ECONOMIC WATCH: Rail blockades boosted spot market freight volumes

TORONTO, Ont. – Loadlink’s Canadian spot market daily freight volumes jumped 13% in February from January, but were down 9% year-over-year.

Total loads were actually down 2% because there were fewer working days in February. TransCore Link Logistics said trucking got a bump because of rail blockades, with loads on the Toronto-Montreal corridor up 41% and Toronto-Ottawa up 8%.

Inbound cross-border loads were down 14%, while southbound cross-border loads rose 4%. Intra-Canada load volumes rose 17%. Loads out of Atlantic Canada jumped 34%, and those from Ontario spiked 24%.

Rail blockades resulted in spot market freight volume surges between Montreal-Calgary (155%), Montreal-Vancouver (135%), Montreal-Winnipeg (125%), Toronto-Calgary (108%), and Toronto-Vancouver (97%).

Capacity tightened on Loadlink in February by 10%, with 2.42 trucks per load, down from 2.68 in January. This marked the lowest truck-to-load ratio since February 2019, but truck availability was up 13% year-over-year.

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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