ECONOMIC WATCH: Canadian spot market load volumes increase for sixth consecutive month

by Today's Trucking

TORONTO, Ont. – Loadlink Technologies has reported overall spot market load volumes increased 2% in October, with load postings up 18% year-over-year.

Freight volumes were similar to pre-pandemic levels recorded in the first quarter of this year, with volumes growing each month since April. Volumes saw an uptick at the end of the month.

(Source: Loadlink Technologies)

Highlights included decent volumes at the end of the third quarter, followed by a 6% dip at the beginning of October, attributed to the Thanksgiving holiday. New Covid-19 cases are on the rise, particularly in Ontario and Quebec, altering usual freight flows in and out of those hardest hit regions. Loadlink reported an average of 15% less freight on the busy Ontario-Quebec corridor. Intra-provincial freight within Ontario and Quebec was down 3% and 9%, respectively.

Southbound loads to the U.S. were down 7%, with Ontario and Western Canada seeing a sharp 15% decline, while Quebec and Atlantic Canada saw a 13% increase in southbound loads.

Cross-border loads into Canada were up 8% overall, with Western Canada seeing a 15% rise, Quebec 8%, and Ontario up 6%.

Within Canada, loads were up 5% while equipment postings rose just 3%. Domestic loads were up 14% compared to last October, with Western Canada seeing a 30% increase in loads originating there and 16% arriving. Ontario saw a 13% increase in loads originating from the province, but had a 12% decline in loads coming in. Quebec, on the other hand, had 39% fewer outbound loads, while inbound loads increased 38%.

Capacity increased by 1% in October, with 3.28 trucks posted for every load, up from 3.24 trucks per load in September. October truck volumes hit an annual high, but the truck-to-load ratio was 20% lower compared to the 4.11 ratio last October.

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