Spot market volumes steady, but capacity flooded with western trucks

WOODBRIDGE, Ont. — Canadian spot market load volumes have been increasing month to month and are almost back to 2015 levels.

Claudia Milicevic, general manager, TransCore Link Logistics, provided customers attending the company’s annual golf tournament today, an overview of spot market freight volumes and trends. She said this June, there were an average of about 17,000 loads posted to the Loadlink load board each day, down from about 18,000 in June of last year and a peak of 22,000 per day in 2014.

This year’s load postings have been similar to 2013.

However, trucks are also being posted in greater numbers, especially in Western Canada, where fleets and owner-operators who traditionally served the oilpatch are now looking elsewhere for freight to haul.

“Western Canada is our fastest growing region and has been for the last couple years,” said Milicevic.

The truck-to-load ratio sits at about 3.11 today, down from 3.74 in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 4.28 during the depths of the recession in 2009. But earlier last year there were just 2.5 trucks posted per load and in 2014, when the most recent capacity crunch was felt, there were as few as 1.28 trucks per load.

Milicevic offered customers tips on how to get the most out of a load board, including focusing in on underserved lanes. She said lanes such as Ontario-Texas receive the most demand, with a truck-to-load ratio of about 10:1. Ontario-Ohio, on the other hand, is a balanced lane with more opportunities for fleets and owner-operators.

“Always look for the balanced lanes,” she suggested. “If you are running Texas, you may want to consider other alternatives to reduce any empty miles you have.”


James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 18 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

Have your say

We won't publish or share your data