TORONTO, Ont. – TransCore’s Loadlink spot market load volumes surged 19% in March, reflecting the restocking of retail inventories and essential goods.
March volumes were up 17% year-over-year, while equipment postings rose 7%. First quarter load volumes were up 25% over the fourth quarter of 2019, but only up 1% compared to Q1 2019.
The Montreal-Toronto and Toronto-Calgary lanes saw strong growth, while mass consumer stockpiling increased demand of consumption and essential goods. Reefer demand surged 31%, with dry van loads up 18%.
Unfortunately for truckers, TransCore has seen a “considerable decline” in certain markets and commodities reflected in early April load volume data.
“Weakening economic factors caused by the coronavirus outbreak have begun to show on the spot market following a strong March,” the company said. “Fortunately, the trucking industry’s essential status will allow carriers to continue to facilitate trade between the North American borders, but near-term conditions will require close monitoring as manufacturers reduce production and load volumes lessen.”
Capacity contracted in March for the fifth consecutive month, with the truck-to-load ratio falling 10% to 2.18 trucks for every available load. That’s down from 2.42 in February, while the year-over-year truck-to-load ratio fell 22%. Quarterly, the truck-to-load ratio fell 29%.
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