The Trucking Industry Has Been in the Spotlight This Month but How Has That Affected the Spot Market?

| February 18, 2022

Loadlink Technologies’ Canadian spot market remains hot hot hot despite the cold Canadian temperatures this January. Compared to last January, volumes saw a striking increase of 154 percent year-over-year and even surpassed January’s all-time record by an additional 14 percent.


  • The industry has been all over the mainstream news this month since the implementation of vaccination mandates on January 15 for cross-border truckers.
  • Loads are off the charts from anything we’ve ever seen – more than double the volume of January 2021.
  • We are shipping almost three times more to the US than we were this time last year.
  • Due to the increased demand for trucks – there’s a clear strain on capacity, particularly inbound.
  • Year-over-year, January’s truck-to-load ratio was 0.93, 64 percent lower compared to the ratio of 2.57 in January 2021.

“Combining the current truck shortage with the huge surge in loads only compounds the capacity constraints. Truck-to-load ratios are even lower than the record low capacity crunch that temporarily ensued following the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate in the US close to 5 years ago,” says Claudia Milicevic, president of Loadlink Technologies.

January’s Canadian spot market saw recent events only exacerbate long-term trends in the movement of freight both within Canada and cross-border.

Outbound Cross-border Activity
Truckloads shipping across the border from Canada to the United States, soared 281 percent from this time last year. Equipment postings were down 28 percent year-over-year.

Inbound Cross-border Activity
Inbound loads rose 35 percent compared to last month and 116 percent compared to January of last year. Equipment postings were down 23 percent year-over-year and 24 percent from December.

Intra-Canadian Activity
Freight activity within Canada remained at strong levels. Since January of last year loads within Canada swelled 166 percent. Equipment postings were up year-over-year by 11 percent.

Average Truck-to-Load Ratios
The truck-to-load ratio fell below one truck for every one load posted on Loadlink, following the downward trajectory we’ve seen over the past three months. The ratio for January was 0.93 available trucks for every load posted, down 23 percent from 1.21 in December. Year-over-year, January’s truck-to-load ratio was 64 percent lower compared to a ratio of 2.57 in January 2021.

An interesting example illustrating the concerns around capacity shortage is Reefer (refrigerated truck) availability in Canada, as Reefers move perishable goods across borders. From January 1st-16th from the hundreds of thousands of postings and trucks on LoadLink, the truck to load ratio was 0.90.

From January 17th-31st the available number of Reefer trucks fell, while posted loads increased, bringing the ratio to 0.57,a decrease of 36%.

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