Borderlands: CanadaInternationalNewsToday's PickupTrucking

Today’s Pickup: More trucks continue to cross US-Canada border

Latest Canada Border Services Agency data shows uptick in commercial vehicle traffic in a good sign for cross-border freight.

Good day,

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reported an uptick in truck drivers crossing to Canada from the U.S. last week. It’s another encouraging sign for cross-border freight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just over 81,000 truckers crossed the U.S.-Canada border during the week ending May 17, the CBSA reported on May 19. It’s the highest tally since the week ending March 29. Also impressive is that this happened leading up to Monday’s Victoria Day holiday.

The number of crossings – which roughly translates into trucks entering Canada – still was 30.6% below the same week in 2019. Even by that measure, last week still represented the best showing for cross-border truckers since the week ending April 5. 

This wasn’t just a single week fluke, either. U.S. to Canada trucker crossings have trended upward since the week ending April 12, CBSA data shows.

The trend in truck border crossings also plays out on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform. The Outbound Tender Volume Index-Canada (OTVI.CAN) has been pulling higher since mid-April. It plunged toward the end of last week, typical of the lead-up to holidays. 

The Outbound Tender Volume Index-Canada (OTVI.CAN) has pushed upward on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform since mid-April. The large drop on May 18 appears linked to the Victoria Day Holiday in Canada.

Did you know?

U.S. business inventories stood at $2.02 trillion in March, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data. A 5% increase in inventories could lead to a demand for an additional 400 million to 500 million square feet in warehouse capacity, real estate firm CBRE said in a new report


“Online shopping is old school. Virtual reality is the future.”

– Brittain Ladd, a consultant and former Amazon executive, on Microsoft and FedEx’s new partnership

In other news:

U.S. imposes sanctions on Chinese logistics firm

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has placed sanctions on Shanghai Saint Logistics Limited, accusing it of doing business with a blacklisted Iranian airline. (Financial Post)  

DHL executive: COVID-19 significantly increasing costs

The CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific says lower aircraft availability is driving up costs for logistics providers despite a plunge in fuel prices. (CNBC)

Canadian government to seek equity or cash for bridge loans 

Large companies that take federal bridge loans in Canada also must be willing to allow the government to take an ownership stake or an equivalent in cash. (BNN Bloomberg)

Kenya denies targeting Tanzanian truck drivers for COVID-19 tests

Kenyan officials say they aren’t singling out truck drivers from Tanzania for COVID-19 testing at the border. (Kenya Broadcasting Corporation )

Final thoughts:

The U.S.-Canada border will remain closed for non-essential traffic for at least another month. Trucks remain exempt from the closure.

Hammer down, everyone!

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes FedEx (No. 1).

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