- Research Reports
  • On average, Canada is operating at 69% of normal commercial transportation activity across all vehicle types since March 15. In the U.S., commercial vehicle activity is at 60% of normal.
  • Though commercial vehicle traffic overall has declined, heavy-duty trucks maintain 78% of normal activity across the continent.
  • While the commercial transportation movement surrounding most retail stores has declined by 45-50%, the flow of goods to grocery stores experienced a 22% decline.

Geotab just revealed new data insights highlighting the impact that COVID-19 has had on commercial vehicle activity and the flow of goods across North America. The data, which is processed from more than 2 million Geotab connected vehicles worldwide, shows that despite an overall drop in commercial traffic volume across the continent, heavy-duty trucks are still on the road and are helping to provide essential goods to communities throughout Canada and the United States.

As stay-at-home and isolation orders have been implemented across many North American cities, states and provinces, Geotab examined the effects of these changes on commercial vehicle activity. The findings depict that while overall traffic volume in most commercial vehicle types continues to decline day-by-day, heavy-duty vehicles have recorded the lowest decline, with 78% of normal activity on March 27, 2020 compared to baselines taken from February 1 to March 15, 2020.

Type of vehiclePercentage of normal activity on March 27, 2020
Heavy-duty truck78%
Medium-duty truck73%
Light-duty truck61%
Multiple-purpose vehicle56%
*Percentage of normal activity on March 27, 2020 compared to baselines taken from February 1 to March 15, 2020.

Though commercial traffic has shown a decline overall, the flow of essential goods around grocery stores has recorded the least impact. The data highlights that while commercial vehicle movement surrounding warehouses and retail stores has dropped 40-45%, the flow of goods to grocery stores has only declined by 22% since March 15, 2020.

“While many communities across North America and the world are declaring a state of emergency and are mandating the closure of non-essential businesses, trucking and logistics companies are continuing to deliver the goods that we rely on every single day,” said Neil Cawse, CEO at Geotab. “We at Geotab send our sincere gratitude to all truck drivers, along with health care workers, grocery store employees and many more who are continuing to provide the services and goods that we need.”

Building typeFlow of goods activity on March 27, 2020
Grocery store78%
Other retail64%
*Percentage of normal activity on March 27, 2020 compared to baselines taken from February 1 to March 15, 2020.

Data also shows that while fuel fill ups have declined rapidly in all other commercial vehicle types, including cars and light-duty vehicles, heavy-duty truck fill ups remain very similar to prior to the outbreak across both Canada and the U.S. at nearly 100 percent of their normal volumes before the pandemic.

“Examining different connected car data sets helps provide some clarity and understanding during unprecedented times such as this,” said Mike Branch, VP Data and Analytics at Geotab. “As we move forward through the coming days and weeks, Geotab is committed to utilizing our resources to provide data-driven insights that may be helpful for our customers, partners and Resellers, decision makers across the continent and the general population as a whole.”