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Canadian border truck traffic surges

Jump in truck drivers crossing the U.S.-Canada border comes as freight volumes push upward.

The U.S.-Canada border crossing at Blue Water Bridge links Michigan and Ontario. (Photo: Customs and Border Protection)

The number of trucks crossing the Canadian border from the U.S. surged last week as freight volumes surged in both countries. 

About 14% more truck drivers crossed the border during the week ending Sunday compared to the previous week, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) data released Wednesday shows. 

The CBSA recorded nearly 98,000 trucker crossings during the week, about 12,000 more than a week earlier. Truck traffic at the border has slowly recovered since mid-April. Last week’s numbers are still down more than 17% compared to the same week in 2019. 

The jump in traffic came as Canadian provinces and U.S. states reopened their economics. The ramp-up of auto production on both sides of the border may be a factor as well. 

A chart on FreightWaves SONAR platform showing freight volumes in the U.S. and Canada since May.
Trucks in Canada and the United States moved more freight during the week ending June 7, according to the Outbound Tender Volume Indexes for both countries on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform.

Freight volumes in the U.S. and Canada also pushed upward last week, according to Outbound Tender Volume Indexes (OTVI.USA and OTVI.CAN) for both countries on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform. On June 3, the Canadian index approached a level not seen since mid-March.

The latest data comes as the U.S. and Canadian governments reportedly plan to extend the closure of their shared border to nonessential traffic. The border closed in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then commercial vehicles have continued to travel freely.

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Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected].