Strong Year For Canadian Rail Volume



OTTAWA - Feb 26/19 - SNS -- Canadian railways moved more cargo In December than the previous month last year, according to Statistics Canada, with volume reaching 32.7 million metric tons (MT), up 6.5% from the same month a year earlier.

This lifted total rail freight volume to 384.5 million MT in 2018, up 4.1% from the 369.2 million MT of rail freight carried in 2017. The top five commodities in 2018 were iron ores and concentrates (55 624 000 MT), coal (34,613,000 MT), wheat (23,199,000 MT), potash (22,533,000 MT) and fuel oils and crude petroleum (18,835,000 MT).

Freight originating in Canada rose 9.0% from the same month in 2017 to 30.0 million MT in December. Non-intermodal freight increased 9.8% to 327,000 carloads. The amount of freight loaded into these cars rose 10.3% from December 2017 to 27.1 million MT.

In December, the commodities with the largest increase in tonnage compared with December 2017 were fuel oils and crude petroleum (+987 000 MT or +83.7%), wheat (+550 000 MT or +31.7%), iron ores and concentrates (+358 000 MT or +7.5%), potash (+313 000 MT or +18.5%) and fresh, chilled or dried vegetables (+273 000 MT or +155.3%).

Conversely, tonnages declined for other oil seeds, nuts and other agricultural products (-358 000 MT or -64.0%), canola (-299 000 MT or -25.3%) and lumber (-124 000 MT or -14.4%).

Intermodal freight loadings rose 2.2% from December 2017 to 199,000 units. In terms of weight, intermodal traffic decreased 1.9% to 2.9 million MT.

Freight traffic received from the United States fell 14.9% to 2.6 million MT, as a result of a 16.4% decrease in non-intermodal freight.