New Restrictions on Truckers Having ‘Substantial Impact’ on Freight Rates

Washington, D.C. — One of America’s leading freight analysts says new cross-border mandates are already have a “substantial impact” on rates.

Dean Croke, principal market analyst at DAT, tells Transportation Nation Network (TNN) he has been tracking an “extraordinary increase in [spot] rates in the last week” for loads going northbound out of a number of major U.S. markets.




 

“I think the vaccine mandate is having a substantial impact going northbound,” Croke said. “There’s something going on that’s disrupting the supply.”

As an example, Croke cited reefer shipments from Phoenix, AZ, to Vancouver, BC, which last week were averaging $4.29 per mile on accepted loads.

That’s up $1.17 per mile over December 2021, Croke explained.

Other major lanes going northbound Croke will be watching closely this week include originations out of Philadelphia, PA; Los Angeles, CA; and Detroit, MI.




 

John Elliott, CEO of Load One Transportation, told TNN his cross-border operations felt the impact of the new mandates immediately.

“We are seeing a dramatic drop in available units that can or will cross the northern border,” Elliott reported. “At the same time we are seeing spot market pricing rising over 30% already.”

Elliott will soon become the chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA), which remains opposed to the border restrictions.

 

He lamented the Biden Administration’s policy calling it a “detriment to the supply chain and an insult to the sacrifices professional drivers have made during the pandemic.”

“With the supply chain stretched to the breaking point, adding yet another obstacle to the free movement of goods is a policy that is not well thought out and will have potentially huge damaging impacts to the economies of the North American countries effected,” he told TNN.

While Croke admitted it is a bit too early to know exactly what kind of long-term impact the new cross-border requirements will have on capacity and rates, he said the “volatility” so far in January has been “extraordinary.”

“There’s some definite volatility going northbound. This will have to work its way out of the market,” he stated.




 

Add in the impact of the massive Freedom Convoy in Canada where as many as 50,000 trucks are sitting (many being cross-border haulers) and Croke said it’s “hard to say” how the market will react.

“Freight will keep moving but it will cost more,” he commented, noting that large contract carriers will be “swooping in to pick up shippers left stranded by smaller fleets who are protesting.”

TransportationNation.com will continue to track it closely.

 


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