TORONTO – TransCore Link Logistics’ Canadian load volumes ended the third quarter with an expected dip following an anticipated slower performance during the summer months. However, the Canadian spot market showed resilience as September ended with improved load volumes compared to the start of the month.

At the beginning of September, the truck-to-load ratio hovered around 2.90, but improved to 2.68 by the month’s end, signaling a potential recovery in capacity as the autumn season approaches.

Third Quarter Load Performance

Load volumes in the third quarter declined 29 percent compared to historic and unprecedented load volumes in Q2, but only decreased 11 percent compared to the third quarter of 2017.

Other quarterly highlights

  • Load volumes in Q3 2018 were the second highest Q3 ever recorded by Loadlink, behind only Q3 2017.
  • Truck volumes experienced greater recovery as 2018 progressed, with Q3 truck postings surging over one million trucks postings per month (last seen in Q3 2016).

Compared to last month, the number of loads posted on Loadlink in September was down 15 percent. Year-over-year, volumes were 22 percent lower than the volumes recorded in September 2017.

These results indicate a particularly quiet season of shipping activity during a year of record-breaking load activity on Loadlink. The effects of economic trade uncertainties revolving around NAFTA and the unfortunate natural disasters that befell core trade routes may have adversely impacted load activity. These suppositions, however, only represent two of multiple drivers impacting activity.

Intra-Canada loads accounted for 33 percent of the total volumes and represented a seven percent decrease year-over-year.

Cross-border load postings represented 65 percent of the data submitted by Loadlink users:

  • Loads leaving Canada to the United States decreased 26 percent year-over-year, and
  • Loads entering Canada also decreased 26 percent year-over-year.

Equipment Performance

September’s equipment postings decreased 11 percent when compared to August 2018 and increased 16 percent when compared to September 2017. Equipment capacity increased 23 percent in Q3 2018 when compared to Q2 2018.

Truck-to-Load Ratio

Truck volumes continued to elevate amidst declining load volumes. This significant boost in truck availability coupled with lessened load activity caused the truck-to-load ratio to rise above two trucks available for every load posted on Loadlink. In September, the number of trucks posted on Loadlink was 2.68 for every one load posted on the network, compared to 2.55 in August. Year-over-year, the ratio expanded from 1.80 in September 2017. The average truck-to-load ratio for Q3 2018 was 2.48.

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About TransCore Indexes

Truckload spot rates in specific areas can be accessed from TransCore’s Rate Index truckload rating tool, and real-time and historical data on total truck and load volumes, as well as ratios in specific areas can be accessed from TransCore’s Posting Index.

TransCore’s Canadian Freight Index accurately measures trends in the truckload freight spot market. The components of the Freight Index are comprised from roughly 6,100 of Canada’s trucking companies and freight brokers; this data includes all domestic, cross-border and interstate data submitted by Loadlink customers.

About TransCore Link Logistics

Looking for a better way to match available freight loads with trucks, TransCore Link Logistics in 1990 developed Loadlink, a load board connecting brokers, carriers, owner operators and private fleets in Canada to a real-time database of 15 million loads, shipments and trucks – the largest in the industry. The monthly Canadian Freight Index now defines the freight movement spot market. The company also provides its customers with dispatch solutions, ACE/ACI eManifest, Posting Index, Rate Index, credit solutions, factoring, online transportation job boards, mileage software and more.