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The Daily

Tuesday, June 26, 2007
April 2007 

Canadian railways carried about 23.6 million metric tonnes in freight in April, virtually unchanged from the revised level in March.

Tonnage in March 2007 declined 6.1% from March 2006. On the other hand, April's total marked a return to traditional volumes and was close to the freight levels of April 2005 and April 2006.

Loadings of containerized or intermodal commodities declined 4.6% from March to 2.4 million metric tonnes. This represents about 8,350 fewer containers.

Non-intermodal traffic—goods moved in bulk—edged up a marginal 0.5% from March to 21.2 million metric tonnes.

Loadings in April were dampened by a labour dispute in the iron ore sector that started in early March, mill closures in the steel industry, as well as several train derailments. Iron ore loadings fell 3.5% between March and April to 1.7 million tonnes. It was the third consecutive monthly decline in that sector.

Between March and April, loadings in the automotive sector fell 10.0%. However, this decline did not erase a huge gain between February and March. Furthermore, loadings in April 2007 were above those reported in April 2006.

Freight coming from the United States, either destined for or passing through Canada, remained at levels well above previous months despite a 3.9% decline between March and April.

In April, tonnage received from the United States reached about 2.6 million metric tonnes, down from 2.7 million metric tonnes in March. However, both these levels were substantially higher than the annual average of 2.4 million metric tonnes for 2006.

Traffic received from Canadian connections, an indicator of the interaction between railways in Canada, showed a 5.0% decline in tonnage from March 2007. Traffic received from Canadian connections has been on a downward trend since January 2005 because of industry acquisitions. Since then, tonnage has declined by about 1.2 million tonnes.

On a year-over-year basis, non-intermodal tonnage dropped 1.4% from April 2006. Intermodal loadings dropped 1.6%. Traffic received from the United States rose 16.7%.

Available on CANSIM: table 404-0002.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2732.

The April 2007 issue of Monthly Railway Carloadings, Vol. 84, no. 4 (52-001-XWE, free) is now available from the Publications module of our website.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact the Dissemination Unit (toll-free 1-866-500-8400; fax: 613-951-0009;, Transportation Division.