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Truck fleets busy in Canada during March

For the fourth consecutive month, TransCore Link Logistics Canadian Freight Index continued its trend-setting elevated load volumes. March volumes were the highest ever recorded for any month, surpassing last March’s volumes by 50% and last month’s volumes by 16%.

The first quarter of 2014 shattered any combined quarterly volumes since TransCore Link Logistics started recording data. Load volumes for the first quarter soared 51% from fourth quarter 2013 and increased 52% compared to the first quarter in 2013. Equipment postings for the quarter were the lowest first quarter results seen since 2005.

Increases in load volumes were not limited to specific regions. Rather, increased load volumes were reflected across the board in inbound, outbound, and inter-Canadian freight:

  • Cross-border postings accounted for 71% of total load volumes.
  • Cross-border loads originating in Canada destined to the United States sprang radically by 92% year-over-year.
  • Cross-border loads originating in the United States destined for provinces within Canada jumped by 42% year-over-year.
  • The top five states of origin for loads destined to Canada ordered from highest to lowest total loads were Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
  • Intra-Canada load volumes represented 24% of the total volumes for February and rose notably by 32% year-over-year.

Although equipment postings increased by 4% in March from the previous month, this slight rise can be attributed to the longer month. Equipment levels have not been this low for the month of March since 2005. Posted trucks fell by 18% from the first quarter of last year. The equipment-to-load ratio carried its unbroken month-to-month decline since October 2013 in March to 1.17 from 1.31 the previous month, and 2.08 from March 2013. The truck–to-load ratio for March represented the tightest capacity on record.

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