Load volumes held firm from October tallies but a strong surge in third week of November showed significant improvement prior to American Thanksgiving holiday.

TORONTO – In the first week of November, average daily load volumes held steady and were virtually unchanged from the last week of October preceding it. With only a small dip in average daily load volumes in week two, so far, the first half of the month performed slightly better than the latter half of October.

At the time of writing, load volumes in the third week of November saw the best performance and accounted for the highest total weekly number of loads since the coronavirus pandemic began. Freight supply increased 13 percent week-over-week from the second week of November. The American Thanksgiving holiday most likely will see a decline in cross-border shipments and broker load postings. Loadlink Technologies expects November’s total freight volumes to be relatively flat or be up a few percentage points when compared to October.

Notable Market Activity – Cross-Border

In the first half of November, over half of the provincial/state lanes with sufficient posting volumes that saw positive growth were comprised of cross-border lanes. The Ontario inbound market saw some of the largest gains from a few long haul, cross-border markets, but was more affected by declining freight volumes from a set of the closest American states nearer the border. Of the lanes that saw week-over-week declines, 73 percent were comprised of cross-border lanes.

The top three cross-border lanes that saw the largest gains in load postings from the first half of November over the latter half of October were the Pennsylvania to Ontario (+25%), California to Ontario (+10%) and Georgia to Quebec (+70%) lanes. In terms of city-to-city lanes, the following markets saw some of the largest week-over-week growth in absolute volumes: Douglas, GA to Montreal, QC (+158%), Toronto, ON to Chicago, IL (+147%), Phoenix, AZ to Toronto, ON (+64%) and Los Angeles, CA to Brampton, ON (+35%). Ontario’s recent rise of COVID-19 cases and a lockdown in the Greater Toronto Area may have contributed to several US states reducing outbound freight to markets within Ontario.

Notable Market Activity – Within Canada

Continuing the trend seen in October, Western Canada saw vastly improved load posting volumes on Loadlink as the Alberta to Manitoba provincial lane saw the largest increase (+53%) in loads out of all provincial lanes in the first half of November versus the latter half of October. The second best performing intra-Canadian provincial lane was also from the West Coast as the Alberta to British Columbia lane saw the second largest increase in freight (+14%).

Just like in early to mid-October, over two-thirds of intra-Canadian provincial lanes saw a monthly improvement in the first two weeks of November. Ontario outbound freight improved drastically from last month as all inbound Canadian market lanes with sufficient volumes saw positive gains (barring the local Ontario market). The Quebec market also rebounded following similar activity in October with all other domestic inbound market lanes receiving a boost in freight from the Quebec market, excluding the Ontario and local Quebec markets.

Other well-performing domestic lanes with large percentage increases in load volumes included Ontario to Quebec (+12%), Ontario to British Columbia (+31%), and Quebec to British Columbia (+41%) and Ontario to Alberta (+14%). On a city-to-city level, of the lanes with sufficient posting volumes, 55 percent saw a weekly improvement from the first half of November over the second half of October.

The city-to-city lanes with the largest improvements were Mississauga to Montreal (+68%), Calgary to Winnipeg (+45%) and Edmonton to Winnipeg (+158%). A majority of improvements from domestic city lanes involved West Coast metropolitans such as Edmonton (AB), Winnipeg (MB) and Surrey (BC). Despite the rebound in outbound Ontario and Quebec freight, the inbound domestic markets declined as stricter enforcements and COVID-19 response measures continues to negatively affect the local economies and supply chain stemming from these provinces.

Average Truck-to-Load Ratios

At the time of writing, November’s truck-to-load ratio improved to 3.15. This ratio improved by four percent from October’s overall value and by five percent compared to the value for the first three weeks of September. Due to extremely strong freight supply in the latest week of November, the truck-to-load ratio tightened and inched closer to a healthier ratio hovering around the 3.00 mark. The lack of holidays early into the month also helped improve comparisons, but American Thanksgiving will reduce both driver/truck availability as well as freight supply at the end of the month.

About Loadlink Indexes

Rate Index data is based on the average spot rates paid by freight brokers and shippers to carriers in the specific lanes where loads are hauled. This data also shows real-time and historical available capacity, and total truck-to-load ratios.

Freight Index data provides insight on Canada’s economy at large, and is a primary resource for the trucking community. The Freight Index accurately measures trends in the truckload freight spot market as its components are comprised from roughly 6,000 Canadian carriers and freight brokers. This data includes all domestic, cross-border, and interstate data submitted by Loadlink customers.

About Loadlink Technologies

Loadlink Technologies helps Canadian transportation companies facilitate the critical movement of goods by trucks through the use of its technology. With decades of propelling innovation and by way of its modernized freight matching, the company helps its members drive better business performance and competitiveness while delivering new levels of customer experiences.

Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and on Twitter.