TransCore Link Logistics’ Canadian spot market saw overall load volumes increased six percent month-over-month. Average daily load postings on Loadlink was also up 11 percent compared to October. November’s year-over-year comparison was the lowest for any month in 2019 at just a three percent decline compared to November 2018 volumes.
Improvements from October were a result of both a 14 and six percent increase in higher US-inbound and intra-Canadian loads, respectively. The increase in inbound cross-border loads could have been a result of brokers pulling freight forward to utilize available capacity prior to the American Thanksgiving weekend when capacity contracts due to less available drivers. The workers’ strike from a large national rail service provider in Canada may have also released additional loads onto the Canadian spot market for the short duration of the striking period.
Load volumes performed poorly early in the month, but gradually improved as the holiday season neared. Average daily load postings for the five business days prior to the U.S. Thanksgiving were up 30 percent compared to the first week of the month. This may have been a result of retailers stocking up on inventory ahead of the Black Friday shopping rush. A recent trend by retailers where the Black Friday shopping period begins earlier may have also accelerated freight volumes ahead of the holiday. This also has the additional effect of smoothing the impact of increased freight over a larger timespan, rather than sudden booms right before the holiday.
At the time of writing, early December load volumes are performing strong with average daily load volumes up 36 percent compared to early November. This may continue into the second week of December during the Christmas shopping season.
Toronto and Montreal Markets Key to Improved Intra-Canadian Performance
Intra-Canada performance was strong primarily due to 18 percent more loads originating from Quebec and 20 percent more loads destined for Ontario. In contrast to this observation, the popular Toronto to Montreal market lanes saw an average monthly increase in load volumes of 116 percent. Other lanes across Canada that showed large booms in volumes included Winnipeg to Saskatoon (plus 98 percent) and Calgary to Kelowna (plus 108 percent).
Toronto Inbound and Miramichi Outbound Show Cross-Border Strength
The Toronto market was also heavily active as a prime destination for inbound cross-border loads. Notable city-to-city line hauls that saw big gains included Laredo (TX) to Toronto, Nogales (AZ) to Toronto and Los Angeles (CA) to Toronto. Load volumes in these lanes increased an average of 187 percent in the past month. One other standout market that saw large improvements was the Miramichi (NB) market. Outbound cross-border freight originating from Miramichi to US markets such as Auburn (AL), Sulphur Springs (TX), Laredo (TX), Moultrie (GA) and Oxford (PA) increased an average of 59 percent from October.
November equipment numbers decreased 11 percent while the daily average number of truck postings fell seven percent. Compared to November 2018, capacity was up four percent year-over-year.
The ratio contracted 17 percent to 3.43 from 4.11 in October. Year-over-year, the truck-to-load ratio increased seven percent from a ratio of 3.20 trucks for every one load available in November 2018.
About TransCore Indexes
Truckload spot rates in specific areas can be accessed from TransCore’s Rate Index truckload rating tool, and real-time and historical data on total truck and load volumes, as well as ratios in specific areas can be accessed from TransCore’s Posting Index.
TransCore’s Canadian Freight Index accurately measures trends in the truckload freight spot market. The components of the Freight Index are comprised from roughly 6,400 of Canada’s trucking companies and freight brokers; this data includes all domestic, cross-border and interstate data submitted by Loadlink customers.
About TransCore Link Logistics
Looking for a better way to match available freight loads with trucks, TransCore Link Logistics in 1990 developed Loadlink, a load board connecting brokers, carriers, owner operators and private fleets in Canada to a real-time database of 18 million loads, shipments and trucks – the largest in the industry. The monthly Canadian Freight Index now defines the freight movement spot market. The company also provides its customers with dispatch solutions, ACE/ACI eManifest, Posting Index, Rate Index, credit solutions, factoring, an online transportation job board, mileage software and more.