Railway carloadings

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July 2011 (Previous release)

Total rail freight traffic in Canada from both domestic and international operations rose to 25.8 million tonnes in July, up 4.3% from July 2010.

On the domestic front, the Canadian railway industry's network of mainline, regional and shortline carriers saw their combined non-intermodal and intermodal freight loadings rise to 22.7 million tonnes in July, up 2.0% compared with the same month a year earlier.

Non-intermodal freight loadings, which represented about 90% of the total domestic cargo loaded in July, rose 2.2% from July 2010 to 20.4 million tonnes. The increase was the result of gains in more than half of the commodity classifications carried by the railways. The commodity groups that had the largest increases in tonnage were lumber, potash and wood pulp.

Several commodity groups registered decreases in July. Those that had the largest drops in tonnage were iron ores and concentrates, coal, and sand, gravel and crushed stone.

Intermodal freight loadings edged up 0.6% from a year earlier to 2.3 million tonnes in July. The gain was the result of a rise in containerized cargo shipments.

Internationally, total rail freight traffic received from the United States rose 24.7% to 3.0 million tonnes in July from July 2010. The increase occurred on the strength of non-intermodal traffic, which advanced 27.2% to 2.9 million tonnes in July.

From a geographic perspective, 57.1% of the freight traffic originating in Canada was in the Western Division of Canada, with the remainder loaded in the Eastern Division. For statistical purposes, the Eastern and Western Divisions are separated by an imaginary line running from Thunder Bay to Armstrong, Ontario. Freight loaded at Thunder Bay is included in the Western Division while loadings at Armstrong are reported in the Eastern Division.

Available on CANSIM: table 404-0002.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2732.

The July 2011 issue of Monthly Railway Carloadings, Vol. 88, no. 7 (52-001-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-866-500-8400; transportationstatistics@statcan.gc.ca), Transportation Division.