• ITVI.USA
    15,868.670
    8.820
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.774
    0.001
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.470
    0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,873.680
    8.980
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,868.670
    8.820
    0.1%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.774
    0.001
    0%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.470
    0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,873.680
    8.980
    0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    2.960
    -0.660
    -18.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.100
    -0.250
    -10.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.610
    0.250
    18.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.340
    -0.130
    -3.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    3.860
    -0.220
    -5.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.520
    0.380
    12.1%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    -2.000
    -1.6%
AskWavesCanadaNewsTop StoriesTrucking

What will the reopening of the Canadian border mean for freight?

Return of millions of US visitors to be ‘boon’ for transportations and logistics

Canada is beginning to reopen its borders for nonessential travel after a 16-month shutdown in response to COVID-19. Starting Aug. 9, fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents can enter the country.

Even though trade has been exempt from the restrictions — allowing trucks to move freely between Canada and the U.S. — the reopening of the border still has significant implications for freight. And not just because more congestion and wait times will undoubtedly accompany the return of passenger traffic. 

It stands to be a big driver for freight demand.

“The opening of the border will be a boon for the transportation and logistics industries as a whole,” said Peter Stefanovich, managing partner at Left Lane Associates, a Toronto transportation mergers and acquisitions advisory firm.   

It will come from an expected influx of visitors from the U.S. Ahead of the pandemic, in 2019, 25 million U.S. residents visited Canada, including 15 million tourists, according to Statistics Canada

Just how fast they’ll return remains to be seen. But they will be spending money at restaurants, hotels and events. And that spending will drive demand for freight, Stefanovich said.

Visitors from other countries will be allowed to come to Canada in September, adding to the momentum. 

In short, it will drive demand in the hospitality sector, which has struggled from the absence of foreign visitors. The only challenge may be to secure capacity in big markets like Toronto, particularly for temperature-controlled freight.

For now, the United States is keeping its land border closed for nonessential travel. But when it does open, U.S. border communities will undoubtedly see the welcome return of Canadians and their penchant for cross-border shopping, in search of deals on everything from milk to shoes. 

This is part of FreightWaves’ AskWaves series. If you have a question for our editorial team to explore, click here. For more AskWaves articles, click here.

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Click for more FreightWaves articles by Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak, Border and North America Correspondent

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 ntabak@freightwaves.com.

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