Nearly twice as much freight by volume and by spend travels from the United States to Canada than the other way around on Transplace’s network.
“The disparity is pretty glaring,” said Jeff Thomas, senior vice president of capacity services at the Texas-based transportation management provider.
The reason, according to Thomas, boils down to Canada having a significant trade deficit with the U.S. – when oil and gas, and cars are taken out of the mix. What’s left accounts for what full-truckload and less-than-truckload carriers are hauling.
The gap is particularly wide on consumer packaged goods. Thomas cited U.S. trade statistics, which show the U.S. exported about US$57 billion to Canada in 2018, versus US$28.9 billion the other way around.
“When you get into the products that people use on a daily basis, there’s a lot more going northbound,” Thomas said. “Particularly in the Greater Toronto area, where you have cross-dock distribution for east and west moves, there are a lot of more loads coming in than there are coming back.”
The load disparity appears as a gap between Canada’s Outbound and Inbound Tender Volume Indexes on the FreightWaves SONAR platform. The indexes, which track load volumes, show a higher level of incoming freight on most days during the last two weeks of July.
The north-south split leads to an excess in capacity in Canada, which gets reflected in the rates. Transplace analyzed rates in multiple lanes, and found the U.S. to Canada lane exceeded C$2 per mile, while the Canada to U.S. lane ranged from C$1.50 to C$1.90 in June – a spread that has widened during the past year.
“You’re paying a bit of the backhaul every time you go to Canada,” Thomas said.
Smaller shippers, in particular, are vulnerable to capacity crunches, he said.
Transplace has a growing footprint in Canada. This year it expects to handle C$500 million in freight.
C$3 million in meth seized from truck at border
A truck driver was arrested after authorities seized 50 kilograms of methamphetamine from a semi attempting to enter Canada from the U.S.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers stopped Asif Mir, 40, of Calgary at the crossing in Coutts, Alberta, which borders Montana, on July 28. Officers found 33 bags of meth during a search of the vehicle, according to a joint statement of the CBSA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The drugs have a potential street value of C$3 million.
Mir was charged with importing a controlled substance and drug possession for the purposes of distribution.
He was subsequently released on bail and is slated to appear in court on August 22.
Emissions cheats could get plates seized in Ontario
Recent changes to Ontario’s Environment Protection Act will allow authorities to seize license plates from any vehicle discovered with tampered emissions systems – regardless of its origin.
Previously only Ontario-registered vehicles were subject to license plate seizures. That means that drivers and carriers from other provinces and the U.S. will now face far more serious consequences in the event of emissions cheating.
“These amendments are a great first step and will help ensure that all carriers that tamper with their emissions systems and pollute in our province will be held accountable for their actions,” Stephen Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association said in a statement.