US-Canada Truck Border Crossings Rebound

Border data from the Canada Border Services Agency points to a continued uptick for freight, trade from the staggering pandemic plunge, Freightwaves reports.

The number of trucks crossing the U.S.-Canada border reached its highest level since late March. Nearly 86,000 truckers entered Canada from the U.S. during the week ending May 31. That represents a decline of almost 22% compared to a year ago.

U.S. freight volumes have surged since the Memorial Day weekend.

The latest data point offers yet another positive signal for cross-border freight as it slowly recovers from the COVID-19 slowdown. It also aligns with the rebound in freight volumes in the U.S. and Canada.

Despite the uptick in cross-border trucking, merchandise trade between the U.S. and Canada declined by more than 35%, or C$23.4 billion, in April, according to a June 4 report released by Statistics Canada. Auto manufacturing and energy accounted for most of that plunge.

U.S. and Canadian freight volumes have recovered off their March lows, according to the Outbound Tender Volume indexes for both countries (OTVI.CAN and OTVI.USA) on FreightWaves’ SONAR platform.

But as Statistics Canada noted, “a return to pre-COVID-19 production levels is not expected in the near-term.”

But even as freight volumes recover, carriers continue to run with a high percentage of empty miles.

Earlier this week the President of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, Steve Laskowski, pressed Canadian lawmakers for more government aid.

Canadian trucking companies are seeking easier access to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Many carriers aren’t eligible because their loss in revenue has yet to drop below the 30% threshold.

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