Looking for truck capacity? Look north. Tractor-trailer availability on the Canadian spot market was up 19 percent in April from a year ago, according to TransCore.
That doesn’t mean there were physically many more trucks, if any more at all, in Canada last month, but it may point to a shift in how trucks are deployed.
Some truck capacity likely is being drawn away from contractual and intra-Canada freight shipping by growing cross-border transactional freight demand.
The value of the Canadian dollar — about 3 cents above the U.S. dollar — is spurring imports, making goods shipped north cheaper for Canadian consumers.
The value of goods in U.S. surface trade with Canada increased 13.7 percent year-over-year in February, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics said May 1.
A prolonged strike by Teamsters at Canadian Pacific could push more cross-border intermodal freight, in particular cars and automotive freight, onto trucks.
In March, the Canadian spot market index jumped 24 percent from February, propelled by high cross-border spot market freight volumes, TransCore said.
The index declined 3 percent from March in April, TransCore said, but remained well above recessionary levels.
The Canadian index is based on loads and trucks posted in TransCore’s Loadlink freight-matching service, which handles cross-border and intra-Canada loads.
Cross-border shipments accounted for 73 percent of Loadlink activity in April, up from 69 percent in March. Ontario was the focus of import-export activity.
The Canadian economy is expected to grow 2.25 percent this year according to a forecast from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @wbcassidy_joc