ECONOMIC WATCH: General trucking rates dip

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TORONTO, Ont. – Canada’s-hire truck transportation rates dropped 0.4% between the second and third quarters of 2019, but were still 1.8% higher than those seen in the third quarter of 2018, Statistics Canada reports.

Rate increases introduced by general freight haulers also outpaced those experienced by specialized freight haulers, according to the most recent For-hire Motor Carrier Freight Services Price Index.

General freight truckers saw their rates increase 3% over the same quarter in 2018. Local haulers among them saw a 1.2% increase between the second and third quarter of 2019, but were up 0.9% over Q3 2018. In contrast, long distance haulers saw rates dip 0.2% between the two 2019 quarters, but saw a 3.2% increase when compared to the third quarter of 2018.

Specialized freight trucking experienced a 1.4% drop in prices between the second and third quarters of 2019, and was down 0.8% when comparing the third quarters of 2018 and 2019.

The prices to move used household and office goods were up 2% between the second and third quarter of 2019, while the rates for local moves of other specialized freight dipped 0.7%. The long-distance rates for specialized freight other than used goods were down 2%.

Meanwhile, overall courier and messenger rates rose 0.66% from October to November 2019, according to Statistics Canada’s Couriers and Messengers Services Price Index. But the price for a local messenger was relatively flat, up 0.1%.

“While base prices did not change in November, fuel surcharges grew overall, and this led to an increase in the total index,” Statistics Canada explains.

Compared to November 2018, the index rose 2.4% — up 2.4% for local messengers, and 2% for local deliveries.


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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking,, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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