The Canadian for-hire trucking industry hauled 745.5 million tonnes of freight in 2014, up 7.9% from 2013. The growth was attributable to both increased domestic and transborder shipments.
Domestic shipments rose 8.3% to 642.2 million tonnes, accounting for 86.2% of the overall tonnage hauled by for-hire trucking companies. Most tonnage hauled originated from Ontario, Alberta and Quebec in 2014. The top commodities hauled were general freight in Ontario and Quebec and crude petroleum in Alberta.
Trends and patterns, 2009 to 2014
From 2009 to 2014, the total tonnage of freight hauled by the Canadian for-hire trucking industry increased 41.1%, as both domestic and transborder shipments rose. The leading commodities hauled were general freight, gravel and crushed stone, crude petroleum, gasoline, and lumber. During this six-year period, these goods were always among the top seven commodities shipped by truck.
From 2009 to 2014, most of the freight hauled by Canadian trucking companies originated in and was destined for the same province. On average, about three-quarters (74.5%) of tonnage shipped remained in the same province. Shipments to other provinces represented 11.7% of tonnage, while the remaining 13.8% was carried across the US border.
Over this same period, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec were the provinces of origin that recorded the largest increases by tonnage, with most commodity shipments remaining within the province of origin.
From 2009 to 2014, the tonnage hauled rose by nearly half in Ontario (+49.1%) and Alberta (+42.0%) and increased by a third in Quebec (+32.4%).
In Ontario, the top commodity hauled over the 2009-to-2014 period was gravel and crushed stone, with an average of 32.1 million tonnes a year. In Alberta, crude petroleum led trucking shipments with an annual average of 31.5 million tonnes. General freight was the top commodity in Quebec, with an average of 15.1 million tonnes per year.
Transborder shipments within North America rose from 2009 to 2014 as the volume of outbound and inbound freight crossing the Canada–US and US–Mexico borders increased 33.1% from 77.6 million tonnes to 103.3 million tonnes. The gains were due to shipments of general freight and other motor vehicle parts.
On average, general freight accounted for 17.9% of the weight of all goods moving back and forth between Canada and the United States, while other motor vehicle parts represented 7.1%. These were the top two commodities hauled over the border from 2009 to 2014.
Over this period, not only was there a greater volume shipped but freight was shipped a greater distance, increasing 7.0% to 635 kilometres per shipment in 2014. The overall distance grew 35.6% as a result of increases in both domestic freight and transborder shipments.
Revenue earned by Canadian for-hire trucking establishments increased 14.8% to $0.14 per tonne-kilometre in 2014. While domestic freight generated higher revenue ($0.16 per tonne-kilometre) in 2014, per tonne-kilometre earnings from transborder shipments freight increased almost 25% from 2009 to 2014.
Note to readers
The Trucking Commodity Origin and Destination Survey collects information on Canada’s for-hire trucking industry (North American Industrial Classification System industry 484). The survey targets trucking companies with at least one establishment having an annual revenue of at least $1.3 million. It excludes foreign-based trucking establishments operating in Canada and non-trucking establishments with their own fleets (private trucking).
Isn’t this typically Canadian. These are the types of statistics that private industries use to plan ahead. How does one plan for the future with two year old statistics when the current trends speak loudly these statistics would lead down the wrong path?