal report and answering exam questions in French if they desire.